It has been a glorious day and I hope that you too are enjoying the fine weather. Spring really is here - finally!
This time of year is a very busy one for all of us, but especially for Richard, who has now started the ground work in earnest: moving soil, cultivating the ground ready for new spring crops, and drilling the crops. Much of our farm is used to grow our bird seeds, so there is a lot of spring planting to do!
This year has been much kinder than last; if you remember last year, we had exceptionally wet weather for weeks on end, followed by a severe drought that made everything very challenging. But so far so good for 2021.
One important job to do before planting is to check 'soil indices'. Soil analysis measures the average nutrient concentration of various key minerals - mainly phosphorous, potassium and magnesium - in the depth of soil sampled. This lets Richard know how much fertiliser he needs to apply to keep the plants healthy and well nourished. It involves digging samples of soil from various field locations, packaging them up (and labelling accordingly), then sending them to the lab; easy, really!
Sampling soil for analysis
Preparing the land for sowing
You can see the mustard plants - used as a 'cover crop' through the winter - being worked back into the soil. This was Merv preparing the field ahead of planting spring barley.
Today the plan was to drill our canary seed, but the drill had other ideas; a flat battery meant a late start for Richard. This picture shows Richard literally 'getting stuck into' the drill!
He was changing a metering device that allows him to maintain really accurate seed rate delivery. The rate of flow for spring barley is very different to the rate for canary seed, and this little device meant that he could drill the canary seed with great accuracy whilst driving at the speed he wanted to. It's all so technical - it was quite a tricky job climbing in there, and even more challenging getting out!
Canary seed forms a major part of our bird seed range, being present in many of our garden bird and aviary mixes. Being home grown and double cleaned means we can produce a really good quality product; in fact, it is much in demand.
High Energy Fledgling Mix™ is Back!
Reasons to feed our HE Fledgling Mix™
- Mini pieces make easier feeding for fledglings and little beaks
- Highly digestible - so maximum calories
- Ultra high energy
- Won't grow or sprout
- No mess and everything will be eaten
- It is delicious!
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Sunflower Heart Chips Now Available!
Reasons to feed sunflower heart chips
- Top quality chipped sunflower hearts
- Loved by tits and soft billed birds
- Bite-sized for smaller beaks
- Slightly cheaper than our sunflower hearts
- Delicious and everything eaten up!
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2020 saw most sunflower harvests fail due to the prolonged and extreme drought, which means that there is a global shortage of premium sunflower hearts and also sunflower heart chips. This is making them both very difficult to source. Consequently, the whole supply-and-demand balance has been thrown out of kilter, and prices have increased by around 35-40% due to the shortages.
We are very pleased to have been able to secure some really good quality hearts and chips, and whilst we have had to increase our prices in line with our costs, please be assured that as soon as global prices come down (which will happen if this year's harvests are better) our pricing will follow suit.
Now is a great time to sow wildflowers
Want to create a lovely habitat for birds, bees and insects this summer? We have lots of lovely seed mixtures to choose from, and you can see the whole range here. 3 of our most popular wildflower mixtures are shown below, but we have mixtures suitable for most situations and soil types.
See Our Range of Wildflowers Here
Have you seen our new metalbird collection?
These make a lovely addition to a garden (especially if you enjoy big skies). There are 8 lovely designs to chose from: wren, kingfisher, blue tit, robin, puffin, a pair of swallows, GS woodpecker, and long-eared owl. They are British-made and we think they make lovely gifts.
Click here to view the full collection.
Left to right: Puffin / Swallows / Woodpecker
Last chance to buy our super suet fatballs at the special offer price of only £10.95 for 50 fatballs! This offer will end on 1st April, so please don't forget to stock up and make the most of the savings!
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Easter weekend is nearly here, so I wish you all a lovely weekend and most importantly, look after yourselves and enjoy your garden birds.
With very best wishes,