Christine Ryder: ‘I read with interest the survey done with children about food. It is quite sad’

livestockfarm life

Christine Ryder and husband Chris farm 242ha (600 acres) at Blubberhouses, in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They are tenants on their home farm and also run a B&B. Stock includes Swaledale and Mule flocks, as well as a herd of Belted Galloways. The farm hosts educational access visits.


This week we managed to get the Mule sheep clipped and I expect they were relieved to be rid of it all. One or two sheep have been found withmaggots so they have been treated for that and should be okay. We will do the Swaledales next, but looking at the amount of wool they have already shed I think we have a new breed on the farm ‘Easycare Swaledales’.


Last week we got all the lambs dosed and we weighed some. There are some just about at 40kg now and with the trade as good as it is for fat lambs we should get them away soon. We split up a group of bullocks last week into similar sizes.


They did not seem to like being separated from their friends and were pretty restless on Saturday night. I did not quite realise how much though until I got a knock on the door on Sunday morning. I had just got the sausages in the grill and there was a man telling me eight bullocks were on the road.


My face must have been a picture of panic because he then went on to say that as he approached them they turned back, ran up the road and back into our lane. That could have been messy, not just for the cattle but the sausages too. We have had a few visits from schoolchildren organised by the Country Trust. All were inner city children, about 90 in total, and while some had an idea about food and farming most did not.


I read with interest the survey done with children about food and that some thought fish fingers were made of chicken and that pasta came from animals. It is quite sad really. Chris asked them if they went to the supermarket with parents and all did but not one knew about the Red Tractor symbol.


The recent heatwave has been great for guests on holiday here and brought some last minute bookings in as people have seen the forecast. I am not so sure its great for us B&B ladies fighting with house cleaning and endless laundry in it though. Still we should not complain. But we do.

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