Because we let nature dictate our pace, we are very conscious of the changing seasons. Working with the seasons lies at the core of everything we do…
The Blossoming of Spring
As the days get longer and warmer, the apple trees start to blossom. This is our call to action and in between showers from rainbow-pierced clouds, we start sowing our wildlife friendly spring cereals.
The chickens return to full lay and the cows venture out to savourr this seasons new pasture, oblivious to the protests of the skylarks above them.
Vivid shades of green abound. Bluebells, wild garlic and – if we are lucky – the increasingly rare call of the cuckoo herald Spring’s arrival.
Meanwhile the magpie goes about his skulduggery. Evenings are still cool, but the air is sweetened by the scent of elderflower which we use in our 3 Star Great Taste award-winning Elderflower Vodka Spirit.
The Fruits of Summer
Grass and clover, grown to provide our herd with the best food over winter, is ready to cut. Once this has been gathered and safely stored, we pray for some of those thirst-quenching showers, because by the time we go picking, plump is good.
Wildlife and nature’s colours flourish, with butterflies and bees busying themselves between bright and fragrant flowers.
The land becomes a hive of activity, and if the August Bank Holiday is fine, the harvest is usually good.
Expectant cows are given a six week holiday from milking to fortify them before calving.
Seeds of Autumn
The vibrant greens of summer slowly fade to brown as the trees and shrubs shed their leaves and reveal their seeds. Once ground cover is established after autumn field cultivations, the days shorten and the cows come in. Some winter ‘stubbles’ are left until the new year for native and visiting birds to feast on.
Swallows, martins and swifts, fully-fuelled after a summer of insect-rich meals, line up on telegraph poles in preparation for the epic journey ahead of them.
This is when we forage for berries and finally dig for roots. These provide the essential ingredients for Godminster’s vintage goodies, which we then prepare, pack, load, drive and deliver. It’s showtime!
Rooted in Winter
When the Christmas turkey is forgotten and the cows are bedded in for the winter, we can make time to manage the trees and hedges.
Gone are the relatively warmer shades of autumn and evergreens get their moment in the limelight.
While fields stand waterlogged, snipe and other waders probe for nourishment in the sodden soil and the northerly winds bring acrobatic wildfowl, seeking sheltered ponds.
Valentine’s Day is a sure sign that the season’s almost over and usually coincides with the heart-warming arrival of the first spring calf.