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July 26, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley harvest & hay making

2014-07-26, AWG veg & sweet peas in trugWhilst Gavin (Lord Hamilton) went to speak at the Cosford Food Festival (Phil Allen, Head Gardener, also spoke), the Apley farming team were busy making the most of the recent hot & sunny weather. They have harvested the winter barley & oil seed rape (though, amazingly for the UK, the oil seed rape became too dry to harvest – its water content must be within a certain range). They’ll do the wheat, Spring barley & Spring oil seed rape (we don’t grow oats). They work incredibly long hours at this time of year, sometimes only sleeping a few hours a night, working long into the nights with headlights on the tractors & combines, floodlights on at the grain store.

Here’s a link to a 45 sec film I made. As the combine goes up & down the field, straw comes out of the back of the combine & the grain is stored inside the combine until it’s full. Then a tractor & trailer come alongside & the grain is transferred via a spout from the combine harvester into the trailer. The trailer then goes to the grain store, where the grain is kept or sold – for food (flour), seed for next year’s crop or animal feed.

The Apley Harvest Festival on Saturday 27 September will be a celebration at the end of the 2014 growing season with great selections of local fruit & vegetables to taste & buy, including Apley Walled Garden produce. We always aim to provide at least 1 free recipe with each item.

2014-07-26, paddock hay baling, HarringtonThis morning the children made some flapjack for them (like breakfast bars) to keep them going, then this evening, when we got back from a show jumping competition, they were baling hay from one of our paddocks. We had too much grass this year, so had to either get a local farmer to graze his sheep or borrow a small baler (Apley only has big bales) to make it into hay. The children ran out (Venetia in her pyjamas) to help load & unload the hay onto the loader & into the barn.

Jumping, 2014-07-26, Sybilla on Scout, Pre Novice Area, Netley (4)We’ve had almost every meal out in the garden this week, eating delicious fruit & vegetables from Apley Walled Gardens, like this trug full here which includes 4 types of unusual potatoes – Pink Fir Apple, Apache, International Kidney & Purple Majesty (navy blue when cooked).

Cosford Food Festival continues tomorrow, Sunday 28 July – a great day out for all the family.


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