Wark Farm

Organic Farm and Butchery in Aberdeenshire

Phone Number: 01975 581149

News from the Farm May 2024

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  • 12-05-2024

Posted by: admin on: 2024-05-12 19:36:24 Read More

News From the Farm April 2024

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  • 15-04-2024

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News From The Farm March 2024

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  • 11-03-2024

A few of the Chillingham Wild Cattle We had our annual Soil Association organic inspection back in October. This is an annual audit we go through to verify that, both on the ground and in the office, we are compliant with the requirements of remaining a certified organic farm. It involves a walk round with the inspector, looking at the land and all the groups of animals, and then a rummage through the paperwork or, more often...

Posted by: admin on: 2024-03-11 11:09:54 Read More

News from the Farm January 2024

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  • 15-01-2024

Our new soak away filtering pools. Guest post by SaM: Happy New Year! I can’t believe another year has flown by so quickly and I’m still getting used to writing 2024 instead of 2023 whenever a form requires a date. We’ve had a rocky start to the New Year. All the wet weather brought the water in the soil so high it not only flooded our pie room, butchery and chill but also our utility room, kitchen and sitting room. With...

Posted by: admin on: 2024-01-15 12:01:55 Read More

News from the Farm December 2023

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  • 04-12-2023

Not holly berries but rosehips putting a festive note to our farm Festive post by SaM: The person who works with Laurel on the farm has a name very appropriate for her: Holly. “Tis the season to be jolly” feels like a natural extension to her name and personality, up to the reindeer nose and antlers on her car, plus Christmas jumper. But for me and Laurel, the festive days are all about food, even more so than usual. Although the...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-12-04 12:58:31 Read More

News from the farm November 2023

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  • 09-11-2023

The new arrival surveying his new domain. It's one of the bonuses of running a farm that every now and then we get to wander around Scotland when we go shopping for a new bull or ram. We run what are called 'closed' flocks and herds, meaning that we breed all our own new breeding females and so don't bring any animals onto the farm. This allows us to maintain herds with low exposure to transmissible diseases and...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-11-09 12:19:00 Read More

News from the Farm October 2023

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  • 16-10-2023

Our bull having his hoofs done. Some years ago I read a very thought provoking, at times harrowing, book which favourably compared the store of memories that we accumulate through life with the as yet to be experienced anticipations of ones youth. I was indeed rather younger at the time but even allowing for that I recall acknowledging the theory of the authors words, but I couldn't really feel it. This month marks 20 years since...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-10-16 13:51:57 Read More

News from the Farm September 2023

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  • 07-09-2023

Our coos adore taking a splash in "their" ponds. Newsletter written by SaM today. I might be prejudiced being a September born, but September has always been my favorite month of the year. And living here on the farm hasn’t changed that. The crazy hectic Summer has come to its end and there’s some hope that the pressure will finally subside slightly, as our bodies and minds urgently need some time to recover. The land and the...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-09-07 09:31:26 Read More

News from the farm August 2023

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  • 14-08-2023

(Newsletter written by SaM today) (I went out today to take a few pictures for you, so I could share some of the wild beauty of our farm. See the farm through my eyes today, on a day that I seek some calm inside me. Our farm is a home. For us and for wildlife. I love how untamed it is. There's a certain controlled wildness to our entire farm, which stretches out to our way of being and living. A mixture of solidity, down-to-earthness but...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-08-14 10:11:47 Read More

News July 2023

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  • 08-07-2023

Picture above: Moss, our sheep dog, doing his share of work. There seem to be rather a lot of hats in my life. Some of course are tangible, we get a good bit of breeze that needs deflecting hereabouts and in these recent summers a bit of sun shading has been deployed too. I was rather thinking of the metaphorical hats though, those that go with roles. Some days it seems like I have quite a stack teetering up top as I flit (though that...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-07-08 19:27:29 Read More

News from the Farm June 2023

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  • 08-06-2023

Picture above: Carrying on with Hebridean Sheep. Guest post by SaM: I never thought of farm animals as endangered species. But i guess that is simply because i was still unfamiliar with farming life. There is a reason why certain breeds of cattle, sheep and pigs are called Rare breeds. As people re-discovered these more traditional breeds and their numbers increased again, the term Rare breeds became less appropriate. Happily so. Their...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-06-08 21:25:52 Read More

