June 2020 at Wark Farm
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Newsletter June 2020
Guest post by Sam
Last Wednesday we got up early, lanning to squeeze in some time to write this newsletter, right after bottle feeding our two orphaned lambs, hand feeding our bull to keep him ‘tame’ and letting the chickens out. But then on our way in, we got distracted by a cow which had started to calf but seemed to be struggling. Now here’s the thing: generally we try to let nature do her own thing, causing as little stress as possible for a cow calving but occasionally nature does need a hand to help. So what followed next was two hours of cow watching, up and down pacing as something didn’t feel quite right and then finally making that judgement call that we’d need to bring the cow in. What followed was a stressful hour of cow chasing, bringing in an entire group of cows as they are herd animals and then finally managing to split the calving cow off into the holding pens. Another hour later we had another beautiful addition to our herd.
Life at the farm is exhausting. This time of the year, we’re constantly on guard, watching the cows calve and the sheep lamb. We bring back lost and stuck lambs to the right group, we make judgement calls on which sheep need to be helped with their lambing, we constantly monitor the grounds to see if the land requires a reshuffling of animals groups or not,…. A few weeks ago I found myself covered in blood and bruises as I’d tried helping to lamb a sheep, only to end up with a dead baby lamb, but then another moment I skinned a dead lamb to wrap its skin over another orphaned lamb, helping it to find a new mum and it worked. Those are the happy moments.
There are also happy moments when we take a moment for ourselves, between farming and butchering and pie making, and sit down on our self made stone bench, watching our cattle graze or lie happily in the grass. When we see the calves gang up and play around in the fields, just like the lambs form feisty groups racing through the fields or climbing mud heaps to their hearts’ content.
I’m exhausted but I love the life here dearly. I love how close we stand to life and death, I love how Laurel’s love for the land and for nature has rubbed off on me and changed the way I (literally) look at things. And I love the life we have created here, not just for ourselves and our animals, but the connections we have with the people that come here, people helping us at the farm, people who we partner with and customers. We’re a little community. In our very own way. And if you’re reading this newsletter, then know that you’re part of it as well.
On a complete different note, we have sadly decided to stop with our geese rearing as we had some technical difficulties with our breeding machines and also need to make tough choices as to where we allocate our time, energy and finances. So if you know anyone who would be interested in having some geese, feel free to contact us.
Back to Wark Farm and our next orders ... we will be delivering again on Friday 5th June and open for collections from the farm on the 6th June (between 11am to 2.00pm). We have our full range of Belted Galloway Beef and Hebridean lamb available to the order form, along with our bacon and pancetta.
Orders need to be submitted by Wednesday 3rd June, 5pm with deliveries going our on Friday 5th to Deeside, Donside & Aberdeen. For farm collections we are open from 11.00 until 2.00 on Saturday 6th. Order link can be found below.
Thank you as always for all your support.
Laurel and Sabrina