Calving and Asparagus Down on the Farm


Calving and Asparagus

Preschool series. Storm visits a family farm to learn about asparagus, and JB finds out about calving and shares a new Down on the Farm spring poem.


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# Come join us down on the farm today

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# Learn about nature along the way

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# From seeds to crops and field to barn

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# So much to do down on the farm

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# Summer, autumn, winter, spring

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# Ploughing, planting, harvesting

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# With JB and Storm to lead the way

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# Come join us down on the farm today! #

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Hello, I'm JB.

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It's spring down on the farm and it's such a great time of year.

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It's when new flowers and vegetables are growing.

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While I carry on working in the fields,

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let's find out what Storm's up to.

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Do you know what this funny-looking vegetable is called?

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It's called "asparagus".

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And I have the job of helping to pick this crop

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somewhere in one of those tunnels over there.

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-Hi, guys!

-Hi, Storm!

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I've heard you guys are experts at growing asparagus,

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but I don't know the first thing about picking it.

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-Do you think you could help me?

-We can.

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-First thing you'll need is a pair of gloves.

-Gloves, check.

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-They keep your hands warm and protected.

-Anything else?

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Next is a knife to cut the asparagus.

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I'm going to be extra careful with this one.

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And you'll also need this.

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A spoon? Are we going to be making cakes?

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-ALL:

-No!

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This helps us measure the asparagus so we cut it at the right length.

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I'm so glad you guys are here to keep me right!

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-Have we got everything we need?

-Yes!

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Asparagus is a spring vegetable.

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That means it's planted in early spring and is ready to be

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picked from late in April all the way through the summer.

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And Adelaide and Florrie have

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invited their friends to help us pick today. Better get to work!

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Why are we in these tunnels and not out in the fields?

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Asparagus likes it really warm and really dry,

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so the tunnels help us to keep the heat in and keep the water off.

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-It certainly is warm in here, isn't it, Adelaide?

-Yeah.

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-So, how do I pick asparagus?

-We've got the spoon against the asparagus.

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-Do you think it's tall enough?

-Yep.

-OK.

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Pop the spoon down and we cut really low down.

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So, we're all the way through.

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And why are we hand-picking the asparagus

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and not using great big harvesting machines?

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Well, these spears of asparagus are all different heights,

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so we have two wait until it's the perfect length -

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the length of our spoon - before cutting it off.

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-And do you like asparagus?

-Yeah.

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What do you like to eat it with?

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-Erm...butter.

-Butter! I can't wait to try some.

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-Will we be trying some later?

-Definitely.

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This one in the basket, Flo!

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Now that the basket is full,

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let's get these off to the packing factory.

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So, we're wearing our protective hairnets and coats.

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What happens here?

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When the asparagus comes in off the field,

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we need to sort it and grade it for the supermarkets.

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First, it goes along the conveyor belt

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and through a washer, then it goes through a clever camera

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that takes a picture and sorts it based on size and shape.

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Then it comes into these crates

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and then we ship it to the supermarket, ready for eating.

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We've had a fantastic day learning all about asparagus.

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But the day wouldn't be complete

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-without trying some for ourselves. Shall we tuck in, guys?

-Uh-huh.

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Mmm. Delicious!

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What does the asparagus taste like?

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Yummy!

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While we finish our asparagus, why don't you find out what else happens

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down on the farm in springtime?

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-BIRDS SING

-Spring is a busy time of year.

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The season starts with a singing contest.

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BIRDS SING

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Many birds spend hours perfecting their most beautiful songs

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as they compete to attract a mate

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or warn other birds to stay off their patch!

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Soon, it's time to search for the perfect place to build a nest.

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Once a safe spot has been found,

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birds carefully select the right building materials,

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such as twigs, soft moss or feathers and sticky spiders' webs.

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They use these to construct a cosy nest where they can lay their eggs.

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In some places, nesting materials are hard to find

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and competition can be fierce.

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Pieces of dried seaweed can cause a tug-of-war!

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And some birds even resort to stealing from other birds' nests.

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Guillemots don't bother with nests.

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Like penguins, they just rest their eggs on their feet

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and keep them warm under all those fluffy feathers.

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Precious eggs need to be kept snug, safe and dry -

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whatever the weather.

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And when they hatch, many chicks keep their parents just as busy,

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demanding lots and lots of food.

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Today we're in Scotland, near the Isle of Skye.

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We've come to see Stewart and his friends,

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who are going to be planting some trees.

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Today, we're on an old golf course, which isn't used any more.

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There's lots of animals and birds that live here.

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We're going to be planting lots of trees

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to make it a nicer place for them to live.

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Do you want to come and choose a tree?

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First, the children choose a tree to plant.

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Willow trees, birch trees and rowan trees.

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The small trees are called saplings.

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Then it's off to plant the trees.

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Follow me!

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The ground is wet and muddy,

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but it's still lots of fun!

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The trees Stewart and his friends are planting

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like this wet, muddy ground to grow in.

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Squelchy!

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OK, boys and girls,

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we're going to plant our trees now, so I want you all to find a cane.

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Can you find one of these stuck in the ground?

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And that's where we're going to plant our trees.

