Meadow and sluices: The fields to the North West were, 100 years ago, flooded each spring. Apparently, this was to stall the spring growth in the weeds and give the new grass a head start over the weeds. The brick sluices are still in place and it is our plan to reinstate the sluice boards and get them back to a working condition. Some of these fields have open drainage systems.
The “old grass” contains many species and it is said, locally, that the land has never been ploughed. In the summer the underlying clay holds the moisture and so where other lands dry up in the heat waves and droughts. The grass at Moonfleet Farm keeps growing. During the winter, the animals are removed to give time for the grasses and ground to recover.
In the spring the grass is harrowed, rolled, cut and baled for hay and then grazed.
Most of the land is in grass.
During the months of April to October 90 acres are assigned to 50 Angus-Hereford cross cows and their calves, they are calved in the spring and raised together in the field during the summer. They are accompanied by a Limousin bull. In the winter they are housed on a neighbouring farm.
Six acres is given over to pigs which are a rare breed (Oxford Sandy and Blacks). There are eight sows and two boars. The weaners are raised and sold off each summer.
Twenty five acres are grazed with sheep North Country Mules from April to January. The lambs are reared and sold at market.
The farm produces its own eggs from the free range Buff Orpington cross hens, these are really pets that pay their way and can be found grubbing around the farmhouse lawn and farmyard.
Ponds and streams
Two old ponds have been re-covered and restored at Moonfleet. Both have islands and have been re-lined with clay dug from the site. There are Roach, Carp and Rudd thriving in the ponds. There have been many varieties of animals, birds and insects which have made these nature reserves their home. Ducks, swans and Graylag geese are resident or visit on a regular basis.
Work at Moonfleet Farm
Agriculture: Grass is main the crop at MoonfleetFarm and this is normally harrowed and rolled in the spring, during June the grass is cut and baled for winter feed. Moonfleet Farm is an “old grass” farm. There is no record of the land being ploughed. Clover is interspersed with many traditional varieties of grasses.
Projects: New shed During 2010, a 45’ x 60’ new shed was erected with polished concrete floor, a major investment and cost. Completed in March 2010, the new dry shed has proven its worth with every day use. Repairs to old milking shed
The old milking shed was in a sorry dilapidated state with rotting doors and broken windows. During 2009 and 2010 the old milking shed underwent sympathetic repairs, these included:
New electrics and water supply
At the southern end the roof structure had shifted over the decades disconnecting the rafters from their supporting walls, the ingress of water had rendered the timbers exposed to decay. New purlins and rafters were replaced and the roof re-tiled in their original form.