Bransden's at Laleham Farm

April 2013
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This diary will be written about twice monthly during the summer by Clare to keep you updated with what is happening with the crops, people and wildlife on the farm and anything else we feel maybe of interest.

Spring has finally arrived after a very long winter and the farm is starting to come to life again. I think everyone can understand why we, as a nation are obsessed about the weather, it never does what it should. Last year we lost three quarters of our Dill crop due to continuous rain in the summer which rotted the delicate herb in the field. Also our Wallfower crop was completely destroyed due to the weather condtions but this is what makes farming so challenging, no two years are alike.

Laleham Farm
a very full lake
A very full lake
Laleham Farm
ringed plover eggs
Ringed Plover nest

A consequence of the cool weather is the lack of birds, bees and butterflies seen on the farm This time last year we had 6 Lapwing nests and 2 Ringed Plover nests this year we have 1 Ringed Plover nest with a couple of other pairs larking around in the fields. There was a small flock of Lapwings at the end of March but since then I have only sighted 1 Lapwing and the skys are silent in the morning with no distinctive call from the peewit! I have seen Kingfisher, Wheatear, Skylarks and Mr & Mrs Pheasant. Our solitary Ringed Plover nest with 3 eggs which should hatch in approximately 24 days.

Laleham Farm
overwintered onions
Overwintered Spring Onions

A final mention on the weather and how it affects how quickly crops grow outdoors. Last year we started to harvest our over wintered spring onions on 21st March which was the earliest ever they have been ready. This year the spring onions will not be ready to harvest  until around the 29th April over a month later!