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

What did we do in February?

What did the cows eat?

Given that we had a long stretch of dry weather after a rainy January

that provided grass, the cows were able to graze outside quite often.

We supplemented the grazing with dried forage, a little feedstuff and,

when the cows couldn’t graze due to wet conditions, grass silage. The

heifers grazed when the ground was dry and we continued to move

them from field to field to take advantage of available grazing and let

the grass recover in grazed fields.

Recipe of the month:  Vegetarian noodles

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

500 g sliced mushrooms

500 g noodles

2 ½ cups single cream

250g spinach, fresh if possible

1 cup grated cheese

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan start salted water to boil to cook the noodles.

Heat the two tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and

cook over a moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Do not let over brown.

Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally

until the mushrooms are golden and tender, about 8 minutes. Add the cream,

bring to the boil and then simmer until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles until just under “al dente”, as the noodles will finish

cooking later in the sauce. Drain the noodles, keeping half a cup of the cooking

water. Add the spinach to the sauce and let wilt. Add the noodles, the parsley and

the cheese and toss well. Add, if necessary, the half cup of water and let the pasta

finish cooking in the sauce.

Taste for seasoning and serve right away.

(When we did this recipe at home we added more cream and quite a few more


What was the weather like?

There are an increasing number of signs of climate change on the farm.

Maximum daytime temperatures in February rose to 19.7 º whilst other

days it snowed on the farm. We had frosts 9 mornings


but minimum temperatures varied from 0.0 ºC to 14,7 ºC during the

month. We collected 5 litres of precipitation in the rain gauge but –

of these were the result of wet weather in only 2 days, towards the

end of February.

Three calves were born and we sold them on as they were not for

the dairy herd.

We still suffer problems caused by wild boar as they rootle for worms

and insects. The only solution we see at present is turn the turf back

onto the soil and hope the grass takes root again.


We took advantage of the drier days to top fields and spread slurry.

The peas we sowed in January began to germinate at the beginning

of February. So far the netting and sheeting seem to have deterred

the rodents and birds that are attracted to pea seeds.


By the end of the month the plants had grown considerably and in

March we will remove the netting.

We have also prepared the rest of the earth ready for onions as soon

as the weather permits and other vegetables later in the year.

Flower of the month. Wavy bittercress (Cardamine flexuosa)

This plant, also known as wood bitter-cress, is native to Europe and

parts of Asia. Its leaves have been used in salads. It has no particular

forage value. It tends to grow in disturbed areas and damp habitats,

for example. On the farm it occurs at field margins, on tracks, etc.

We have free range chickens and hens on the farm for home consump-

tion of both meat and eggs. We are more interested in flavor-some eggs

from hens that spend most of their time out and about, than evenly

sized eggs from factory farmed hens fed mainly on industrial feedstuff.

The quality of our milk







Optimum result

Farm result

Fat content









Somatic cell count



Presence  /absence antibiotics



Flower of the month. Wavy bittercress (Cardamine flexuosa)


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