BIG FARMER little farmer

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Brought to you from Cornwall by mother and daughter team, farmers Lucy and Daisy. Sharing the ups and downs of farming, the joys of working with small children, animal husbandry and life in beautiful Cornwall
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Spring 2013

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..

January 2013

A Very Happy New Year from all of us at Higher Lank Farm!

Christmas came too fast and is now a distant memory here, as we get to grips with another year on the farm.

January Farm News

This month so far has had it’s ups and downs, but here goes!

*We’re celebrating our first clear T.B test of 2013,

*and the birth of 6 healthy calves.

*Moving on with preparations for the installation of a biomass boiler to provide all the heat and hot water we need for the farmhouse and cottages. Contracts have been signed so there’s no going back!

*Preparing, with the help of a land agent(who has been brilliant)a woodland management plan to submit to English Nature and the Forestry Commission.

*Recovering from the loss of our stud cockerel, and several ducks and geese who were massacred by a fox last week.

*Looking forward to longer days, and hopefully some sunshine to dry out our saturated fields so that our herd of Limousins can go back out to graze.

*Drenching our cows for fluke, which isn’t easy as they spit it out!

*Enjoying lots of eggs, thanks to our early morning and evening chicken house light ing installed by Andrew last Autumn. We now have enough to sell from
the farmgate, so if you’re passing…!

Take a peep at our woods in Winter, hopefully they will become more accessible this year when our management plan is approved.

Thoughts from the farmer-this month T.B testing.
Introduced in the 1950’s to prevent the transmission of T.B to humans through milk T.B testing is part of every farmers life. It is becoming, however an increasing nightmare.If a bullock is deemed ‘inconclusive’on 2 occasions it becomes a ‘reactor’ and a chain of consequences begin. The farm is effectively closed down, and can’t sell or move bullocks until it has had 2 clear tests, at least 60 days.Often when the ‘reactor’ is postmortemed and cultures are developed the bullock is found to be clear of T.B, but this makes no difference the farm is still at a stand still. The testing procedure is a complete lottery because the technology is 60 years old and desperately needs dragging into the 21st century.

 Out and About in Cornwall

Watch this space!

Competition time with Farmer Daisy

Our new competition coming this weekend!


























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































*Looking forward to longer days, and hopefully some sunshine to dry out our saturated fields so that our herd of Limousins can go back out to graze.

*Enjoying lots of eggs, thanks to our early morning and evening chicken house  light ing installed by Andrew last Autumn. We now have enough to sell from the farmgate, so if you’re pass


we like many other farms find ourselves constantly affected by the rapid rise in the number of cases of T.B in cattle the implications of which are far reaching for farmers and consumers alike.


Welcome to our first Higher Lank Farm monthly post!

It’s taken us a long time to get this far, but we are excited to finally be here!

November farm news
This month

  • sees us starting preparations in earnest for our biomass boiler installation.Building work has started converting 2 out buildings into a chip store and boiler room, hoping to  be  ready to go by just after Christmas
  • bringing our cows into their Winter quarters.
  • beginning the relocation of our small animals to 2 new fields as their current fields are now grassless, ready for all the  families coming to stay in the Springtime.

  • Here comes the herd! Here comes the herd! First is Kerlew our new bull
  • followed by the first of our cows
  • then the hiefers
  • and more cows
  • finally in the shed ready for the Winter weather.

Farmer’s November Tip
You can bring your hens back in lay by attaching a light  to the inside of your chicken house and using a timer switch giving light for an extra 1/2 hours morning and evening.

Out and About in Cornwall
St Michael Mount is  as spectacular in November as in summertime. Daisy had a great time in the playground (which is free) and exploring the beach. We timed our visit just right and watched the causeway to the Mount slowly reveal itself as the tide went out, a great photo opportunity. When we were there the island was closed and it was freezing! but we still had a lovely time and it was the perfect excuse for hot chocolate in the hotel next to the beach. It took us  an hour and a quarter to get there from the farm, but was well worth the journey time.

  • Daisy poses on the beach.
  • St Michaels Mount St Michaels Mount
  • The free playground is great
  • Loads to do
  • Daisy had fun
  • and kept warm
  • exploring the beach
  • the tide slowly reveals the causeway
  • bit of rock climbing
  • and some rock pools to explore too
  • fab backdrop for picture taking
  • now you can cross on foot.

The Best Bedtime stories- Higher Lank Farm’s monthly book review
Thanks to my parents’ love of books and reading them aloud to me, my brother and sister from being tiny babies, I have always been an advocate of the importance of reading to children from birth. I started reading to all four of my babies from the moment we came home from hospital, and as our family grew, my husband Andrew and I shared bedtime stories between us, reading to our children separately, taking two each!

The Mog books have been in turn, all my childrens’ favourite bedtime stories. Perfect for reading out loud to babies and toddlers and for older children to read to themselves, the books tell the story of a much loved family cat and her often unfortunate adventures. These stories are warm and funny and a must read for all animal loving parents and children.

books for babies toddlers small children under fives preschool farm animals holiday reading

The most wonderful book to read aloud

Farmer Daisy’s BEST IN SHOW-competition time for all little farmers!

Upload your childrens’ farm animal drawings to our farm show and Daisy will judge the exhibits and award Best in Show. This months prize for the under 7’s is our book review book, a children’s classic.

For anyone  aged 7-10 the prize is a Higher Lank Farm T-shirt.

You can upload your drawing by clicking ‘choose file’ below. 

Please put your childs’ age on your picture. Closing date 5 December. Winner will be announced in our December blog.

Higher Lank Farm

St Breward | Bodmin | Cornwall | PL30 4NB

01208 850716

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