26 Mar Phillippa Davies
1. Name an item on your farm that the young farmer’s of today wouldn’t have a clue about?
A hard one. We move with the times a bit and clear scrap as we accumulate so 99% of what we have here is in use.
2. Do you work on or off that farm? And what do you do?
I have a part time job away from the farm but home-based. I work for the Stroke Association managing and finding for project work. On the farm I take care of the paperwork and am general dogsbody, especially when small hands are required!
3. What’s the best part of living on a farm?
The space, freedom and fresh air!
4. If money wasn’t an issue how would you develop your farm and why?
I honestly don’t think we’d expand this place short of buying a couple of surrounding fields and increasing sheep numbers a bit. The farmer’s dream would be to have a very large hill place so that he could work his dogs but that would probably create more issues (see answer 2). Our work/life balance is pretty good at the moment so would have to keep that too!
5. What’s your ‘go to’ recipe when in need of a quick meal?
Spaghetti Carbonara (great way to use up excess eggs too if you make it the proper way without cream).
6. Have you diversified, and if so how?
Farmer breeds and buys sheepdogs, trains them up then sells them on.
7. What do you do to relax and de-stress?
Family time in front of the TV! Just subscribed to Netflix and working our way through Heartland. Also chips by the sea (we’re less than 30 mins from the coast).
8. If applicable, how do you cope with kids when on the farm? Any tips?
Our eldest is 11 so he helps out. Youngest is 7 and she’s happy to stay in the house. Both are very sensible when it comes to the farm so know where/what is safe and where/what isn’t. We don’t have a quad but a Kawasaki Mule with a top speed of 25 mph. Kids have always known it’s a machine not a toy and expect it as such.
9. Aga or Rayburn?
NEITHER! I have a wood burner for heat, oil boiler for hot water and central heating very occasionally and a Rangemaster with induction top and electric ovens for cooking. I’m not an AGA or Rayburn fan at all.
10. What’s your favourite job on the farm?
Working with farmer on the sheep on the yard and through the races to administer treatment, split them out etc. As long as father-in-law isn’t there too!
11. Do you ever feel lonely due to the farming lifestyle, and if so what have you done to try to combat it?
I don’t feel too lonely as I’m not a people person anyway. Other people irritate me! I have another job and that’s home based with an occasional day or two away so I have colleagues to talk to plus there’s Facebook to keep up on local gossip.
12. Do you have a favourite recipe for bulk freezing and what is it?
No, I keep thinking about batch cooking but never quite get round to it.
13. What’s your signature bake?
Sponge cake and a lemon drizzle cake.
14. Do you have a funny farm story?
Probably loads but not that I can think of off the top of my head. Farmer going on his second ever roller coaster and throwing up everywhere was hilarious. Has vowed never to leave the farm for a theme park trip again.
15. Do you have any home or farm hacks?
Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve in the early evening gets Christmas off to a good start and frees you up from cooking on the day itself leaving you time to spend with the family. Farm wise I’m loving the online records system we get with our FAWL subscription. My paperwork has never been so accurate or up to date!
16. Besides your family, what’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Chocolate! I love the stuff!
17. Were you born to be a farmer’s wife, or were you destined for other things?
No idea, always had a small holding and was around farms when growing up. Went to vet school, met farmer, dropped out and the rest is history.
18. What’s the worst thing about living on a farm?
Not being able to take off at a moment’s notice. Going away takes a lot of preparation. Working 24/7 for relatively little return if you worked out an hourly rate.
19. As a farmer’s wife/partner, what top tip would you give to a new farmer’s wife?
Don’t have in laws or if you have to, make sure their son has cut the apron strings properly.
20. What was the last picture you took on your phone? Please share it with us!
My daughters hair before school yesterday. She likes to see what it’s like at the back!