July 2018 at Wark Farm
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During my years here my preferred way of sharing what we do has always been to put the land first, as far as possible letting the farm and our products tell their own story, restricting my role to nudging the information in the right direction. For myself I’m at my happiest pottering quietly away, spending time amongst the animals, immersing myself in the ecology of the place and keeping up my life-long habit of mud-larking. Over the past few years though, as my personal self-confidence has emerged, un-connected to but in parallel with the farms own progression, arrived a sense that this was a place to be shared. Not that the gates were ever shut, we’ve had very many varied people and groups visit here over the 15 years, but that’s not quite it. More a sense that there was more richness here than could only be mine. Confirmation of that, if it were needed, has been obvious through the many intensely rewarding times spent with guests here for our various experience days or through the connections made and moments shared with the many visitors from across the world who holiday here. These, I hope, will continue and increase. The biggest daily change though has been the coming together of a group of people who in a mixture of part and full-time ways share in, live on, join with or are intimately connected to this place, why we do what we do and in taking the farm through it’s next phase. Some of you will have met some of them or heard mention before, but after almost a year now of rapid development, this is now who Wark Farm is:
Richard, sculptor by training and inclination, craft butcher by trade. Susan, textile artist, crafter in wool, general creative and looker-after of holiday accommodation. Arjen, farmer to his core, operator of the farm system and oiler of all kinds of wheels. Jessica, writer, crossing the spaces of farm, butchery & marketing and our very own sheep shearer. Fi, advocate for food & environment, first met many users ago over a goose on a snowy day, developing, promoting and managing experiences. Lolita, bookkeeper, many times holiday-guest and Wark Farm-a-phile, orders management and accounts. Sara, physicist, chef and authentic slow fooder, food marketing and developing and delivering experiences. Which leaves me, mud-larker, ecologist, land economist, natural system developer and builder of circles. Naught to Seven, or one to eight, in 11 months has been a bit of a ride; paddling intensively behind the scenes, building new systems, learning how to communicate, understanding our hopes, needs and goals and putting in place our vision and plan for the next phase. The dust is still to settle with lots to do yet but there is much optimism in the air and good things ahead, my apologies where my attention to detail has been lacking in recent months and I hope many of you will enjoy joining with us as the farm goes interesting places
For this month we are open at the farm on Thursday 19th (10:30 - 4:30), doing deliveries to the usual areas of Deeside, Donside and Aberdeen on Friday 20th and we shall be at Banchory Farmers market on Saturday 21st (9am - 1pm). The following Saturday we will be at Ballater Farmers Market. This month we have a slightly more limited than normal range of beef, a full range of pure bred Hebridean hogget (aged lamb), local free range chicken and our usual pies and bacon.
As ever, please get in touch with any questions, thoughts or requests.