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Mushroom monitors find fungi

by Rod Kebble

The last of the six reports on the activities of the Pierrepont monitoring group in 2013 is now published on this website and covers the results of a Fungal Foray held last November in Silvergate Field and Tankersford Wood.

Twenty-four species were found, many of them different from those discovered in the same general locations in October 2012.

Newbury Show results

by Rod Kebble

The 2014 Newbury Show (aka the Royal County of Berkshire Show) was held at the Newbury Showground over the weekend of 20th/21st September.

The show season is now winding up for the year, with just the All-Breeds, All-Britain Calf Show (aka the National Calf Show) on the 18th/19th October left in the Pierrepont diary.

Discovery Miles' Jellybean (daughter) and Discovery Fantom's Jenny (dam) winning the Jersey Dam & Daughter class.

Discovery Miles’ Jellybean with Zoë Clear (daughters) and Discovery Fantom’s Jenny with Bev Clear (dams) winning the Jersey Dam & Daughter class. (It isn’t necessary for the handlers to be related…)

Once again, Pierrepont Farm did pretty well in all classes it entered, although we were pipped at the post in a couple of the championships. The table below tells the full story. (“Pierrepont” and “Discovery” prefixes both denote Pierrepont herds. Discovery Fantom’s Jenny and Discovery Miles’ Jellybean are owned by Zoë Clear under the name Stonebridge Jerseys.)

Class Position Competitor
Jersey Championship Reserve Champion Pierrepont Perfecter’s Money Penny
Honourable Mention Discovery Fantom’s Jenny
Dairy Championship Reserve Dairy Champion Pierrepont Perfecter’s Money Penny
Heifer in milk (ie with 1 calf) 1st Pierrepont Bob’s Truffle
Junior cow (having had 2 calves) 2nd Discovery Fantom’s Jenny
Senior cow (having had 3 or more calves) 1st Pierrepont Perfecter’s Money Penny
Dam and daughter 1st Discovery Fantom’s Jenny (dam) & Discovery Miles’ Jellybean
South & Wiltshire Open Calf Show
This show takes place on the second day of the Newbury Show. It’s run by the South & Wiltshire Holstein Club and is a qualifier for Holsteins and young handlers to go to the National Calf Show in October. The club allows other dairy breeds to take part.
Calf born between 1st December 2013 & 31st January 2014 2nd Discovery Miles’ Jellybean
Calf Championship Honourable Mention Discovery Miles’ Jellybean
Intermediate Young Handlers 1st Zoë Clear with Discovery Miles’ Jellybean
Young Handlers Championship Reserve Champion Zoë Clear with Discovery Miles’ Jellybean


Pierrepont Perfecter's Money Penny as Reserve Dairy Champion. We'd like to tell you who the Champion is but could not find any results on the Show's website.

Pierrepont Perfecter’s Money Penny (on the left) as Reserve Dairy Champion. We’d like to tell you who the Champion is but could not find any results on the Show’s website. Update 30th September 2014: Zoë Clear tells us that the winner of both the Jersey Champion and Dairy Champion titles is Jeff and Anthea Daw’s Jubilee Excitation’s Ceres. Congratulations to them!



Discovery Fantom's Jenny coming 2nd in the Junior Cow class.

Discovery Fantom’s Jenny coming 2nd in the Junior Cow class.



Discovery MIles' Jellybean in the December 2013 - January 2014 calf class.

Discovery Miles’ Jellybean in the December 2013 – January 2014 calf class.

Cider is rosy

by Brian Lavers

Having learned that the Countryside Restoration Trust had registered with The Garden Cider Company it was resolved to test the registration and get this year’s large crop of apples at Green Farm converted into cider.

Although no work was carried out in the orchard this year, the quality of the apples was considered to be very high.

A view of the orchard. Although no work was carried out there this year, the quality of the apples was considered to be very high.

To those unfamiliar with the simple operating methods of The Garden Cider Co., the theory is that you let them have your apples which they convert into cider and return to you a percentage of the cider; the size of the percentage depending on whether you elect to have it returned in bag-in-box (dry or medium) or in bottled form. The rest they sell themselves.

The newest and largest of the Green Farm orchards sits in the valley below the farm house and has about 100 trees, around 85 of which are apples of mixed and, so far, indeterminate variety, while the residue are mostly pear but with a few plum, damson and medlar . (We have only the faintest idea of what a medlar is but perhaps someone could tell us what they can be used for.)

Brian Lavers' wife, Gerry, gathers in the apples.

Brian Lavers’ wife, Gerry, gathers in the apples.

Over a couple of sessions we managed to deliver 284 kilos (that’s over a quarter of a ton in old money) of apples, all, it was reckoned, of very good quality, to the Wormley, Surrey premises of The Garden Cider Co.

We are, as the poet once said, through with apple picking now, but of course eagerly await the end result of our labours, promised in around six months’ time.

