NORFOLK Museums Service
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

Farm Diary- all the latest news from Gressenhall Farm

Autumn on the farm

Lifting the potatoes on Gressenhall FarmAutumn is a busy time down on Gressenhall Farm. Fortunately, visiting school groups are lending a hand to harvest the potatoes, which are lifted by our Suffolk Punch horses.

There is also the fodder beet to be pulled and threshing to be done. This is where the grain is separated from the stalks and husks. Our threshing is usually carried out by steam power at our annual Apple Day event.

The harness maker has collected some of this year’s crop of rye. He will use this to stuff the collars for the horses, which will then be used to plough, drill and harvest yet more crops.

The team are out in the fields ploughing and preparing the land for the new crops as the farm starts to look towards 2013. This also means planning for new livestock. The ram will be put in with the ewes in the next few weeks and a bull will be brought in to mate with our British White and Red Poll cows.

Traditional hedgelaying on Gressenhall FarmBesides all of this, we are also entering the season for hedgelaying. All the hedges on Gressenhall Farm have been traditionally laid. The dead wood within the hedge provides a valuable habitat for some invertebrates and small mammals. The hedges also provide much needed shelter for livestock, crops and wildlife.

Stepping back in time

This is an imageSam Elmhurst kindly sent us this photo of herself and Archie – a beautiful Clydesdale horse owned by Sandy Lerski of Bawdeswell's – having fun sheltering from the rain at our Spring Fair.

It reminds us of some of the photographs in our Land Girls and Lumber Jills Gallery!

Many thanks to the 16 additional horses – Suffolks, Shires, Clydesdale and Percheron – who joined us for our Spring Fair event day and helped us with the seasonal tasks.

Sharing Skills

This is an imageOur Farmers love to share their knowledge and experience with visitors and colleagues.

At a recent training day for staff working with rural life collections, we explored opportunities to make more of the ploughs in our museums.

Museum staff from across the East of England came to Gressenhall to share their experiences, discuss ideas and to see our Farm Manager Richard ploughing with our Suffolk Punch horses – not a sight you tend to see much elsewhere!

You would have been forgiven for thinking that one plough was pretty much like another, but you quickly realise the variety of designs makes them fascinating to study. I, for one, shall never look at a plough again in quite the same way!