Farming News – April 2024

In his book, ‘A Brief History of Life in the Middle Ages’, Martyn Whittock explains how solar activity affected the weather throughout history. Between the years 800 – 1300 the sun showed greater activity and harvests were generally bountiful. This period is now described as the mediaeval warm period and populations rose. From 1450 to 1850 a period of reduced solar activity led to a colder climate, and this became known as the ‘Little Ice Age’. Harvests were poorer and the population, already devastated by the plague, struggled to grow. Historically, the activity of the sun ruled the lives of our forebears.

On the farm, I have spent many hours of each day bottle feeding lambs. 17 pet lambs needed feeding thrice daily and after a few weeks, the pleasure soon wore off the job. All the lambs were still with their mothers, so had to be fed individually or in pairs. Grass is now starting to grow due to a warmer, wetter spring. Sowing of spring crops has been delayed and I have given up on any chance of picking some worthwhile potatoes from last year’s harvest.