News from the Farm May 2023

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  • 12-05-2023

Guest post by SaM: There will be dead lambs. Now before this crude and blunt way of phrasing things makes you want to delete this email, I’m asking you to bear with me for a while. Because it’s not a bad thing. Every year again, we get ready for lambing. About 150, maybe 200 of the best sheep selected to go to the tup. Put on the best grass, grass especially saved for them. And then the waiting for the first lambs begins. And every year again,...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-05-12 16:24:45 Read More

News from the Farm April 2023

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  • 07-04-2023

Above: Our little pack of collies In common with most occupations, particularly if they are in the shape of a small business, running a farm and food operation is a real hodge-podge of roles and tasks, routines and dramas, ups and downs. One of my consistent bright spots amongst this variety is the time I spend with our collie dogs when there is sheep work to be done. I’ve lived with dogs around me my whole life, from the rolling around-on-the...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-04-07 20:56:13 Read More

News from the farm March 2023

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  • 13-03-2023

Above: Views of the Northern Lights above our coos. Sabrina and I spent a couple of days in Glasgow last week at a trade show with the aim of bumping into a few more businesses that might find a Wark Farm pie a good thing to have on their menu. It’s far from my natural habitat, as are most places where wellies aren’t the default footwear, but it’s good to step away from the everyday sometimes and take in the wider 'food landscape’...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-03-13 21:15:45 Read More

News From The Farm February 2023

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  • 16-02-2023

Above: A Curlew visiting the farm. The farm through SaM's eyes: Who’d be a worm on an organic farm? It’s one of those odd paradoxes that encouraging more life comes with a commensurate increase in death, a bit of a mixed bag for worms around here. Organic management practices generally give soil life a boost and worms are a good visible sign of that, at least they are if you get the spade out once in a while and have a rummage...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-02-16 20:51:38 Read More

News From The Farm January 2023

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  • 12-01-2023

Above: One of our favourite coos and her calf in the evening sun. The farm through SaM's eyes: Hints of green emerge between brown mud and melting bits of packed snow. I read this lovely text about not making resolutions, not starting your year packed with never-ending pressure and it struck something inside me. We are often consumed by our own expectations, an endless striving for something better. To be better, to better our life...

Posted by: admin on: 2023-01-12 16:28:56 Read More

News from the farm December 2022

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  • 08-12-2022

A flock of 300 wild geese seem to enjoy the stubble fields, and the occasional splash in our new wetlands  In amongst a variety of wildlife and land oriented interests as a youngster I had a bit of an obsession with deer. My interest found homes in school biology projects (examining gut contents for a study on roe deer feeding preferences, much to the disgust of others in the biology department!), summer holiday jobs and university...

Posted by: admin on: 2022-12-08 14:59:47 Read More

News from the Farm November 2022

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  • 10-11-2022

With Laurel balancing farm work and our craft butchery, I figured I'd pitch in by putting together this month's newsletter. For those that don't know me yet, I'm SaM, former banker-turned-foodproducer (or something akin). I'm half Belgian, half Malaysian, mainly nomad (or so I was before I met Laurel, who's also the love of my life and who has undoubtedly Scottified me) and slightly eccentric despite a constant wish to...

Posted by: admin on: 2022-11-10 19:50:11 Read More

News from the Farm September 2022

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  • 11-09-2022

Earlier in the summer the thistle flowers provide a good nectar source for bumble bees and butterflies such as this peacock.  TI’ve developed a little bit of a habit this summer of sitting inside patches of thistles. When I first took on the farm here and started the conversion to organic methods, the creeping thistle was highlighted in my learning about organics as one of the hardest weeds to manage under organic conditions. In...

Posted by: admin on: 2022-09-11 18:03:23 Read More

News from the Farm August 2022

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  • 15-08-2022

Our Belties enjoying the splashes at the farm The Belted Galloway Cattle Society have just held their National Centenary show as part of the Wigtown Show last week. Unfortunately we were’t able to make it down but reading the show reports it looked like a fine day with a great display of cattle to be enjoyed - if you like that sort of thing, which, no prizes for guessing, I rather do. Indeed enjoying hanging around with Belties is, in...

Posted by: admin on: 2022-08-15 10:29:09 Read More

News from the Farm July 2022

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  • 11-07-2022

Early morning curlew on the new splash In contrast to the rather dispiriting global and economic outlook, the the farm in the current high summer days has a feeling of abundance and even opulence. The grass is tall, the flowers are bright and many birds and insects are through their first cycles of reproduction; in simple terms, there are things pinging and buzzing around everywhere. At the moment I'm enjoying the wild geraniums...

