This Swedish Red cow was spruced up (using warm water!) for yesterday’s Bentham Auction Mart milk cow sale. Our herd is a mix of breeds, mainly Holstein, Swedish Red and Montbeliard. I choose across dairy breeds for characteristics like long life, good pregnancy rates, high milk production and good general health. Taking advantage of hybrid…

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We had a bit of a tidy for today’s farm assurance inspection. The dairy that buys our milk subscribes to the Red Tractor mark – the farm assurance scheme that shows a food product meets specific animal welfare and quality standards, so it’s important that we meet the criteria.The inspector looked at our animals and…

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A new cow feed arrived today, fresh from the sugar beet factory. This pile of deliciously sweet steaming shreds will be an energy providing addition to the cows’ diet. Some by-products of human food production (like this) are now hard to come by; the mash we used to get from breweries is now powering bio…

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Everyone at Low Sizergh is thrilled to have won the Best Farm Shop category in the inaugural Cumbria Life Food and Drink Awards. Included in the judges’ assessment were our fabulous staff, the product range, and Cumbrian influences. It is certainly true that we wouldn’t be where we are without being where we are, which…

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For the first time in 12 years we grew maize. Farmers all over the UK are saying this has been the worst crop in 15 years. The dry windy conditions in May and early June stunted the newly germinated seedlings, and then summer’s abundant rain further limited growth.The important part of the plant is the…

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This morning’s cold weather coincided with a delivery of wood chip for the biomass boiler. A load of 23 cubic metres keeps the barn warm and heats all the hot water we use in a winter fortnight.  It’s a delicious kind of heat, generated by seasoned wood from local managed woodland. There’s a pleasure to…

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It was shampoo and sets all round for the female lambs born this Spring as they were spruced up for the annual North of England Mule Sheep Association sale at Kendal auction. Much was made of this being the last Mule sale at the town site – next year’s lambs will enter the ring at…

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Why did the farmer fit his cow with a pedometer? To see how much it’s moooving. BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today presenter Caz Graeme couldn’t resist milking a few bad jokes in the interview with farmer Richard that was broadcast this morning. The cows have been sporting ankle bracelets containing pedometers since 2008 but the…

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Two footsore travelling showmen called in at Low Sizergh Barn last month on their month long tramp through the South Lakes, performing puppetry, stories and songs at sites along the way. Their show, Vagabonding, was inspired by puppeteer Walter Wilkinson who walked and performed his way around the UK in the 1920s and 1930s. I…

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Looking around the orchard after the strong winds this week it’s striking how much fruit the apple trees have set. The tremendous blossoms of April have became the copious fruitlets of May. It’s time to thin, or in September we will be disappointed with our apples, and that’s a tragic prospect.

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