It never ever was about the money.
Those of us born into farming know that making money in farming is never a given, yes you can sometimes make money, but the weather often has other ideas and throws some unbelievable extremes our way, writes Valdine Hogg.
Imagine planting all your crops to be harvested next year, they’re looking good and then it starts to rain, and rain, and rain. That is exactly what has happened this Autumn and its not looking like its going to stop any time soon.
“You can always plant again in the Spring, can’t you?” Yes, we can plant again, but imagine the financial toll of buying more seed, ripping up the rotting plants from the Autumn sowing, working the land and then planting again.
It’s not just about the money, it’s the physical and mental toll it takes on you too.
Imagine doing all of this and not knowing if you’re going to make a profit at the end of it, well we now know that we definitely won’t be making a profit, but we have to plant as we have to have something to sell.
We are coping with all of this and then the press seems to be “farmer bashing” on top of all that, we’re all monsters who exploit animals, use pesticides and charge through the countryside ripping up hedges and shouting at the public.
I’m writing this to dispel a few of these myths. It’s not all about the money, we do care about our animals and the wildlife on our farms and surrounding areas, well some and in fact most of us do.
We are environmentalists and conservationists and have been since the words were fashionable.
Chris has specifically planted 5 hectares of special wild bird seed on one of our fields, and no, before you ask, we aren’t getting a subsidy for this.
He genuinely wants to help the wildlife, we bought the seed, planted it and won’t harvest it so the birds have something to eat in the winter, the deer have food and the birds have shelter and warmth.
Look up how large 5 hectare is - its rather a large area to give over to wildlife.
We planted 5,000 trees last winter for our eco project, we dug a pond and have protected the trees with a deer fence which when the trees are established will be removed so there will be a wildlife haven, new woodland, pond and safe area for birds and animals to thrive. We did this for the future, not for profit.
Every week in winter Chris drives around in our battered old pickup with the dogs and he takes bags of our own wild bird food to feed the hedgerow birds, he has increased this recently as the birds have been struggling in the wet weather to fly and fend for themselves, we don’t have to do this, we don’t get paid for this, we actually really do care.
I’m sorry to rant about all of this but it is heartbreaking watching your work disappear under acres of water, knowing that there’s nothing you can do and before you ask, you can’t insure your crops against the weather, flood damage yes, but not for the constant rain we have been experiencing lately. What can we do?
We just must wait until it all stops. What can you do? You are amazing, you support our Wild Bird Food and like our posts on Facebook and chat to us in the shop and support that too.
Please keep doing that and tell your friends too. I’m trying to get the message out there that we’re not all bad, we do care, and its not about the money.
Thank you. Rant over.