Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley


Posted: 13/03/2015 at 21:44

I doesn't seem to matter much whether you "chit" or not these days.  e.g. the commercial growers round here have planted about 40 acres of potatoes over the past day or so.  I checked the contents of the potato boxes at the side of the field, and no sign of any growth on the seed potatoes.   They couldn't use chitted potatoes with modern machinery anyway, because the processes would rub the shoots off.  They even use GPS to find the most economical route to cover the acreage/ ref time taken/turning space for the tractor etc etc  so my guess is that if it were really worthwhile chitting potatoes before putting ithem in the ground, they'd have come up with some way of doing it by developing the machinery to cope.

aged manure advice?

Posted: 13/03/2015 at 21:32
cowslip2 wrote (see)

I find it surprising that anyone needs to buy manure from a garden center. So much available from farms, most of it free I'm sure. Oh dear, how fortunate some of us are! 




Not really true - manure at most farms round here is stored in more-or-less liquid form in huge slurry tanks/pits and is spread/sprayed on the land, from a trailer which looks a bit like an oil tanker.  This has come about because the way of housing dairy cattle and so on has changed a great deal over the years and large quantities of straw etc are no longer used. 

The best opportunity to get the sort of manure people want for use in gardens is probably from livery stables and so on, where lots of (initially) dry bedding material such as straw or wood-shavings are used.  The wood-shavings take far longer to decompose/rot down than straw-based stuff.


Lawned - is it a word

Posted: 05/03/2015 at 12:29

I think you can use it as an adjective but not as the past participle of a verb.


p.s. edited to agree with "so........... "  !

Daily Bird Sightings 2015

Posted: 11/02/2015 at 18:31

I think fieldfares and redwings prefer open ground and seem to stay(often together) in flocks - I see them in the fields round here but never in the garden.

Help please!

Posted: 11/02/2015 at 18:25

I had the same problem some years ago and the only solution for me was to fence the garden securely, using "stock" netting along the post & rail fencing and hedges.  It was quite straightforward to fix the netting to the post & rail, and for the hedges I had short posts put in, as close as possible to the hedge itself, and the netting was fixed to them.  Now it's almost impossible to see the netting there, as the hedging has grown through to some extent.  Badgers are surprisingly strong, so tough fencing/netting is what's needed. 

In case you're wondering what I mean by "stock" netting, it's the sort which comes in a roll and is made from strong wire, and the spaces are square/rectangular, rather than the "chicken wire" hexagons.  The way to attach it is to fix the "squares" part at the top and the "rectangles" at the bottom.  If you can visit an agricultural supplies place, you'd be able to see it - or ask a fencing contractor to show you.

Room 101

Posted: 28/01/2015 at 19:22

I'd love to be able to get rid of the current fashion for speaking as though every statement or sentence is a question?  ..................... there's surely enough room left for that.................? 

Would you pay more for a pint of Milk ?

Posted: 21/01/2015 at 11:04

Hi Bekkie - I don't believe that considering animal welfare is anything new - it's just something people tend to bang on about these days.  Even from a totally practical point of view, healthy happy animals produce more and better milk.   What does bother me though is that the size of herds these days must mean that dairy farmers probably don't know individual cows in the way that the men who worked for my Pa did.  This may well mean that small changes in behaviour (which could mean a health problem) or minor injuries go unnoticed.

Would you pay more for a pint of Milk ?

Posted: 21/01/2015 at 10:02

Housing dairy cows indoors isn't as bad as you think - they need to be warm in the winter!  These days it's probably better than it used to be in that the cattle aren't tied up in a stall, but relatively free to wander about in the shed.  The automated milking parlours enable them to be milked several times a day which - when you think of it - is what would happen naturally. 

I have come across people who haven't realised that cows need to have had a calf before they produce milk, and that no cow is in fact milked 365 days a year!

Would you pay more for a pint of Milk ?

Posted: 20/01/2015 at 20:16

I think there's quite a lot of milk which imported from Holland, but it's probably not sold on as liquid milk in supermarkets - I guess it's used to make other dairy products such as yogurt & cheese etc as well as being sold to other foodstuff manufacturers.  the various processes and transport costs would mean that to sell it on as liquid milk directly to the public wouldn't be profitable.

There's all sorts of things they take into consideration - i.e. the fat content and the "solids non fat" - and as all the supermarket liquid milk seems to be homogenised, we don't get the chance to see just how much "top of the milk" there is in the stuff we buy.

Being "a milkman" and being a farmer aren't necessarily the same thing!  As far as really fresh milk is concerned - if you'ever had a glassfull straight from the cow, you'll know that it's warm! 

Would you pay more for a pint of Milk ?

Posted: 20/01/2015 at 18:18

I think farmers get around 25p per litre from firms like Muller Wiseman etc. but it costs farmers around 1p more to produce it.  MW probably collect/use/sell on in various ways & to various outlets and their business probably accounts for about 30% of all the milk produced in the UK. 

As far as I know, most dairy farmers only manage to survive at present because of the payments they receive from the Rural Payments Agency - these relate to the acreage they hold.

The whole thing is unbelieveably complicated, and if you check out MW's website you'll see what I mean............. !  They seem to be the people who collect from most of the dairy farms round here - my neighbour gave up milk production two years ago as he was losing too much money.

Despite the efforts of some farmers to increase the size of their herd, there are many others who can't compete at that level as their acreage and buildings/equipment simply aren't adequate and the costs they'd incur ref enlarging/updating just don't add up.

My own Pa was a successful dairy farmer in the days of the Milk Marketing Board (and even before that!) but I must confess I'm a bit out of touch with the current scene despite having some (slight) connection with the farming industry still.

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