Posted by: admin on: 2022-07-11 11:06:16 Read More

News from the Farm June 2022

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  • 09-06-2022

This is a guest post by SaM It was incredibly pleasing to read in a few recent reports on consumer behavior that more and more people are starting to care about quality and about provenance. But then I look at the packaging of some products in the supermarket and my heart sinks a bit. Labels are plastered in screaming fonts on product packaging and I can’t help wondering about the authenticity of it all. How much does that word ‘artisanal’...

Posted by: admin on: 2022-06-09 11:03:52 Read More

News From The Farm May 2022

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  • 13-05-2022

Today no text. Only pictures. Follow us on a tour over our lovely farm. Wellies on first. Let's take the back door of our home. Prune trees trailed against the wall. View of our garden against the backdrop of the coos and the wetlands. We feel so lucky to see this view every day. Some of our coos have come in for a snack. This picture is very important for us as it highlights...

Posted by: admin on: 2022-05-13 15:26:50 Read More

News from the farm April 2022

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  • 08-04-2022

Where did you go o' spring. It's always a poignant sight to see the early blooms of spring weighed down, heads bowed, by April snow. But it does happen most years, in May too, and disruptive as it is there is heat in the sun when it finds a break in the cloud. As a grass based farm we're watching every tiny bit of growth at this time of year. As i saw it described recently, our farming job is to maximise the capture of solar energy...

Posted by: admin on: 2022-04-08 17:27:57 Read More

News from the Farm March 2022

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  • 10-03-2022

It's been getting easier to believe in spring for the last couple of weeks as the days stretch out, the birds tune up and the grass shows some brighter tones of green. We're very much a grass farm here and the spring growth is as eagerly awaited as the return of the curlews (they're here). Then we have to decide how to use the grass to best advantage for the time that we have growth and how we manage for the six months we don't. Over...

Posted by: admin on: 2022-03-10 14:37:22 Read More

News from the Farm February 2022

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  • 19-02-2022

Buzzard as captured by our trail cam It's been a busy week or so for sightings of birds of prey at the farm. Alongside our regular buzzard finials on the posts and telegraph poles along the farm road, the kestrels have been more conspicuous than I've noticed for some years, perhaps this year they will nest nearby. While the kestrels brings a smile to my face our resident sparrowhawks manage to unsettle me. I had two such...

Posted by: admin on: 2022-02-19 20:47:29 Read More

News From The Farm January 2022

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  • 18-01-2022

Happy new year to all of you. Due to personal circumstances, we won't be able to offer fresh meat this month, but we have a limited selection of frozen available at our farm. We will be open for freezer browsing this Sunday 16th January, from 11am to 2pm. If you know for certain you will be coming and let us know via email (laurel@warkfarm.co.uk), then we can bake the right number of complimentary pies to treat you. As ever please get...

Posted by: admin on: 2022-01-18 20:33:17 Read More

News From The Farm December 2021

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  • 06-12-2021

Above picture: Our cows in snow and sunshine; Picture taken by Georgina Bain It's well embedded in language and culture that in this part of the earth we have four seasons and that they follow each other in a steady sort of progression. Being so settled a concept I assume that there is some reasonable factual and historical basis for it. The weather this year has however given us quite some reason to question a complacent notion...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-12-06 07:17:27 Read More

News From The Farm November 2021

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  • 15-11-2021

The digger at work, making our new splashes Sometimes change goes gradual, unnoticeable, like seasons sliding one into another and before you know it's the next winter. And sometimes change happens fast, like last week when we drastically expanded our wetlands. Although the ideas and visualization of the change had been ripening for years in Laurel's mind, the implementation was done in slightly over a week. When you now drive...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-11-15 10:17:38 Read More

News from Wark Farm October 2021

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  • 18-10-2021

‘What will it take to cause a greater shift to sustainable farming?' seems to be an increasingly regular question I'm getting asked at farmers markets and from a range of visitors to the farm. kIn answering this I find I often have my mouth open to reply before my brain is fully engaged. There is a dichotomy here; for myself I want to answer, well it's just so obvious it will naturally happen … and then the brain...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-10-18 14:12:36 Read More

