Life as a humble farmer is tough, I’ve always known that - but not everyone does.
Over the course of 2018, FLANK will be working weekends - to release one video every month on what life is like on a farm just outside of London. What it takes to be a farmer, and without judgement, or preconceptions, I invite you to watch the honest interactions I share with my mum. See the other side of the coin - this isn’t a factory farm, it’s just one woman hell bent on looking after animals. 24/7 365 days a year.
I see the difference in what we’re doing as two fold.
There’s no agenda. We’re not trying to convince anyone of anything, we’re just trying to show you what farming and a farmer actually looks like. It’s more for the interested than the opinionated + more for the curious, than the argumentative. Farming is seasonal and farms have their own tangled storylines, every month things move forward – the type of work changes, the prominent characters appear and disappear - it’s captivating to be around, and I hope that transpires on camera.
Let me start by saying that my mum (Sarah) is a farmer, and she’s the hardest working and most passionate person I know – that’s a fact and I tell everyone. Before her it was my grandfather, and since my mum was 14 years old she’s had a relentless work ethic - something that’s been drilled into me. Although I wouldn’t consider it a healthy relationship she has with it - I feel so proud of all she does and achieves. Year on year.
As Brits, we all know too well the dark, cold weather that pushes us into the new year. We were up at 6:30am to start the day, and when the animals are in the barns - they require a lot more work and maintenance. They don’t have grass to graze on, or fields to fertilise. So they require food, and bedding - that’s the first port of call.
Next we set out to Iodine the cattle that needed it. Iodine (I had 0 idea) is a very important mineral for cows - it ensures they’re healthy and so are their offspring. As our area isn’t particularly high in Iodine, they look to farmers to make sure they’re getting what they need. Bolusing was a pretty interesting process.
I suppose the highlight for everyone involved was the introduction of Edward and Crystal. 2 African Geese (didn’t know that was a thing). I loved seeing my mum and how happy she was that:
She trapped me into having Crystal the goose on my lap. She was playing matchmaker.
It’s always impressive to me how simple, but fulfilling farm life is. It’s working with your hands, and it’s patience.
If you have little experience of British farming, like I have little experience of most things - I expect over the course of the year you’ll come to see just how different farming is to how its portrayed - with a particular emphasis on the people that work in it. Having read lots of articles on the subject, it strikes me how grouped the community is and how strongly it’s stereotyped. I’m not some precious advocate, but I think it’s illogical to tarnish it all with the same brush.
If you’re dying for more, then you’re in luck because this was originally written a long time ago – and we kept going.