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This is the promised rant – though because I’m me it’s more of a reminder than full blown, all guns blazing fury. Right now, as I type, farming is valued less that it has ever been valued before. At a time when people fight in supermarkets for the last jar of sun dried tomatoes and debate the various qualities of baking flour farming communities are being broken up and ‘industrialised’.
I was infuriated this week to hear people laughing about upland farmers whose flocks have been decimated, though they sobered up when they contemplated their countryside walks ruined by the presence of the rotting carcasses of sheep, cattle and hill ponies frozen in the severe weather. Oh what a shame!
We seem to have lost the knack of equating the rack of lamb ordered in a restaurant with the man who put the ram in with the ewes, oversaw the tricky birth, checked teeth and feet, clipped dags, saw off bot flies and was there, every day rain or shine, hot or cold, until he was able to see that lamb off to market content he had produced a fine healthy beast that would make good meat. And they do the same for wheat, and carrots, cabbages, potatoes, strawberries – you name it. Farming is a year round effort, working 80 hour weeks for precious little recognition.
Next time you are out enjoying a meal with friends, or inside having a bacon sandwich, spare a thought for the men and women who got up at 5 am to milk the cow, sow the seed, give the pig a pill and do a quick head count of the sheep.
Rant over – I’ll leave you with pictures to make the visit worth while.