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2017 on the farm

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SUMMARY 2017

 A reawakening of the Mahorall Farm Cider Blog!!
Yes it has been a while but it has returned as a summary of 2017.

January 2017



 What a way to start off the New Year by capturing this beautiful barn owl sitting on the fence!



Farm work was kick started in Mid January with one of the biggest projects on the farm which I have undertaken for a long time. It involved coppicing a 260 metre length of Hazel hedge which was part financed by a Stewardship Scheme. Hazel is an excellent wood to coppice to ensure longevity of the hedge and the project has also provided a vast amount of timber.



 The hedge was located on fairly remote corner  of the farm and safety was paramount as I was  working on my own. The nearest point of the hedge was over 300  metres from any road and if the weather was wet then I could not drive over to the site without making a mess.


The first job was to remove the existing fence.  The fence was due to be replaced anyway as  numerous posts had rotten. This was …
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Spring/Summer 2015
This year so far has been uber productive on the farm I am very pleased to say! The weather has had a huge part to play in this fact as it has been so very dry. The start of a year is usually cold and wet which limits me going onto the fields due to making a mess but this year was quite different from mid February onwards. This dry weather has enabled me to get on with jobs such as apple tree pruning, ditching, sorting out drains, fertiliser spreading and improving gateways.  I have also got to say a big thank you to 'Dave' who has been an enormous help with his digger. The more I achieved the more I have wanted to do!

Apple Tree Pruning

Managed to tidy up and prune both of our small orchards and I really enjoyed it! Pruning is quite a mellow job (if you are not on a ladder) and where to cut on a branch as well as the shaping of a tree is really quite fun! It is a little bit like being an artist and you step back every so often to see how it is all going. Lo…

Start of 2015

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The amount of times I promise myself to keep on top of the blogging and I never seem to achieve it but here goes for the start of 2015..

The end of 2014 we ran out of bottled cider which was embarrassing to say the least and I want to really forget about the whole scenario. The only slight positive is that we should learn from our mistakes and I am going to try and ensure it does not happen again.

January 2015 I must admit was a bit hard work if I am honest for various reasons. It was cold which I quite like to be honest as opposed to being wet all the time but it is the really short days that I find frustrating. Evenings are really long and seem to go on longer than the daylight hours. I sort of try and promise to myself to take things a bit easier in January each year as it can be quite hectic for every other month. I suppose I have sort of achieved that element but oddly enough I do find it difficult to 'not do anything' and to have a break. I have so many things  'to d…

Spring 2014

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The first part of the year was wet to say the least...rain, rain and more rain and then it stopped. From one extreme to another! The farm was very wet however no flooding. But it has however been very mild indeed with only a couple of small frosts.
 A fairly gentle start to the year regarding work on the farm as well as cider. Managed to get on with a few jobs that have been on the list 'to be done sometime'. It is also an opportunity to get a bit of rest too before the year kicks off with everything. That said having a little boy at home does not always help with the resting part of the plan...
Once the sun came out and the ground dried up slightly then that was the green light for action! One of the first big projects for 2014 was to lay a significant stretch of hedge as well as plant up an old field boundary. This is all part of the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme which enables us to do certain environmental projects on the farm. We wisely asked a contractor to do the actu…

End of year post

I have to say that 2013 has been a year to remember for all sorts of reasons. Looking back on the year it has been one huge roller coaster and I have loved every minute of it!

This year has been very good for for all sorts of reasons and one is how generous mother nature can be with harvests. As Autumn approached we were blessed with a great crop of damsons on the farm which was a great relief. Had some lovely weather to pick them too and really enjoyed the experience. On one side of a particular hedgerow there is one of the best views on the farm overlooking into Herefordshire. With the fine weather, lovely extensive views, solitary bliss and eating fresh damsons like sweets! Fond memories indeed!

The shows have been very good overall in 2013 and the great weather certainly helped. We really only attended the shows we knew should be pretty good and also due to the new addition to the family we wanted to see how the year would turn out. We have some new ones planned for 2014 though a…

Mid Summer 2013

And what a summer we have had so far! After what seems like an eternity of cloud, the sun came out and has stayed out! I know the heat can be hard work but on the whole I am loving it. I have not even been burnt - yet....

Hay has been made on one field quite early this year. I felt I had to seize the opportunity with the glorious spell of good weather considering the nightmare the weather was last year. Despite all the vintage machinery that I use continually playing up during the whole process, I managed to make a very quick 280 bales all my own and get it in. And yes it was made super quick due to the extraordinary heat that lasted well into the evening.I am leaving our wildlife meadow for late cut of hay to allow nature such as butterflies and moths to enjoy it. I watched a lovely springwatch program the other night which highlighted the loss of meadows and how much diversity can be extinguished so quickly which can have a big knock on effect. Makes us proud that we have several l…

Spring 2013

Ok I am certainly guilty of not staying on top of this Blogging BUT my little life has been ram packed with stuff going on since January... I am now a new dad to a lovely little boy born in March! Urgent plans had to happen to make more space in the house which involved building some sort of outside office for me to function. It has taked for ever to build and went fiercely over budget but not only do I have a boy but I am a proud owner of an official man cave in the garden. Wow! - its great and so much space to at least feel prepared to get sorted and to plan for the next few months. So apologies to everyone but I am slowly getting back to normality again!

So we have had one of the most awful start to the year with the weather.. but finally we are starting to see some sun again albeit sporadically and the cider drinking season is now well under way. We have only been to a couple of shows but we were very lucky with the weather and there were good turnouts for both shows. No real …