Like humans I guess, sometimes a cow comes along and you know there will be another cow like her. It’s not just that she’s special in terms of her personality or appearance, it’s the combination of everything that can be good about a cow – production, conformation, temperament, possession of good old common sense.
For us, our 16 [...]
Some fields are named after their draining abilities (e.g The Bog), or their size (e.g. The Long Meadow). Two of our fields, High Shores and Low Shores, are named after a previous owner. My great uncle Herbert Sixsmith bought about 80 acres at Garrendenny, and purchased these two fields sixteen years later (around 1925). They were owned by a farmer, John Shore, who also worked as a carman delivering coal by horse and cart. He lived nearby and he had right [...]
There I was, wearing a shapeless milking gown with (I discovered later) a splash of cow muck across my face, not exactly looking my most sophisticated or glamourous when Brian called me to get my thoughts on a decision regarding our ESB connection being converted to 3 Phase. The ESB guy said to me “there’s not many women doing what you do”. I looked at him, totally confused. “Doing what?” He flung his arm back to indicate the milking parlour. [...]
Do people amble and relax and meander as much as they used to? Do we meander and daydream and stare into space as much as we should? Mobile phones are great but they mean we are never bored, not bored enough to daydream. I know that if there’s a ten-minute wait when I’m collecting my teenagers that I spend the few minutes checking twitter or sending an email or making a phone call or reading an article. If I’m waiting for them [...]
Without wanting to sound too morose and, dare I say it, a ‘stereotypically grumpy farmer’, it has been a tough year for farmers this year. Between the late, very wet, very cold spring which meant winter extended into May, and then a drought during the summer, it’s been a year that involved a lot of extra work as we were still doing winter work for weeks during the heatwave. Without even thinking about the bank balance, a lot of farmers [...]