February, March and now April…Farm News Update
I have learnt very quickly that my intention to write a monthly blog about life here on our farm is unachievable.
When you farm you never each a point where you can wash your hands, sit down with a cup of tea and think everything is done and up to date! Life here is always about priorities and things like writing my blog sadly always seem to go to the bottom of the the list. However today it’s raining, my animals are all fed, my farmer husband is spreading the last of his dung and I have put this at the top of my to do list! So here goes with a brief update of what’s happened since January………
*Our biomass project became a reality on the 8th March, no more oil being used to heat the farmhouse or our cottages, significantly less electricity being used as the biomass is also heating all the hot water we need in all buildings. We waved a very sad goodbye to our Aga which had been installed by Andrew’s parents in 1961 and had done really well. It’s been a steep learning curve getting used to the dual fuel range that has replaced it, but we’re enjoying it now.
A peep below at the chaos caused during the preparations, and install of the new equipment. We laid almost 60 metres of special underground pipe which meant digging up a great deal of the old farmyard and parking areas. The 3000 litre buffer tank seen arriving below took 5 men to upright in the boiler room and a lot of head scratching too!
Once all was in place commissioning was able to take place, and our first delivery of wood chip arrived from Forest fuels. While we await approval of our woodland management plan our wood chip is coming from the Glyn Valley about 8 miles away. Our store will hold just over 30 cubic metres, anmd the smell when it is delivered is wonderful..
Loading the chip into our store is a family affair as the entrance to the old farmyard is too narrow for a direct delivery, it takes us about 2 hours to move it with the tractor bucket, and with a bit of shovel power too.
We are now awaiting ofgem approval and then we will be paid per kw of heat we generate for the next 20 years, so all the hard work will hopefully pay off. We’ve been forced to become biomass experts so if anyone reading this post is thinking about doing something similar and thinks a chat would help you are welcome to give me a ring..
*Springtime has as always brought lots of births on the farm too, with calves being born in steady numbers since Christmas and now followed by lambs, kids, chicks and one duckling!
*A trip to Exeter cattle market meant the arrival of 3 new piglets and a assortment of orphan lambs too.
A snap shot of some of our new arrivals..