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'Prepare for the unexpected' - 10 ways to survive being with a farmer

Former journalist and blogger Emma Lander tells us the top ten things she’s learnt from living with a farmer.



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1. Cook

1. Cook

The way to a man’s heart may well be through his stomach and this can never be better highlighted than with a farmer.

 

Beans on toast will NOT cut it. Ever.

 

Meat and two veg is always a winner and don’t try veering off the traditional path. The couscous night is etched on my memory forever more.

2. Car windows

2. Car windows

Keep the windows up in your car when you get out or, if you brave it, do check before you drive off.

 

Our farm cat has been on a great many adventures including trips to the village with workmen who haven’t noticed her curled up on the passenger seat. I’ve found her in the infant car seat.

 

She can fit through a two inch gap and she’s even been found nestled on the pram when I opened the boot.

3. Footwear

3. Footwear

Rethink your footwear options. Suede, heels, flip flops, white shoes.

 

The list can be added to forever more. Certain things just do not mix with mud, dust, straw and slurry.

4. Clothing

4. Clothing

Like shoes, there are also clothing limitations – anything white is a no-no. In winter, it’s all about the layers.

5. Check your wellies

5. Check your wellies

Check your wellies before you put your feet in them.

 

Best case scenario, they’re empty and dry. Worst case, a spider, slug or mouse.

 

Someone told me their kids had to take their wellies into school and a mouse ran out of one in the class room. Always worth checking.

6. Drive everywhere

6. Drive everywhere

If you happen to go somewhere, try and make sure you drive.

 

If you are in the passenger seat, you will be required to get out and open the gates.

7. ALWAYS close the gate

7. ALWAYS close the gate

If you do go through a closed gate, do not leave it open. You’ve seen the signs.

 

We don’t want sheep or cows escaping and, if they do and it’s your fault the gate was left open, expect to have to chase the animals yourself.

8. Prepare for the unexpected

8. Prepare for the unexpected

If something happens, you will be roped in. Never rounded up sheep before? No problem. Orders will be barked at you.

 

The air may be blue but no one escapes helping out when it is needed.

9. Don’t make plans

9. Don’t make plans

Day trips will no longer be booked in advance. Everything happens spontaneously on the farm!

10. Cleanliness

10. Cleanliness

Lower your cleanliness expectations.

 

You could mop the kitchen floor 100 times a day but muddy foot and paw prints will still find their way onto it. You learn to live with it.

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