Ripe apples waiting to be picked.

Ripe apples waiting to be picked.

Silage sausages, anyone?

by Rod Kebble

In mid-September, contractors descended on the maize crop in Pierrepont Farm’s Middle Field and began the process of turning it into “silage sausages” to feed the herd of pedigree Jersey dairy cows and the Angus-Jersey beef cattle through the coming winter.

Herdsman Tony Timmis is dwarfed by the plants.

Herdsman Tony Timmis in front of the crop. We’d like to tell you Tony stands 8’4″ (2.53 metres) without his wellies but that would be untrue. All the same, the height of the plants is, well, amaizein’. (Apologies…)

Because winter grass is of poor quality, cattle are kept indoors during the winter months. Not only does this keep them warm and dry, it prevents theirs hooves from churning up (“poaching”) the surface of damp fields.

Farmers therefore need to grow grass, wheat, maize or other crops such as lucerne (alfalfa) in the summer, to turn into winter feed (silage).

Contractors' machines harvest and chop the maize and send a stream of it through the air into a deep-sided waggon.

Contractors harvesting the maize and chopping it into small pieces. A good aim is required…

Using specialised equipment, the contractors store the crop in airtight, oxygen-free “sausages” (properly called AgBags), where it undergoes a fermentation process before stabilising at a pH level of 4. Storing silage in this way preserves the nutritional value of the feed, leading — in the case of the dairy herd — to higher milk yields.

The storage bags are made from triple-ply low density polyethylene, a recyclable plastic derived from petroleum. The white outer wall reflects light and heat to keep the contents cool, while the black inner wall keeps out sunlight and preserves nutrients.

A special machine bags the chopped maize into "silage sausages".

The chopped maize being bagged into “silage sausages”.

The bags are protected from sunlight by ultra-violet inhibitors and have a designed life of two years — though the contents have been found to be preserved after seven years.

The introduction of the farm’s robotic milking system in 2011 has placed extra demand on silage stocks, as the cows’ greater freedom to come and go as they please now means that — even after they have returned to the fields in spring — whenever it rains they return to the dairy and the farmer suddenly finds he has around 130 unexpected guests demanding lunch.

Green Farm needs YOU!

by Rod Kebble

Green Farm in Churt is holding a Volunteer Taster Day on Tuesday 9th September from 1000 to 1500.

All welcome and conservation activities that need to be undertaken (not all necessarily on the 9th) include clearing paths, maintaining heathland and looking after trees. Hands required for light tasks and heavier ones.

Take a look at our Volunteer page to see what to bring (see the bit about the Pierrepont Farm conservation group — same info applies to Green Farm).

The postcode is GU10 2LT

DIRECTIONS
Coming from Churt

If you are thinking of coming from Hindhead & Beacon Hill on the A287, you might find it easier to use Tilford Road instead, as otherwise you will have to travel almost the whole length of Green Lane.

If you still want to come via the A287, look out for Green Lane on your right as you approach Churt. According to Google StreetView, in October 2010 there was a sign at the junction of the A287 and Green Lane, pointing up Green Lane to the community centre. Follow Green Lane (gingerly, it’s very narrow). When you come to a fork, bear right on Green Lane and not left on Green Cross Lane. You will eventually find Green Farm on your left after a steep upward hill.

Turn in, turn right and park by some garages.

If you are coming through Churt towards Hindhead on the A287, Green Lane will be on your left as you leave Churt. Follow Green Lane (gingerly, it’s very narrow). When you come to a fork, bear right on Green Lane and not left on Green Cross Lane. You will eventually find Green Farm on your left after a steep upward hill.

Turn in, turn right and park by some garages.

Coming from Hindhead & Beacon Hill
After leaving Beacon Hill in the direction of Tilford, leave the Tilford Road at the first left. There is a road sign saying ‘Green Lane’ but it faces away from you. However, there are a couple of signs saying ‘width 6’6″‘. If you reach Hynde Lane (on your right) or the Avalon Garden Centre (on your left), you’ve gone too far.

Follow Green Lane (gingerly, it’s very narrow) until you come to Green Farm on your right, turn in, turn right and park by some garages.

Coming from Tilford
Take the Tilford Road in the direction of Beacon Hill and Hindhead. Eventually you will come to signs for the Avalon Garden Centre on your right. Green Lane is the second turning on your right after the garden centre (the first is just a turn-off into a field path). The Green Lane road sign will be facing you.

Follow Green Lane (gingerly, it’s very narrow) until you come to Green Farm on your right, turn in, turn right and park by some garages.

If you arrrive in Beacon Hill, you’ve overshot the turning…

Revealed at last, the broadleaf planting sees the light of day at the Countryside Restoration Trust's Green Farm.

Revealed at last, the broadleaf planting becomes clear after volunteers removed invasive pine at a previous work day at Green Farm.