This year, due to the excessive rain and water logging much of the goodness has leached out of the soil and some fields are struggling and need attention.
The arable crops are responding well but more care than ever needs to be taken to assess what nutrients. Including trace elements, need to be applied. Both soil and leaf samples continue to be taken regularly, and a succession of vital ingredients in a cocktail of sprays applied, to which they are responding well.
The cattle are happy to be out. It is good to see them enjoying the warm sunshine as they graze contentedly or chew their cud as they rest under the shade of the ancient oaks trees.
I recently became aware of a charming water colour of Ote Hall painted by Henry Hine in 1873, just prior to the major refurbishment by General Godman in 1880. It is interesting to see that the oak trees which are today around the house were quite substantial even then some one hundred and fifty years ago.
It is all too easy to forget just how wonderful and historic these ancient trees are. If only they could speak, they would have some wonderful tales to tell!
I live in hope that when, not if, I end up in jail, sometime in the future, I will have a few friends who will send me letters and the occasional food parcel. Hopefully with an efficient file hidden in a cake!
The changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act that came into force last week, mean that owners will be liable if dogs are ‘out of control’, even on private property. If a dogs lunges at someone or even jumps up as they arrive at the front door, this could be viewed as ‘aggressive behaviour’.
How the law interprets what someone considers ‘aggressive’, will be open to question and those claiming they have been ‘attacked’.
We have five dogs at present, and last summer one of the whippets chased a ball and got to it at the same time as a seven year old. They both grabbed it at the same time, he got the ball and she his leg. One tiny puncture wound was the result and Ethan once patched up was back running rounders before you could shake a stick. He and his family were fine about it and took it all in their stride. In fact I think Ethan has been dining out on the story ever since!
If a similar incident happens today and the family are of a litigious nature I could now end up ‘at Her Majesty’s Pleasure’ for up to five years!
Many farms, homes and businesses have dogs to keep unwanted visitors away. Rural locations are vulnerable for many reasons and dogs are often the first line of defence. This new Act will be viewed with dismay in many quarters including families with slightly undisciplined dogs, and will undoubtedly cause much trouble between neighbours. One has to question if this has been thought through.
The changes to the Act are apparently to protect postmen from being bitten. Surely if a postman is unsure or nervous about a barking dog he should refuse to deliver the mail. The owners will very soon put up an outside letter box at the gate. This would be a better solution than throwing the book at owners and cluttering up the already overcrowded jails.
Jenny Dawson was nominated last year for the Veuve Cliquot New Generation Award which was set up to celebrate up and coming female entrepreneurial talent in the UK who show a genuine commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices whist optimising a gap in today’s market place.
Last Monday at a ceremony in London Jenny was declared the winner of this most prestigious award.
She is a graduate from Edinburgh University, and a former hedge fund trader who quit the square mile to found her company, Rubies in the Rubble in 2011 aged 27.
Her business tackles one of society’s key issues today, food waste. Rubies in the Rubble creates delicious chutneys, using fruit and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded due to supply and demand imbalances or failed aesthetic standards.
Jenny was recognised for creating a successful social enterprise, not only by providing a solution to the issue of food waste, but also using her business model to provide jobs and skills to local vulnerable, in some cases homeless, unemployed members of the community.
She recognised the issue of millions of tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables that are discarded each year, and went about collecting surpluses from markets and farmers. She then marketed the chutney by setting up a stall in London’s Borough Market.
Today Rubies in the Rubble chutneys are selling in Waitrose and Fortnum & Mason, and will launch a new healthy crisp range later in the summer.
As part of winning the New Generation Award prize, Jenny will also receive a full place in the INSEAD Powering Growth strategy programme, directed by Jean-Claude Larreche.
Carola Godman Irvine