Vista Alegre Baserria Month by month in the farm
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January 2023 PDF Print E-mail

What happened on the farm in January?

There is always quite a debate about what to use or how to enclose

fields. Traditionally in this area there is a mixture of stone walls, hedges

and fencing and all three can be seen on our farm, particularly the latter.

Hedges and stone walls are arguably the most permanent environmen-

tally-friendly ways of closing land, although there is a cost involved in

their maintenance.

The fencing on our farm has traditionally used wooden posts and barbed

wire and/or woven wire. Wooden fence post using local wood are also

a good environmental option, despite the fact that they do eventually

need replacing... generally fence posts here use sweet chestnut or

acacia and these fence post last decades, in fact these old fence posts

are only being replaced after nearly six decades!


What was the weather like?

The weather was very changeable again this month, but

generally more wintry after the first week. Thus the tem-

perature was 14 ºC at dawn on the first of January and

went up to 22 ºC at midday, whilst later in the month mor-

ning temperatures fell to 0,0ºC and we had several frosts

with midday temperatures barely reaching 5ºC.

There was often snow on the hills and we even had snow on the farm for several days.
We collected a total of 346 litres in the rain gauge.

Recipe of the month: Pumpkin puree

750 g pumpkin

300 g carrots

1 medium onion

20g sage

20 ml vinegar

800 ml whole milk

200 ml natural yoghurt

100 g butter

1 lemon (zest and juice)

10 g coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: curry, sugar, pumpkin seeds, cheese

Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Deseed pumpkin and toast seeds with pinch of salt in frying pan until

fragrant and then set aside.

Peel and coarsely chop onion. Then peel and halve carrots lengthwise.

Separate half sage. Place roughly chopped pumpkin and carrots in a

baking dish with some of the butter. Sprinkle with the onion, half the

sage leaves, optionally the chili and sugar, and salt to taste. Roast for

about 40 minutes.

Remove the vegetables from the oven and let cool slightly. In a medium

sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining butter, optionally

with curry powder. Add the oven-roasted vegetables and fry for 1-2 minu-

tes, stirring and mashing with a spatula.

Add the milk and mix thoroughly and then repeat with the vinegar. Add

lemon zest and juice with remaining sage. Bring to the boil and then turn

off the heat and add the yoghurt and, optionally, some grated mature


With a hand blender, blend the mixture until creamy. Serve with the pumpkin

seeds and coriander sprinkled on top.

Flower of the month. Mercurialis annua Annual mercury


This plant is native to Europe and is found in many open habitats.

It has been used in traditional medicine but its toxic components

mean it should be used with great care. The species has no forage


What did the cows eat?

We gave the milkers dried forage, grass silage and a little feedstuff. The heifers grazed

when the ground was dry.


Only one calf was born in January, a heifer calf which we will sell on as it is a

mixed milk/beef calf. After several years of the cows only giving us bull calves,

they have now given us plenty of heifer calves!

There is very little in the allotment at this time of the year.

We have sown peas but they are taking a long time to ger-

minate and as usual we have put netting on them to try and

dissuade birds and rodents.


We have also planted cabbages and still have some carrots

and Brussel sprouts.

The quality of our milk


Optimum result

Farm result

Fat content









Somatic cell count



Presence  /absence antibiotics




Special corner for schools: visit our special corner for schools for special information about our farm and the farm dairy. There are resource materials for teachers. In this corner you can find out how to arrange a class outing to our farm.

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