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Now it's time to get to work!

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Good stamp down, Rach.

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The children put the trees into the hole,

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then fill the hole right up to the top with soil.

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Then they press the soil down.

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Everyone's working very hard and getting quite muddy!

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With the tree-planting done, it's time for a well-deserved rest.

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Good work!

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Well done, boys and girls.

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That was a great job!

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Do you know how many trees we planted today? Can anyone guess?

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Calvin?

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I planted two!

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Can anyone guess how many we planted altogether?

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107.

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No.

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400.

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400 - that was very close. We've planted 420 trees!

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-Have we all had a good time today?

-ALL:

-Yeah!

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Who's got muddy hands?

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Here's our spring poem...

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It's not a toy - this tractor's real

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It's made from tough and shiny steel

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Climb up the steps and slam the door

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Start the engine with a roar

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Slowly forwards - clank, beep, thump

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Rocking, rolling over bumps

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Pull a lever, turn the wheel -

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Don't get stuck in a muddy field!

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Keep on going while it's light

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And sometimes even through the night

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Working hard from start to end

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A tractor is a farmer's friend.

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Hi, guys!

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We're here on Jimmy's family farm in Dorset

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and today I'm going to be helping with the new arrivals

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because Jimmy's farm is a cattle farm with lots of cows.

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And in spring, a lot of new calves are born.

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-Hi, girls!

-Hi!

-Hi, Jimmy.

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Hi, JB, how are you? Welcome to the farm.

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Thank you. So, how can I help out with the cows today?

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It's a very busy time of year. We're calving at the moment.

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So, if we feed the newborn calves and their mothers

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and then we'll tag some calves which were born last night

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-and put them out in the field.

-Wow. OK.

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-Girls, are you ready?

-Yeah!

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JB, we're here in the field, we've got the cows' breakfast in the bag,

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so if you could give me a hand feeding the cows, that'd be great.

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Farmer Jimmy makes sure the cows are well fed

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so they can produce lots of milk to help feed their baby calves.

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-Girls, do you think the cows are enjoying their breakfast?

-Yeah!

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And can you spot any of the baby calves?

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There, there and there.

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Quite a few, aren't there?

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Baby cows are called calves.

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But did you know that girl calves are called heifers

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and boy calves are called bulls?

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Right, they're all very happy with their breakfast.

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-Shall we go and see the other calves?

-Yes!

-Come on, guys.

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When a cow is about to have a baby calf,

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Jimmy puts her into a barn.

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This is because it's a bit quieter away from the herd

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and he can keep a close eye on her.

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Once the calves are born,

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they have to be tagged before they can go out into the field.

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Basically, that way down - so the longer down.

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The tags are a badge so the farmer knows which calf is which.

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Now the calf is tagged, it can go out into the field with its mummy

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and enjoy the sunshine.

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COW MOOS

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Thanks, Jimmy, for showing me all your lovely cows today.

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-Thank you for all your help.

-And, girls, did you have fun?

-Yeah!

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I think we deserve a bit of a rest after all that hard work.

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While we go and get cleaned up,

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why don't you find out what else happens in spring?

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This is Charlie.

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On his farm he grows plants that can be made into oil.

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Not oil for a car.

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The oil that Charlie makes is called rapeseed oil

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and it is made from rapeseed plants.

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We use it in cooking and on our food.

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In the springtime, the plants are still growing and are green.

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They aren't quite ready to be picked.

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We wait until the summer to pick them.

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This is what the plant looks like in summer

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when they are ready to be harvested.

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What a beautiful yellow colour!

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The flowers make little black seeds that are used to make the oil.

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Let's go to the factory and see where we make these seeds into oil.

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Charlie is pressing the seeds really hard

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to show us how the oil comes out.

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Look! You can see the oil mark on the paper.

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He doesn't usually do this by hand - he uses a machine in the factory.

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The seeds go into the machine, the machine presses the seeds

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very hard so that the yellow oil is pressed out.

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The oil drips out at the bottom of the machine

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and the black seeds are squeezed out at the top.

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Once the oil has been taken from the seed,

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we're left with this pellet that is fed to local cows

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so nothing is wasted.

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The oil goes into the bottling machine and is poured into bottles.

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And now we're ready to go to the shops.

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Storm and I had a great time down on the farm

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and we hope you've enjoyed it, too.

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There's even more from Down On The Farm

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on the CBeebies website, just for you.

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See you next time. Bye!

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# Come join us down on the farm today

0:13:120:13:16

# Learn about nature along the way

0:13:160:13:20

# From seeds to crops and field to barn

0:13:200:13:23

# So much to do down on the farm

0:13:230:13:25

# Summer, autumn, winter, spring

0:13:250:13:27

# Ploughing, planting, harvesting

0:13:270:13:30

# With JB and Storm to lead the way

0:13:300:13:34

# Come join us down on the farm today! #

0:13:340:13:39

Storm visits a family farm in Herefordshire to learn about the tasty treat, asparagus. We follow a group of children as they plant trees at a special event. JB finds out from farmer Jimi about calving and shares a new Down on the Farm spring poem. We also find out how oil is made from plants.


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