Sling, Solar and Support!

Judging by the bags under my eyes, it’s fair to say the Food Festival season has well and truly started. At the moment I could get away with 10 items or less but by November, they will be able to carry a full trolley! It’s not all food, I Compere at the odd Gardening event, quite a few Countryside Shows and special one offs and have to say wherever I am, it’s always nice to meet stall holders and producers and a lot of them become pals, well that was until yesterday. Don’t you just love it when you ask a civilised question, only to have a tirade of verbal abuse as the reply and in front of their very young children too. I think the question was ‘excuse me, how long will you be please?’ (their van was in the way of our Landrover) The reply definitely was ‘it’ll take as heffin long as it heffin takes’ although the very enthusiastic woman didn’t use the word heffin. She then carried on exercising her vocabulary range which have to say, didn’t bear any resemblance to a rational human being and seeing as she looked like she had previously taken on a few other poor unsuspecting souls, there was no point trying to communicate so we let her get on with it.

Have you noticed the increase in applications for Solar Farms? There’s a lot around us in South Shropshire and have to say it does concern me. They’re so ugly and a real blot on the landscape and can’t understand why we’re taking precious land out of the food equation, surely there is enough roof space on industrial sites to be utilised but then I’m guessing it’s not environmental sustainability landowners are looking for. Farming is hard labour and graft and certainly the Dairy industry has been let down with it costing more to produce a litre of milk than what they receive. The rules and regulations that all Farmers have to jump through for Europe are ridiculous, especially when you know it’s not a level playing field but Farmers and Landowners – please remember, you are the Caretakers of our countryside.

At Hedgebottom Home at the moment, there’s a lot of grass so every time you see the sheep – they’re eating. The hens we still have to keep penned when we’re not at home due to the resident fox and the stress of the earlier attacks have opened them up to lice sadly, we’ve never had it so bad. I think we’ve got on top of it now thanks to copious amounts of Petroleum Jelly.

Another Food Festival this weekend so adding to the ‘bag’ volume and waistline no doubt. We did manage to get away for a week before the season started which was wonderful, all be it the airport incident where I can honestly say, don’t wear a Marks and Sparks Minimiser bra through security and the Russian lady who through some bizarre translation issues, thought I was a Prostitute! Long story ……


It’s a girl!

Ruby our Highland Cow had her heifer calf last Friday and did it all by herself so you can imagine the past few days have been taken up with lots of gate leaning and watching. Had a bit of a scare on her first day though with ‘fly strike’ which I’ve never seen in a new-born calf but fortunately saw the eggs in time and with the work of a flea comb and a dose of ‘Spot On’ managed to kill both the eggs and can you believe the maggots which had already hatched – horrid. When we’ve been able to tear ourselves away it’s been all systems go for a new venture Glyn and I have started, which has seen not only the design and building of a brand new mobile cookery demonstration unit but also the purchase of a trailer which wasn’t supposed to happen just yet, but it’s ideal for what we want so it’s now living in the drive until we can figure out where to put it! Basically it means we can offer Food & Drink Festivals a unit which can either go into a marquee or building or if they prefer, stay outdoors in the trailer. Hoping for a run out at Tenbury Show but if not quite ready, it’ll be our pal Miranda with her camping stove!