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a you tube surprise

Just been sent this on email, it is marvellous so had to share it. It momentarily transports us from the struggles of keeping farm animals in icy temperatures.



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cheeky land girls

Cheeky land girls

Agricultural students at Newcastle University have produced a ‘naked calendar’ in support of the brain-injuries charity Headway – the brain association. Three photo shoots taken in very nippy conditions in the North Tyne and Newcastle area have produced an outstanding calendar with the gorgeous agricultural girls undoubtedly the cream of the crop, with the lads not far behind.

Twelve months ago Simon Hales, 21, a member of the Newcastle University Agricultural Society, was half way through his studying at Newcastle, when a serious accident resulted in Simon being in a coma for 5 weeks. He then spent the next 3 months in hospital, first in the Newcastle General Hospital where he was initially unable to speak or move and then he was transferred nearer home to the Leicester General Hospital, brain injuries unit. Now, one year into his recovery he is living in a specialist residential brain rehabilitation centre in Northamptonshire and recovering well. Simon’s good progress is a testament to his own courage and the unfailing support both he and the family have received from the health professionals and Headway.

Headway- the brain association, supports people with brain injuries along with their families and friends. The Newcastle students wish to support the charity and thank them for the help and support they continue to give to Simon and his family.  This fund-raising calendar is a real team effort with many of the student’s parents and some local businesses donating sponsorship money to cover the printing costs. The first print run for 500 calendars is already underway and orders can be dispatched in time for Christmas presents.

Calendars are £6 each or 2 for £10 with packing and postage £1.50 per calendar.

To order a calendar this can be done either by BACS transfer, or by post with a cheque for the full amount payable to Miss A Langmead.

If you wish to pay by BACS please contact Anna Langmead by email with the number of calendars you’d like to buy and your full address and contact details.

If you wish to send a cheque please send this to Miss A Langmead, Stock House, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT10 2BG making sure you send the address where you’d like the calendars sent.

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while shepherds watched…

Jethro has been sent this, ’tis surely the silly season!

While Shepherds Watched

While shepherds watched

Their flocks by night

All seated on the ground

The angel of the Lord came down

And glory shone around

The Union of Shepherd’s has complained that it breaches health and safety regulations to insist that shepherds watch their flocks without appropriate seating arrangements being provided, therefore  benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now available.

Shepherds have also requested that due to the inclement weather conditions at this time of year that they should watch their flocks via CCTV cameras from centrally heated shepherd observation huts.

Please note, the Angel of the Lord is reminded that before shining his/her glory all around she/he must ascertain that all shepherds have been issued with glasses capable of filtering out the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and Glory.

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Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to all. A little funny to help get through the darkest part of winter. ENJOY

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what a week..

Well, sincere apologies for lack of blogging.  Open Farm Sunday was a resounding success with our visitor numbers reaching 4 figures…. wow, had we known that would we have done it? Anyway we all survived with the help of so many kind volunteers who gave their time and knowledge freely.



We had an inch of rain on Sunday morning in a very short time, I just wanted to get back into bed after waking at 6am, I was so worried about the day. I only went to bed after midnight after stuffing carrier bags for 3 hours with some very kind friends and family who joined in to help this laborious task.

However fifteen minutes before our gates were to open a streak of blue sky appeared and we actually had a fine day, which made all the difference. It was wonderful to see so many happy smiling people enjoying the animals and machines and we hope they learnt something about how their food is produced.

Well, we are already planning for next year now – 13th June 2010 – while the clearing up and taking down of displays goes on and we will have a major de-brief when we get time. 

The new piglets all arrived in time and I hope to put a pic on soon. We have more visits this week of school groups and pre-school while we are still set up for visitors and the concrete yards are so clean. It truly seems that the work of a farmer is never done and it is no longer just about producing food – sharing knowledge and improved public relations seem to be just as important.

Food for thought and food to eat, indeed!


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the stuff of dreams

Almost a week has passed since I last blogged and it has been another really busy week. Lambing is now properly underway, and we have had another calf born safely. We’ve had three calves so far this spring and it is lovely to see them skipping in the sunshine.

Unusually, I have driven almost 1000 miles this week either viewing and riding horses to replace the previous horse who didn’t settle, or undertaking farm business. I am quite glad to be at home today for once even though I have been working flat out since 6am..

I think I have found a suitable horse for riding around the farm and hope to return on Monday for one more ride on him before agreeing to one month’s trial. It has been very hard to choose between two particular horses [ and of course they were 200 miles apart] after looking at and riding many equines over the last few weeks.

Only two were not as described in their particulars, or by their owner [with one, I should have remembered to ask about feet before doing a 250 mile round trip], and we have seen a huge variety of types and breeds, but it has finally come down to a choice of two and after next week I hope to be able to write more about the experience. 

I have however met some lovely people along the way. The trust that has been shown to us, to take horses out unaccompanied and alone by someone that they don’t really know [or have any idea if we can ride] has been amazing and a very important part of the process. One little horse was almost discounted as when rode her for the first time, in the company of other horses, she almost went to sleep. Taking her out on her own, a month later, was much better, however I think she will probably be the last losser… but I am trying to be very objective about the whole process and have also taken advice. If the two finalists could have merged together I believe we’d truly have the perfect steed, but I guess that only happens in dreams.

We have also had a farm walk this week with fifty visitors of all ages. These educational visits are brilliant for making us have a major tidy up around all the buildings. Perhaps it is time for visitors in the farmhouse too… but since the Dining room is already overflowing with educational material for OPEN FARM SUNDAY, perhaps it will have to wait. It is always very interesting to us to hear new questions from the public about what we do, and to see how they act when visiting a farm. There are always a few people who think they can go anywhere they like on the premises and others who make the day for us by being so polite, patient and so very interesting.

All the plants that were potted on last weekend have grown on well, and I still hope to plant the onion setts very soon but must be careful not to over do the bending.. all our backs are creaking right now and we are all queuing up for the chiropractor. The cauliflower seeds have come up in record time but I am slightly confused by the instructions in the  gardening book and no longer sure if we are growing late summer ones or early winter ones.. so long as we can eat them in due course that is all that matters.

PS: Poor Ruby has mastitis again, and is back on the intramammary tubes. We had to rush out and buy milk for the house, and hope she will be better soon. She has been turned out with the bull by day and is back in her byre at night. We hope to be back on her milk by Wednesday as we always go over the reccommended withdrawal period for all medicines.


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I had a laundry disaster this morning while washing the white coats which we wear for meat sales… I mistakenly left a black ball point pen in the coat pocket, even though I had checked the pockets. On removing the washing from the machine, while avoiding the puppy’s razor like teeth, an black inky mess stood out from the bright whiteness of the coats resulting in a huge groan from yours truly.

Then, I had a brainwave from something I had seen on the Victorian Farm.  In the programme which covered washday and laundry [which took all week and nothing else could have been done] a dim memory flashed through my neurons at lightening speed. MILK! Long before the age of modern detergents milk had been used to remove ink.

As we have a house cow and we have plenty of spare milk I soaked the two white coats in five litres of milk for over two hours and duly washed again at 60′ with my usual persil non-bio plus a whitener. Result. I hung the coats out in the sunshine and instead of black streaks all over I just have a couple of stubborn very small ink marks which I think is a really great result.


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