News from Wark Farm September 21
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Newsletter September 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 mid/late 1700’s up to 2020, with a reasonable cluster in the mid 1900’s. In doing so I accidentally inserted some plain history into my natural history, which has given me a bit to think about. There was no grand design to this and no cross checks, so the impressions I am left with are entirely unsupportable but, I find, interesting all the same.
The early books seem characterised by discovery, a world opening up, and that which had been perhaps simply seen as the wild around us, being noticed, formally, with attempts to categorise species and understand their anatomy, movements and life habits. The growth of natural history as science but still with a lot of shooting and stuffing things going on. Forward a century or so and the basic knowledge of whats around us having been gathered, my books started to add depth to the birds and beasts. Fuller descriptions of the life and goings on in the natural world around us. Collecting data and rigorous observation of habits and habitats started to replace collecting specimens. It’s starting to feel like the ecology I know. And, coming in, a few murmurings of how species might be more or less abundant as affected by human activity in the landscape.
Working through into the new millennium we have the emergence of the full blown science of ecology, usurping in some ways the old fashioned natural history. We have detailed species and habitat knowledge, data driven and rigorous. Extensive books on single species, full of information and analysis. We are understanding their habits and, worryingly, no longer simply their preferences but now their requirements to survive and thrive. A shift from knowing what they are to what they like to we can do to stop them from disappearing.
My most up to date books are urgent, pleading almost. Less focussed on this species or that habitat. Much more worried about the sense of a tipping point closing in and the big changes in the landscape we need to avert the tip; the notion of rewinding emerges.
I’m left wondering what books the next generation of natural history writers will be giving us. I so hope not just plain histories of what nature we used to have. Instead I’m going to look forward to a reading table groaning with case studies from the age of restoration, on the science of species expansion and how to manage it’s interaction with human use of the planet and the flow of beautiful poetic writing that living amongst an abundant nature has so often inspired.
The September order form is now open.On our product range for this month: * There's our usual list of aged Belted Galloway Beef * Hebridean Hogget/Lamb, the full range of fresh cuts * Due to their popularity, we're again having SMOKED back bacon and SMOKED streaky bacon on the menu * We also have our home cured unsmoked bacons and delicious gammon steaks back on the menu, as well as gammon boiling joints to make your own hams. * Our famed Wark Farm pies, made with our own hot water pastry recipe and filled to the brim with high quality meat (frozen) All our beef and lamb meat is cut fresh, which means that it can be frozen at home. It also means that, while we try to accommodate everyone's requests, we cannot guarantee not to run out of certain cuts. We treat orders in order of receipt, meaning that the sooner you get your order in, the more likely it will be that you will get everything you requested for. Unlike our meat, which is typically sold fresh, our famed pies are sold frozen, ready to be baked at home. Our pies are made from scratch at the farm, including their secret recipe golden crust. ORDER INFO: Ordering deadline: Tuesday 14th September, noon. Order confirmations are not sent out automatically, but will be emailed to you by latest 15th September. COLLECTION/DELIVERY INFO: Orders can be collected at the farm (This month exceptionally on Saturday instead of Sunday; so Saturday 18th September between 4pm to 6pm) or picked up at Banchory Farmers Market (Saturday 18th September). We also do deliveries in central Aberdeen and Aberdeen City and most of Deeside and Donside. Deliveries will be done on Friday 17th September. Delivery is free of charge for orders above £40, otherwise it is £5 delivery charge. Please check with us whether we deliver to your area if this is the first time you're ordering from us. PAYMENT INFO: Invoices will be sent out by email at latest Tuesday 21st September with information on how to pay by bank transfer. The updated order form link is below. As ever please get in touch if you have any queries. Best wishes Laurel & Sabrina The updated order form link is below.