joshuafmetcalfe

Free to those who can afford it, very expensive to those who can’t.

In Agricultural, education, farming, getting started on September 4, 2012 at 8:45 am

They say that if you want something badly enough, you’ll do anything you can to attain it. This of course puts emphasis and importance upon the concept of being very proactive. I nursed concerns initially that my hunger to learn would, for the most part fall upon unwilling or uninterested ears. Luckily for me it seems things couldn’t be any further from the truth.

  I have put many hours in on Twitter and Facebook this past week; badgering people to re-tweet me for promotional benefit. As a consequence of this, interest in my Blog seems to have increased as my blog views have risen dramatically. I have spoken to a great many people this week who have kindly promoted my Blog and I have nothing but gratitude to them. Some say to me that it is refreshing to talk to someone young who has a true passion for Farming. I consider this very encouraging and it once again becomes apparent that the people I meet will influence me beyond any previously imagined extent.

  As I walk from my village over to my girlfriends’ village I find myself studying the Farms that cover the valleys and hilltops like a giant patchwork duvet. I come to the terrible realisation that I have begun to take photos of Farms I pass on my travels. I fear that I now appear to others as a wide-eyed novice seeking to adopt forced pretence. I consciously counteract this by using my IPhone instead of a camera. Though I suppose to an honest degree I am a wide-eyed novice. There is no shame in that.

  I ask my great cousin if I can go to market with them at some point and they accept. I feel that experiences like this are important. Farming is a business (amongst many other things) and I must understand the inner workings of where most make their money. My anticipation grows to excitement when I realise that it will be a Wednesday afternoon and I will therefore have to miss work; what a shame.

  As the days pass I work and daydream. I think about what breed of sheep I will keep to start with. My first flock will have to be small, no more than twenty heads really, but I have to start somewhere. I like the sound of Hebredian ewes; I hear they practically look after themselves in winter. I will have to re-fence the vast majority of the plot but I do not doubt that it will be well worth the effort. I decide that I will cross my Hebredians with a Texel Ram to increase the size and weight of the lambs and to (hopefully) quicken the time taken for them to reach a substantial kill weight. Financing my flock will be a financial strain, but I know I will earn it back after 14 months. I look forward to the inevitable problems I will encounter, as usual I feel very excited. The list of possibilities is essentially endless.

 I hear from the Farmer just outside Leicester, he is willing to let me come and help one day a week. Again I am thankful for the good grace I receive from everybody involved and feel determined to reward their kind gesture with hard work and swift learning. I just hope I am able to maintain a healthy focus on my degree and not get too distracted from my final year of study.

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  1. Have you considered a few heads of wool lambs, like Babydolls?

  2. Yeah here and there, my problem is that the plot is very exposed and very high up. Can easily reach -10 in winter during bad weather. Need something very hardy but something that’s going to give me substantial killweight a year after they’re lambed. Can you reccomend any other breeds?

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