Tag Archives: hay

New Forest: autumn activity, tradition and festival

Autumn is always a busy season for farmer, smallholder and commoner alike. It is also a time of ritual, tradition, and festival that reminds us of our connection to the natural or, indeed, supernatural world. Michaelmas, which signals the end … Continue reading

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New Forest: every day is a school day

The Londoners came to visit again this weekend. These are family members who live in our nation’s capital and, every now and then, when their busy social or work schedules allow, will leave the hectic pace of city-life, traffic jams, … Continue reading

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New Forest: spring-time musings

I was going through my diary to see what I was doing this time last year. I was wondering when I had moved the home-kept ponies off their winter grazing and into their spring paddocks. When did I begin to … Continue reading

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New Forest: outwitted by a greedy pony!

I went to visit a commoning friend of mine recently while they were feeding hay to the cows in one of their fields, and thought I could be of some assistance by opening and closing the gate for them. Ordinarily … Continue reading

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New Forest: city-dwellers set free to roam

This weekend I was busy with visitors. In the pre-Christmas round of get-togethers, relatives arrived from London for a few days in the country. My visitors and their children were amazed, when looking out of the kitchen windows, to see … Continue reading

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New Forest: the sweet smell of a job well done

This week has been one of hectic hay making activity. The hay was cut on Friday morning last week and tedded (spread for drying) several times during the weekend and rowed-up ready for baling during Monday morning. The smell from … Continue reading

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New Forest: weather-lore and hay-making

Like most farmers at this time of year, I’ve got my eye on the weather watching for the omens that promise a period of uninterrupted productivity. The crop of hay that will feed my stock over the winter is still … Continue reading

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Ragwort: friend or foe?

I’ve recently begun the task of checking for and clearing any ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) from my hay meadow and the paddocks that my field-kept ponies will be using during the summer. This is one of those essential jobs in pasture management … Continue reading

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New Forest: The Big Freeze 1963-1964

The rainy weather of late (January 2016) has meant that I’ve had to have a bit of a reorganisation in the hay barn to make room for a vehicle that doesn’t like starting in the wet and cold. I had thought … Continue reading

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The New Forest ponies are dressed for winter

It’s getting noticeably colder (December 2014). My outdoor coat, which hangs in the porch, is chilly to put on in the morning but as I go about the early chores on my holding I soon warm up. I’ve never forgotten … Continue reading

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