News from Wark Farm September 21

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  • 13-09-2021

Through this year I have been re-reading some of my natural history books as well as adding in a few that have been in my to-read pile for a while. History without the word Natural in front of it was never a huge draw for me, interesting enough in passing, but not nearly as absorbing as when a bird or a flower puts in an appearance. For preference lots of them, placed in a landscape. The spread of my reading this year though has taken me from the...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-09-13 09:50:23 Read More

News from Wark Farm August 2021

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  • 24-08-2021

Guest post by SaM Scotland's moody weather really comes through at the farm. Even the Belties regularly take their hiding in the shed instead of happily grazing on some tasty grass. Of course, in the event that we actually do need the cattle in the shed, chances are large that it's one of those days that they actually prefer remaining outside, in the dampy mist. Like a few days ago this week. It was one of those days that you already...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-08-24 16:10:36 Read More

News from Wark farm July 2021

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  • 13-07-2021

It's Summer, so I feel this should be a happy newsletter. But today one of our cows and her calf are struggling, losing their battle to hold on to the thread of life. And I'm finding it difficult to be cheery. She's an older cow and a month ago, she somehow injured herself quite badly. The vet said there wasn't much we could do, wo we did the little we could do and then waited. Every day was a day she got closer to giving...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-07-13 12:22:03 Read More

News from The Farm June 2021

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  • 14-06-2021

Some of the longer suffering readers of the Wark Farm monthly newsletters will have heard before that we started farming commercially here almost as a secondary interest to the management of land for wildlife But in a landscape like ours, farm animals play a large role in delivering the habitats that many species depend upon. So the farming and the wildlife go in tandem and while in my heart the wildlife leads, in my head the farming will share the...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-06-14 10:36:28 Read More

News from Wark Farm May 2021

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  • 07-05-2021

The hares certainly know the lie of our land better than we do. We're working our way through peak lambing at the farm this week. The ewes are in good shape, the lambs are coming out nicely sized and strong and the overall numbers are reasonable. No thanks are due to the weather though, the lashing tail of this late departing winter has left it's scars and the losses are as painful to bear as they are every year. The highs...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-05-07 13:29:45 Read More

News from Wark Farm April 2021

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  • 12-04-2021

The hares certainly know the lie of our land better than we do. In the sky, on the plate, coo-ing from the tree outside my window ... I do like pigeons. In many and various ways I've always been drawn to them. I even had a stage in my life where I was rather obsessed with doocots, those structure used for the housing of domestic pigeons and I have kept such a breeding flock for meat production. Just for the moment though I was noticing...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-04-12 10:33:19 Read More

News from Wark Farm March 2021

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  • 15-03-2021

Two years back, in the days we could gather, conservation friends advising on the best way to prepare lunch for curlew and other waders in our wetland area. The curlews are back, written with a smile on my face. It's a moment I anticipate every year, the first special one. Nearly always it is the call that tells me they are home, the first one or two flying past high up, journeying back from coastal winterings in the UK or further...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-03-15 13:12:27 Read More

February 2021 at Wark Farm

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  • 18-02-2021

Leading the sheep to their feed earlier in the month I have a self imposed rule of some years standing that I don't write about the weather in these monthly newsings. We'd never get to talking about much else if I didn't discipline myself. It's not an uncommon pastime, perhaps inevitably so living in a country where all the seasons often ping by us in a few short hours and the more so when a big chunk of our working...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-02-18 12:01:11 Read More

January 2021 at Wark Farm

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  • 13-01-2021

Tradition would have it that in a January newsletter we would wish you all a good New Year and take a look back to the year that's been and a look forward to the one to come. Well ... the Happy New Year is easily managed, sending All The Best to all in the Wark Farm community for 2021. We are incredibly grateful and happy to be connected to and supported by such a wonderful bunch of people; customers, suppliers, chefs, contractors, collaborators,...

Posted by: admin on: 2021-01-13 12:08:10 Read More

News From Wark Farm December 2020

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  • 07-12-2020

This is a guest post by SaM: Our land is slowly entering its winter sleep. Growth is slowing and colours are fading away. Trees are becoming silhouettes of skeletons, drawing mazes of lines against grey and cloudy skies. I grasp and try to savour each ray of sun, but the few hours of daylight seem to slip by way too fast. The Hebridean sheep and Belties benefit of their tick coats, but even they seem less bouncy, their furs a bit more down with...

