Sam Gray - articles written for Country Smallholding Magazine
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
Well this is it! Some of the busiest months in the year are now firmly underway. The irony that I should write an article in the May issue about ‘How to Make Time’ and this month find I’m rapidly running out of it is not entirely lost on me!
Date: 7th July 2017
In recent weeks I have received more than a few emails from people starting out in smallholding, asking similar questions. How do you do it all? How do you actually fit it in to daily life? It’s a very good question!
Date: 5th May 2017