As sleet lashes the windows and cold winds howl around the farm buildings, most of our animals are snuggled up warm and dry in their barns for the winter months. Apart from a few hardy little Red Devons who would much rather be out in the weather, munching on fresh grass, than cooped up inside.
It would be easy to dwell on the hardships of winter life: the early mornings and monotonous hours of tough, physical labour for farmer James as he works to keep everything fed, watered and clean. But there is also so much joyful news to report! So lets stick to that- here are 3 pieces of good news to keep us all happy until Spring arrives:
1. The sheep are all in lamb
At least we think they are (official pregnancy diagnosis and ultrasound is a bit too expensive for a flock of just 10). Farm ram, Travis, has done an excellent job, and we hope to be able to report the safe delivery or 10 or more little Shropshire lambs by the end of April. Look out for lambing updates coming soon! In the meantime, we are happy to report that all 11 sheep are thriving. This week they were given a new mineral lick, which will act as a supplement to their hay and corn and make sure they are taking in all the important minerals (calcium, sodium etc.) that they need to stay fit and healthy.
2. The Christmas tree sales were a huge success
This is probably the biggest news of the winter. We ran things a bit differently this year, selling over two Saturdays and adding mulled wine, festoon lights, Christmas music and pressies for children in our Christmas tree forest.
By the middle of December we had officially run out of trees and are proud to have added Christmas cheer to a large number of local living rooms. We were also honored to have supplied trees to a number of pubs and 5 local villages- if you found yourself in Cadgwith, Ruan Minor, Mawgan, St. Keverne or Porthallow over the Christmas break you will have seen them.
Next year we are going bigger and better with a wider range of heights on sale and an upgraded version of our winter wonderland (ie. more of everything). Watch this space!
3. Cornwall in Winter is a beautiful place to live
There is nothing like being blown backwards on the walk down to Kynance, watching sea foam disappearing up high into the threatening grey sky above Lizard, or tasting salty sea water in the air from fields that are a full mile away from the sea at Cadgwith, to make you feel truly alive. Every day the landscape changes: sand is washed away by a storm to reveal rocks you didn't know existed, and as clouds rush by on a sunny day, their shadows create ever-moving tapestries on the wild landscape. It is poetic, breathtakingly beautiful and wonderfully invigorating.
So next time we are working in the dark, looking at the dogs and knowing they will soon be making our house as wet and muddy as they are, we will look back on these 3 joyful points (and the hundreds of other little happy moments we've had over the last 4 months) and know that winter is here...but it's OK.
Look out for our next blog in the spring where we will mostly be talking about lambs and calves- so excited!!