Friday, July 12, 2013

Making a living out of the countryside

FARMING has undergone tremendous change over the years. As a farmer’s son, I can remember having family picnic lunches during harvest. Can't imagine the combine harvesters stopping now.

And whilst the bigger farms have become increasingly high tech, the smaller ones have diversified to such an extent that you can hardly recognise some of the products that comes out of the countryside these days.

Enterprising business men and women have branched out into everything from fresh cut flowers to tailor made holidays in order to continue to make a living in the countryside. It's heartening to see how all sorts of people have adapted to the changes in such positive ways. I dedicated last week's column in the Gazette&Herald to the subject.  
Tomorrow I have invited 20 food producers from the Yorkshire Wolds to show their wares at a farmers' market here in the gallery.
We've got a former Oxford don who now produces meat, a bio-chemist who has turned her hand at cheese-making and a former fashion designer who now produces rapeseed oil.
These modern farmers are making such a success out of making a living in the countryside their product is beginning to win awards.
Come along and stock up for all your summer picnics. We will be open from 10am-4.30pm.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Broody Pheasant Joins the Family

A pheasant hen decided to bring up her brood right on the doorstep last month.

I fed her on mealworms and before she ran to gobble them up she would shake all the chicks out from under her wings - all except this cheeky one.

He jumped out as soon as he realised what he was missing though.

She soon got used to living with us - even making sure she put our dog Tink in her place.
Before long, I was able to lift her wing and take out a chick to show my daughter, Lily. It was as though she were a broody hen rather than a wild pheasant!

Read more on the story by following this link to my latest column in the Yorkshire Post.