Friday, 22 April 2011

The Farm Around Easter

The Easter weekend is here and it’s come after a month of weather in Asturias that has been mostly warm and dry. All this hot weather after the wetter winter months has made everything grow fast and brought the season forward. It’s a lovely time to walk around the farm and sense and feel this surge of growth.

Vibrant green growth around the hotel and on the farm

In the meadows the wild flowers are bursting into bloom producing a mosaic of colour stretching above a base of vibrant green. There are orchids galore on the farm and the Bee orchids, Province orchids, Early purples and Tongue Serapias are well into flower. Most of the trees and plants are awakening from their winter rest and just coming into flower, but others have been flowering for some time. The mighty white flower spikes of the Asphodels will soon becoming to an end leaving the flower stalk full of seed heads waiting to ripen and disperse their futures generations into the rocky ground.

Asphodels flowering amongst the rocks.

Early purple orchid

The pastures are lush and the grass is growing fast, far faster than the animals can eat. The sheep are loving all this rich food and getting fat in the process and this new grass helps the mothers produce lots of milk. All the lambs born just a couple of months ago are no longer tiny babies but are now rather sturdy creatures which look like a match for their mums.

Mother and not so small lamb.

With so much tender grass at the moment we have to be careful that horses don’t eat too much and get colic. We extend their grazing area a little at time so as to reduce the amount of new grass they can eat. Wednesday the goat is happy that there is new growth for her to pick through having got bored with the same old plants to graze during the winter.

The asturcon ponies

Wednesday the goat

We always think of eggs at Easter and our chickens are certainly laying lots of tasty eggs at the moment. The warmer weather and longer days is nature’s way of telling the chickens it’s a good time to lay. The chickens roam happily around the farm in search of all sorts to eat. No wonder our eggs are so tasty when you see the variety of food they eat; flower heads, different leaves, seeds, creepy crawlies and much more. The only problem at this time of year is that with so much growth there are more places for the chickens to hide outside and make nests. But what a lovely job at Easter; walking around the farm trying to find a chickens nest and eggs.

An Asturian chicken looking for a place to make a nest.

Happy Easter.


Stephen said...

Doesn't it all look great, and brings back memories of a grand holiday there! Keep up the good work! Stephen and Frances

Nigel and Joann Burch said...

Glad you enjoyed yourselves when you were here. The farm and particulalrly the vegetable garden is going great guns and we ae just getting ready for our anual hay harvest. All the best to you both


Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.