A year in the life of my croft

Emily Gifford describes life on her Bressay croft.

Crofting takes a lot of time, dedication and hard work.

In January, we get early calves.

In February, our early calves come.

In March, our main calves come. We spread dung, plough and cultivate. We sell store cattle.

In April, our lambs and main calves come. We plant tatties, barley, oats and grass seed.

In May, it’s lambing time. We spread slurry and we put cattle outside.

In June, we take our first cut of silage.

In July, we cut hay and clip sheep.

In August, we take our second cut of silage and we harvest our early tatties.

In September, we wean and sell our lambs and start harvesting our main crop of tatties.

In October, we wean and sell hill lambs and we wean calves.

In November, we take in cattle and slip the inbye rams.

And in December, we slip hill rams.

The land work is weather dependent. The lambing still goes ahead regardless of the weather, but if it’s bad weather we have to try and get the ewes and new-born lambs inside.

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