It’s a long time since my last blog! I find it hard to sit down with computer when so much needs doing around the farm all the time , but it needs to be done so no excuses – here we go.
Rocombe Retreat has really taken off this year, after 3 years hard work the bookings are coming in much more freely ,word of mouth is helping with people coming after friends or relations have told them what a great spot it is, and also a lot more are coming back again having enjoyed it last time.Its really nice when people return, it makes all the effort worth while.
I’m currently making paths around the site so no more squelching through mud when the weather turns wet , its usually only a problem at each end of the season ,and will to make it better when letting the shepherds hut with the hot tub during the winter.
Im also hoping to do an extension to the communal barn area ,with a fire pit area in front so that larger groups can make more use of it .
Also in the plans – creating a foot path up though the fields from the yurt field to ridge road it should be an interesting walk with great views towards Dartmoor in one direction, and across towards Teignmouth and Bishopsteignton in the other.
The farm is doing well, I’ve already ploughed a 7 acre field that was past its best and needed reseeding. By ploughing in January it allows time for the frosty weather to break the soil up, saving time and diesel in the spring when preparing a tilth ready for reseeding with a mixture of oats and peas that will be made into silage in summer. This crop is also sown with a grass seed mixture at the same time called “under sowing” when the silage is cut and removed you are left with a nice new grass lay that can stay down for years.
The sheep all had their lambs between 15th October and the 15 November they’ve grown really well and should be ready for the first new season lamb sale in March. They have been eating fodder beet given to them on the grass fields instead of last years stubble turnips, which means they are a lot less muddy this year . Also on the menu are lamb creep pellets which is helping them to put on weight faster but this is more expensive – time will tell as to wether its any more profitable.
The cattle are mostly in the barn so it’s a case of feeding hay and silage and bedding them down with straw each day ,all the cows except 1 are in calf so they should calf in April or May. The seven heifers that are outside are also being fed hay and silage two of them are in calf to the Aberdeen Angus and the other 5 will run with the bull this summer as they are a year younger.
This winter I’ve been busy collecting firewood ready to be used in the wood burners and fire pits , we go through quite a lot of wood so I’ve been planting trees for the future,another winter job is hedge trimming which I’m doing when conditions allow. This needs doing each year to keep the hedges compact for nesting birds. Not long now until the yurts go back up for the summer, and Torbay bursts back into summer life.