Sam Gray - articles written for Country Smallholding Magazine
Impressing visitors at the Field to Fork Festival
Date: 25th May 2018
The minute the vet opened the gate to his pen, Jack recognised his smell. The same vet had visited him when he was just a young boar, no more than eight months old. He had contracted some kind of unidentifiable virus at the time and after a painful shot of antibiotics, made a full recovery. This time, however, was different.
Date: 14th April 2018
It was early February 2009 when we first heard of Middle Farm coming on to the market. At a 1000 feet above sea level and 200 feet above the snow line, it was, unsurprisingly that winter, covered in several feet of snow. It looked absolutely stunning. Despite the cold, ice and copious white stuff, our enthusiasm for starting a new life running a smallholding was not to be quashed. How hard could it be?
Date: 5th February 2018
I don’t mind admitting that the thought of capturing Soay sheep on an annual basis is enough to keep me awake at night. It’s like a game of chess and if I’m to be successful in loading my lambs I have to be several moves ahead. There is only one chance before the abattoir run, otherwise it has to wait at least another week.
Date: 3rd January 2018
At last! We’re getting back into the normal routine of daily life after the summer holiday break and lots of ‘typical’ wet weather camping. This autumn, however, is different to most, (for us at least) as my eldest daughter Maddie starts taking the bus each day for her first taste of senior school, making for a quieter school run with Connor for his last years in the juniors.
Date: 6th November 2017
Relief! For the fifth year in a row, my family planning has worked. Not for me personally of course but my growing stock of sows. Exactly three and a half weeks before the recent Shrewsbury Food Festival Betty gave birth to her first litter, an incredible twelve piglets born to an incredible new mum who took the whole thing in her stride.
Date: 14th September 2017