As the seasons change throughout the year, so does the activity on the farm. Godminster is a fully working farm, so when we’re not in the dairies producing our distinctive organic cheese we can be found out on the fields, looking after our livestock or tending the crops.
We’re well into autumn now, and as the weather turns we’re doing as much as we can outdoors before winter sets in. Autumn is actually a very busy time of year, to make sure everything is planted and ready before the temperatures plummet. Earlier in the year we’ve completed the spring calving and harvested the crops in August.
Many people are surprised to find out that we have a calving cycle in autumn, as spring is traditionally the time of year for livestock to give birth. However, at Godminster we have two separate calving rotations, one in spring and one in September. In fact, 70% of our cows calve in the autumn!
As you can imagine, it’s a very busy time while we deliver all of the calves safely. This is also when we start serving cows who will be ready to calve the following autumn. Calving is an ongoing process; there is always a job to do, from weaning the calves and weighing them to serving the females on heat.
At this time of year, the grass growth starts to slow, so we have to reduce grazing time for our cows. In November, it’s time to start housing all stock for the winter to protect it from snow and icy temperatures. The change of season also brings some of the most beautiful scenes across the farm, from stunning autumnal sunsets, as the last rays dip behind below the horizon, or the first bites of frost nipping at the fields.
Autumn is one of our favourite seasons, and the gorgeous golden leaves falling are a great indication that it’s also the time of year for preparing for Christmas festivities! In the dairy buildings we’re producing extra cheese for our gift packages and hampers which are in high demand come December.