“I'm on the brink of still being an interesting guy, but I'm slowly turning into this grumpy weatherman.”
Not only do Tom and Chloe need to keep a careful eye on the herds during the hot weather, they’re conscious of the forage they’re growing on another part of the farm.
Part of the vision for Church Farm is to be as self-sustaining as possible, so rather than buying in expensive haylage from a great distance, they’re growing a nutritious mix of clovers, legumes, herbs, wildflowers and grasses to sustain the herds year-round.
But as with most farmers, that means they’re at the mercy of the weather. Situated between Abingdon and Oxford, near Boars Hill, a majority of the farm’s grazing grounds are south and southwest facing.
Tom says: “We tend to have quite a microclimate. We have good light, and good sunshine, pretty much all year round but sometimes in the middle of a hot summer, you can drive 15 minutes one way and 15 minutes another way, and you've got this beautiful, lush green grass, and you just think, ‘oh, I could do with a slice of that!’”