Making Hay while the Sun Shines!

Phew…what a month!  July has been both a hot one and a hectic one.

We were thrilled to be able to get back to the Great Yorkshire Show earlier this month and, after weeks of cautious planning due to uncertainties caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, we organised lovely new banners, dusted off the stand, got out our aprons, loaded up with goodies, and set off for Harrogate.

With Covid restrictions and fewer visitors to the Show, things did feel very different, and it was far from ‘back to normal’, but we still had a fantastic four days catching up with friends, and customers both old and new.  We are very grateful to everyone who called by our stand to say hello.

It was Kitty’s first Show in the Yockenthwaite apron and it’s great to have her on board as she is full of enthusiasm and ideas for the brand, and we hope she continues to enjoy flying the Yockenthwaite flag!

Many thanks must also go to the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, the organisers, who even in a normal year, without the complications of Covid 19 have a momentous task. The planning and preparation needed to stage an event like ‘The Yorkshire’ is huge.  We were proud to be able to do our bit, and are grateful for the opportunity to showcase our cereals alongside other fantastic businesses in the Food Hall. We had plenty of laughs and made many firm friends; this wonderful camaraderie is what makes Shows like the Great Yorkshire so special.

Since the Show, back at Yockenthwaite HQ we have been fulfilling orders, reorganising our storage area, getting a forklift, ordering a second, much larger van, and planning for the rest of the year and Christmas!


Down on the farm meanwhile, the hot sunny weather has been very welcome. We always try to make small bale hay if we can, but in a wet summer it is not always possible, and like most Dales farmers, we have to resort to big bale silage, wrapped in black plastic.

The old saying ‘Make hay while the sun shines’ is very true and this year the sun was shining and we made the hay;  small bale hay, and we got it all in the space of 7 days in July!  Over 2,500 bales of beautiful green, sweet-smelling herby meadow hay.

We still store our hay in field barns, the individual bales are loaded onto trailers, led to the barn and then thrown through the ‘forking hole’ to be stacked in the ‘hay mew’ and on the baulks, which is the loft over the shippon (the bit where in days gone by the cows would be housed)

Stuart and Eddie toiled in the searing heat all day mowing, strawing out, rowing up and baling, and then in the evening, supervised by grandson James and with Ellen and the welcome help of Keith from next door, we managed to get everything safely gathered in.  It’s hard and thirsty work, but it’s the most satisfying feeling in the world to see fields cleared of grass and barns full of winter fodder.


Much love and congratulations to our Milly (who had worked for us since 2017) and husband David who welcomed their lovely little girl Elizabeth Susan (Betty) into the world earlier this week.  We are so looking forward to meeting her and having a cuddle.