This week I nearly hit rock bottom (or hit someone/something, I used to be a lover not a fighter), farming for over 20 years is starting to break me, I am turning into a grumpy old man!
When I was getting Tinky ready for school this week I came across this poem she copied at her young careers club:
Wow, so true…… it is normally Rachel who says things happen for a reason, but I think I was meant to find Alice’s poem.
I went downstairs took the kids to school with Rachel and we went for a cupper; mum always said a cup of Read More
Wow…….Food Festival 2018, what a weekend. Thanks to the meat heroes for all their hard work. Thanks to the organisers for a great event. Thanks to you guys for supporting us great to see you 😊 please come and visit us at the farm
Great blog Chris!! We would like to have a guest blogger each month so if there is something you would like to share that is food or farm related please get in touch.
I think there were 6 tractors out at once on Monday this week getting all the winter crops in, Harvey did not want to go to school…Tractor Daddy! No school – Tractor
This weekend we Read More
This week was the end of an era at Ballakelly, I had to say goodbye to my best sheep dog Slash.
Slash’s mum, Bridie was my first dog, the other dogs on the farm belonged to other farm workers. I was 16 when I acquired Bridie, she was given to be by a friend. Little red and white girl. I spent many hours training her and I always said there would never be another dog like her, dog of a life time, but then came Slash!
Bridie had a litter of pups when she was 7, 2 days after having her pups we had to put her down as she Read More
Ballakelly Farm has had a tough week. We have managed to finish the harvest, what there was of it, the bales are made we just need to pack all the fodder in for the winter. This year we have decided to feed as little mouths as possible so not to risk running out of feed.
Rachel was pulling her hair out trying to do the VAT return while Harvey was wanting to get the lego out and use the stapler as some kind of angry birds catapult.
This week everyone I talk to mentions (much to Tinky’s dismay) it is the end of the summer holidays the kids are ready to Read More
With the IOM Food & Drink festival looming (Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th) I thought that this week I would try to get the readers to join in the blog. Come on BK Family we need your input to really make the weekend a success.
What is your favourite Ballakelly Meat and how do you cook it.
Ballakelly Meat Heroes would like you to submit your entries and we will pick the top 5 who will win a £20 meat voucher to spend at the festival, and from the top 5 we will choose a supreme champion who’s recipe will be prepared by Ma Ma Ranson so you can all Read More
I tend to avoid blogging topics that leave me feeling like giving up farming!!! However this time I couldn’t help but squeal!!
During the two local agricultural shows I was frequently asked why there was a shortage of Manx Pork and why the shops had to import it!!!!!
I was also asked by the chef who did the demonstrations at the Royal Show why he couldn’t get any Manx Pork for his cookery demo from IOM Meats? If they had picked up the phone and asked, I am sure that I could have supplied them with some, I have a shed full at Ballakelly Farm (for the right price).
Then the straw Read More
Most of my blog’s have explained how Farming is a tough way to make a living. You might wonder why, with all the other options Rachel & I have, we choose to stubbornly hang on to a lifestyle and business that requires working 16 hour days, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for a return that is often less than minimum wage!!
One big reason is that I have Tinky & H Boss and I can’t imagine cheating them out of the experience of growing up on a farm!
This week Harvey was sent home from school as he had been sick, luckily for us it was a false Read More
Thursday while I was painting Ballakelly the clouds came over and there was a spot (A being the important point) of rain, but then a strong breeze blew the rest of the clouds out to sea and my hope of rain was over. I must get practicing my rain dance as long-term weather reports say we are set for hot hot hot until Sep!!!!
As you may have noticed the weather is fundamental to farming. Closely linked with the weather is water which is the lifeblood of agriculture. Water is very important for both livestock and for plants, both of which give us Read More
This week I have been having family time in Legoland!!!!!! I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life. Since we have been home on the farm the four of us are content with each other’s company.
As usual TInky made her quote of the week, ‘Dad you are fun when we get you off the farm!’
On the flight home it did get me thinking: you often read in the posh papers about work-life balance. Being a farmer, it is hard to separate the work and life as they are the same thing.
I am guilty of being a work acholic, but there is nothing like kids to make Read More
Good question, one which I often ask myself!!!
You can see from the photos below, this week we have had a sheep week!
You will also be glad to know that Ace (the new sheep dog) is progressing well, each week he is gaining confidence and skill. I will try to get some video footage of him working.
For Ballakelly Farm, the role of the sheep has changed over the years, especially in the last 12 months.
Before I was born my uncle Philip had one of the best Suffolk Sheep flocks in the British Isles. Unfortunately for me he died the year I was born. I have always wished I had the Read More