This spring we experimented by sowing our first whole crop fields for silage. This involved sowing a mixture of barley, peas and vetches. Instead of allowing the crop to grow fully so that the barley can be combine harvested, we shall cut it at an earlier stage so that the whole of the plants can be harvested as silage.
The big question is when to cut it. Obviously the weather plays a part in this, because we need relatively dry weather for the harvest. But we also want to take it when the peas and barley seed are forming, but not yet dried out. Ideally the peas will have formed and the barley grains will be “cheesy” but not yet hard.
In the picture, farm manager Rob’s daughter, Darcie, is checking out the peas to see if they are ready. And guess what?
Like fresh garden peas, they are good enough to eat, so we are now ready to harvest them!