Posted on February 03 2020
Happy new year everyone, we say goodbye to 2019 which was a fantastic year and welcome in 2020. Let’s hope 2020 is just as good or even bigger and better. I did a round up of my 2019 on my YouTube channel and I was amazed at how much had happened and what we’d accomplished as a small farm in the Fylde coast. In 2019 I hit the big 100,000 subscribers which I’m still pinching myself about as I’d only dreamed something like that would happen to a guy like me. I travelled far and wide, one being with Mercedes to Austria which was a personal highlight and enjoyed all the other surprises that came my way. As a farmer we love our jobs otherwise we wouldn’t be able to do the hours we do and In my video I said that I’m just enjoying this wild ride because if it all stops tomorrow, the YouTube and the blog, well I’ve had a blast sharing my stories with you guys and I’d just carry on doing a job I absolutely love anyway. Huge thank you to everyone who came on the ride with me in 2019 and hopefully you’ll join me this year too!
Christmas at the farm is probably the same for every farming family, nothing changes, no holidays or breaks. Cows still need milking, feeding, bedding up and ensuring everyone’s healthy. Over Christmas it’s the dream team, the ginger warrior and I getting up early and getting those jobs done. I know not many people would want to work over Christmas but I do love it and think I’d really miss it if I didn’t do it. My girlfriend always finds it amusing how much I miss ‘my girls’, the cows while we’re away anywhere but I like to know where we’re up to, how they’re doing and ensuring every cow is happy. I do care for my cows and unlike some farmers we have named a few and I do have my favourites (don’t tell the other cows that though) ha-ha. We had a great Christmas in the farm shop as well, sold the most turkeys we’ve done so far and all reviews we received after seemed to be really positive, so can’t get much better than that. The butchers were on it and did a fantastic job, a much better job than the first year when it was all the family members on deck, wrapping pigs in blankets and eating dominos into the early hours. None of that this year, the two butchers were in there early, working late getting it all done. When busy farming it’s great to have an amazing team behind you that help you get to the places you want to be.
Then it was off into the new year and like anyone, whether you work in an office or outdoors it’s the same thing. We like to get clean, organised and start the year off as we mean to go on. Therefore, the first job we chose to do was clear out the troughs and replace the ones that had gone a bit tired with new ones. This was meant to be an easy job, even at the start of the video I said that it would be a short, easy video to the start off the new year… famous last words, a job that should have taken 30 mins max took well over an hour. Desmond (brother in law) and I started to clear it, take out the old one and get the new one ready. However, between both of us we just assumed it would fit so didn’t measure the metal and trough beforehand, that was our first error. We tied the string around the metal went to place it in and of course it didn’t fit. Next job, cut it down to fit, boom did that and it still wasn’t going in properly. What next, the ginger warrior turns up and I think his exact words were ‘well this wasn’t designed for this trough’, cheers Dad could have done with knowing that at the start. Anyway, after a lot of messing about we got it in. To everyone wondering why we don’t just feed off the floor I am beginning to ask myself the same thing ha-ha. It’s just we have always had the troughs; they’re fitted in and it just makes sense to carry on using them well it did until this struggle ha-ha. Note to self, never say a job is going to be quick and easy.
Next job of 2020 was LAMMA 2020! This year I was going with Can-am the quad bike company I had done some work with in 2019. I had the pleasure of travelling down with the lovely red shepherdess, Hannah! It was a great laugh to be fair and meant me not having to drive, so win win. We got there late afternoon on Tuesday and had a little look around before meeting the Can-am team for tea. They’re a great company to work with and I feel blessed to be apart of the team. Not to mention the quad bike has been a good addition to the farm, it wasn’t something I thought we needed or would benefit from having until we did. There were a few beers consumed at the evening meal and then we headed to bed ready to attack the second day. On the Wednesday we got to do our own thing at the begging of the day which was great because it meant I got to look around all the kit and see what we can’t afford ha-ha, always nice to look though! The ginger warrior met up with me and we got talking to lots of people. If anyone’s met my dad, he’s a talker and is very knowledgeable so he loved chatting to everyone and getting information off all the different machinery. I think as a farmer you always feel like you could do with more/newer kit, I know we do as we have a lot of old machinery and I mean seriously old kit on the farm. However, they work and some I think I’d secretly miss, others we need to update because they’re causing us more hassle than good and soon going to give in leaving us with no choice. After getting as much information, costings and details we needed we might have to consider looking at upgrading, stay tuned for anything new coming our way… who knows!
To finish off an already busy January it was Farmers ball time. An opportunity for a farmer to get suited and booted which is a rarity for me. This year I was chairman which meant I had to prepare a speech and have a big input in the organising of the event. Organising anything is completely out of my comfort zone, I have Joanna for that, so this was a big responsibility. Saying that I felt with a bit of help from the secretary I managed to pull it off, booking the band, photographer, choosing the menu and attending regular meetings. Boom we did it and the event happened without any hiccups. I love this event, it’s a great chance to get all the local farmers together in one room of all ages, not farming or working but just enjoying ourselves. It’s nice to see people away from work sometimes and also taking a break yourself. I have to remind myself this regularly because as farmers we struggle with the whole ‘taking a break’ thing because it’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle we love and have chosen. However, I have made a conscious effort over the last 6 months to schedule time away, whether it’s a day every two weeks or one weekend a month, it really does help. Means I return refreshed, with new ideas and love it that little bit more, if that’s even possible. I hope everyone has had a successful start to the new year and here’s to the next 11 months!