Posted by: admin on: 2020-12-07 08:44:05 Read More

News form Wark Farm November 2020

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  • 13-11-2020

This is a guest post by SaM: "Baling our straw was a salvage action this year. Because of the late time of the year, the straw lying on our fields was still wet and as spells of dry weather became increasingly rare, we felt our anxiety levels increase with each passing day. We urgently needed a few days of sunny, preferably windy days, to get our straw to airdry. Then the weather turned into our favor, but with the straw not being as dry as it...

Posted by: admin on: 2020-11-13 14:13:43 Read More

News from Wark Farm October 2020

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  • 08-10-2020

This is a guest post by SaM: "Conservation isn't just about biodiversity, I've always wanted to see ‘bio abundance'." Laurel told me this midway a walk back up to the farm, as a whole bunch of birds flew out in front of us, weaving in and out the hedges lining the gravel path. She told me how much joy it brought her to not only encourage wildlife, but to also see visible success in raising wildlife population numbers...

Posted by: admin on: 2020-10-08 19:39:05 Read More

News from Wark Farm September 2020

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  • 21-09-2020

I'm sitting outside writing this, on a warm September evening, with the robins singing of the shortening days. As a rarity there is a complete absence of wind and the soft air is speckled with insects. I'm looking across the farm to the Belties, cows and calves, grazing in the wild flower meadows, performing their seasonal task of eating down the summers growth now that flowers have passed and seeds have dropped. Over the top of the cows,...

Posted by: admin on: 2020-09-21 13:52:38 Read More

August 2020 at Wark Farm

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  • 07-08-2020

This is a guest post by SaM: “The secret life of cows.” It's a book that was written by Rosamund Young, that was first published in 2003 and is now lying on the table next to my bed, waiting to be read. The book details how cows live, have family groups, friends and even their favourite humans. Among all of the cows we have at the farm, three of them are special to me. Deedee is a beautiful Dun, with big friendly eyes and...

Posted by: admin on: 2020-08-07 08:44:26 Read More

July 2020 at Wark Farm

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  • 10-07-2020

Sadly due to a bereavement in the family we're only sending out a brief email this month to let you know that the July order form is now updated and open for orders. Practical information on product and dates can be found on the form. Order link can be found below. Thank you as always for all your support. Laurel and Sabrina Link to order

Posted by: admin on: 2020-07-10 14:16:39 Read More

June 2020 at Wark Farm

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  • 01-06-2020

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...

Posted by: admin on: 2020-06-01 18:41:37 Read More

May 2020 at Wark Farm

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  • 27-04-2020

As we continue to navigate these strange times, we are perhaps far enough into some new kind of way of being to be wondering whether there will be a return to the old normal or not. In our chatting and catching up with our community of fellow producers, chefs, retailers, cafes and customers over the last couple of weeks, amongst the human stress and the financial shock of the times, there is an expressed hope that perhaps some permanent good change...

Posted by: admin on: 2020-04-27 12:18:53 Read More

April at the Farm

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  • 06-04-2020

While we continue to adapt to the new order of things, there is much comfort in the seasons continuous flow. The cold winds blowing across the hillside have done their best over the last couple of weeks to slow springs progress but happily it hasn't given up and there are now plenty signs that we have turned the corner from winter, despite the occasional snow shower still rushing past. Patches of mud mysteriously become more brown, as the surrounding...

Posted by: admin on: 2020-04-06 16:15:47 Read More

March 2020 at Wark Farm

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  • March 2020 at Wark Farm
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  • 12-03-2020

This is a guest post by S Marchal. The beauty of new life. Our Jessie became a new mum two weeks ago. Five cute little puppies, blind, squeaking and looking a little bit like chubby rats right now, but soon to become just as beautiful as their mum and dad. It wasn't an easy decision though to let our border collie breed. Puppies require care and training. And if they're to be working dogs, they require even more attention and time...

Posted by: admin on: 2020-03-12 13:23:12 Read More

February 20202 at the Farm

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  • February 20202 at the Farm
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  • 10-02-2020

This is a guest post by S Marchal. I'm not from this country, but I've grown to love it like my own. hSo i can't help being slightly unsettled by the wave of unrest that is called the Brexit. But since i'm not from here and have no particular claims on any kind of political knowledge, i will make no statements, only voice some questions which raise to my mind. I wonder how a country tearing itself apart from...

Posted by: admin on: 2020-02-10 09:27:00 Read More