You may have wondered why your social media newsfeeds yesterday were filled with pictures of tractors, animals and views of the beautiful British countryside. The answer is that UK farmers were using #Farm24 to tell the story behind the food and countryside as part of “24 hours in Farming”.
Here’s a glimpse of yesterday at Slamseys Farm.

farm24 footpath through wheat
A walk through the fields before the combine started work in Gardeners Field where everywhere seemed very quiet. As we walked back to the yard, the pick-up drew into the field with a bowser full of diesel to fill the combine and the noise and busyness of the day fired into action.

farm24 office work
Back home, I had some work to do in the farm office. I trained as a farm secretary so while many people hate paperwork and book-keeping, I rather enjoy it.

farm24 picking raspberries
In the fruit field, there were raspberries to pick with Beth, which she took to her unit to make into Raspberry Gin.

Farm24 huffers for packed lunch
Never underestimate the role of Food Provider, I tell my son when he accuses me of doing nothing all day. Today, there were lunches to pack for meals in fields or in the barn; Huffers and Harvest Butterscotch Bars with tomatoes and plums picked from the garden.

farm24 combining wheat
In Lakes Field, the combine methodically worked up and down the field cutting the wheat, storing the seed in the large tank behind the cab as the wheat stalks and chaff were chopped and spread behind, creating clouds of dust. When the tank is full, the driver swings the spout out to empty the wheat into the trailer driven alongside.

farm24 full load of wheat

After a couple of empties, the trailer is full and the tractor driver headed back to the yard

farm24 wheat in barn

to empty the load onto the floor in the barn. This is the barn where we sell Christmas trees, so you’re more used to seeing it look like this.

farm24 loading wheat
Our wheat goes to a central co-operative within a couple of days of harvesting, so that some days, like yesterday, there are lorries being loaded and tractors tipping trailers at the same time. Things sometimes get a little frantic. I noticed yesterday that while Bill was buzzing around on the telehandler like a blue arsed fly, two waiting lorry drivers lay on the grass with their shirts off, sunning themselves. Had they been more photogenic, I might have taken a surreptitious snap.

Farm24 gateway secured

By late afternoon, the wheat had all been cut and the combine moved out. Barriers were replaced in gateways next to roads and bollards pulled back up to secure the field and (we hope) block access for joy riders, fly tippers and burglars. The joy of farming in Essex.

Farm24 ducks

By early evening, the last lorry had been loaded, the barn floor swept and barn doors locked. The ducks were fed and shut  in for the night and and we settled down after supper to watch the hockey at the Olympics.

Today, the combine has moved to another farm and will return in a couple of weeks to cut the field beans. There are more lorries to load and floors to sweep. Also, there are deliveries to receive because the lawn artist is returning to cut another piece of lawn art. But that’s a story for another day.

If you’d like to see what was happening on farms yesterday, check out #farm24 or look at the 24 Hours in Farming Media Wall



15 thoughts on “#Farm24

  1. sally says:

    Only 24 hours to bring in all that wheat, amazing, I dont think I would want the job of sweeping the barn, is there a machine for that as well or just a poor soul with a broom? I love the first shot, is the path through the wheat a public path and do you have an obligation to keep it open all the time? Also fly tipping is a very an odd expression, do you know its origins? Sorry with all the questions but it was a lovely informative post.


    • Anne Wheaton says:

      Just a broom! Though most of it has been scooped up in the bucket of the teleporter so it’s not too bad.
      Yes, it’s a public path that we have to keep open all the time. If we plough across it then we have to reinstate it straight away and also mow or spray off any crops that impede it as it goes across the field.
      I imagine it comes from tipping on the fly or on the move. We get people who drive their van along the lane, open the doors and push out their rubbish as they drive along.
      Always happy to answer questions 🙂


  2. Sam says:

    I love hearing about life on your farm, Anne. It’s fascinating. I’m always shocked by people who think it’s acceptable to dump their rubbish. It’s so not. PS I’d have strong words with your son!


    • Anne Wheaton says:

      I’m shocked not just by the dumpers but by the casual litterers. In our village we have to pay for a litter picker for three days a week, which makes me cross every time I think about it.


      • Sam says:

        That is shocking. There’s a big problem with litter on the roads and lay-bys around here from lorries going in and out of the port. Makes me cross too…


  3. Jane @ Shady Baker says:

    I love how you have captured a snapshot of farm life Anne. Yes, never underestimate the role of food provider, I agree. Those ducks are beautiful creatures and look at that cute dog under your desk. I am sure he/she is a perfect office companion. Happy farm days to you x


    • Anne Wheaton says:

      Maybe one day we could collaborate to do a Farm24 England/Australia. I always think your farming and ours are so different and yet we still have so much in common – weather, politics and dirt to name but three.


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