In the following weeks of June, we have been getting ready to harvest which will now soon be upon us. Marvin has been busy cleaning the grain store from top to bottom, with the help of a German exchange student who stayed with us for five weeks to learn about life on a British farm. He has also methodically gone through every piece of machinery that will be used over the next four months. Each machine has been brought to the workshop. Worn out or broken bearings, pipes, electrical wires, and parts have been repaired and replaced, before the machine is then washed and greased in readiness for work. No doubt there will be something we have missed which will come to light as soon as the machine is used, but good preparations should reduce the chances of downtime when we don’t need it.

At the same time, we are currently making the largest investment to date in Farrington Oils, increasing our oil pressing capacity by two-thirds. I have bought four extra oil presses and storage tanks that have arrived and are waiting to be installed. Father and others are fabricating hoppers and frames for the installation. It is a full team effort in order to get everything finished before harvest, firstly because we will not have time for building projects once the combine starts rolling and secondly because we need the space, as the farm yard currently looks more like an engineering works with half-built machines scattered around the place.

The weather continues to be wonderful in Hargrave over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, although I hate to say, but a little rain would have been appreciated. One day my daughters came back from school in the nearby town, soaked to the skin from a heavy rain storm while they were playing sport, while the sun continued to shine in Hargrave. It is a common occurrence that rain misses Hargrave; there must be some very righteous people living in our village. My only hope is that we do not get a repeat of last year, where the heavens open during August, which was the wettest month of last year by some margin.