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
Hello Ballakelly Bloggers, sorry I have been out of ‘blogging action’ for 2 weeks, TT Week was hot hot hot, we served lots of lovely people our yummy food, but am glad to be back on the farm ‘making hay while the sun shines’.
The last few weeks the grandstand was not the only busy place. At home on the farm we cut all our silage (Definition: grass or other green fodder compacted and stored in airtight conditions, typically in a silo, without first being dried, and used as animal feed in the winter.) ready for the winter.
I have bought some new harrows for the teenaged boys to put behind Read More
This week has been all about the sheep, with 24 hours off the rock to have some downtime. On the boat, dropped of gg and then quick look at a cattle mart NWA and hot chocolate at Cornthwaites, purchased a new tractor!
As you can see from the photos below I dusted of my shears and joined Dion to clip the big batches then left the Young Farmers some to do in their competition on Sunday. Feel free to come and watch them, we may even crack the BBQ open if it has a nice day! (See poster below for details)
When I was a lad Read More
This week Callum (Aerial Mann Multimedia) came out to the farm with his drone to capture some of the field work which is great to watch below. While I was sat in the field watching him at work I realised the number of ‘boys’ that were there all driving a vehicle with a job to do. It made me think about how much work there is on a farm and never enough man hours to do it.
In Dad’s day the price of a lamb would pay a farm workers weeks wages, I can assure you that if I offered someone the price of a lamb and Read More
So you will all be glad to hear that I am a much happier (less worried) farmer this week, it is amazing what a bit of Vit D can do for the mood.
This week I would like to share a secret, this is only going to interest the real meat heroes out there …
A few weeks ago I got a new toy, not a tractor but a DryAger
Normally when I buy a new toy I don’t need the destructions to know how it works but this toy is very different. My evening’s are now spent on the inter-web reading about how to use it. To my excitement an article Read More
My wife is very excited to announce that Ballakelly Farm has become an official partner of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man.
If you want to understand what this means CLICK HERE
BBC Radio 2 had a show on Thursday where the specialists were debating plastic and what would happen if we could all use cotton and bamboo tomorrow instead of plastic……the situation would be worse for the environment! I would also need to learn how to farm these products instead of meat, which would be a challenge in the IOM climate.
Being serious though we do need to think about what we are doing to reduce our Read More
A worldwide ice breaker when you are having a chat ‘weather talk’….Word of warning not a sensible question at the moment if trying to chat up a farmer!
I had some lovely new customers to visit the farm shop yesterday and all of them were genuinely concerned about the wet spring we have had. So I thought this week I would try to explain why I am a grumpy farmer (really I am worried)!
My mission statement is to grow good food for you to eat…..but this also means I need to grow good fodder for my stock to eat.
For the last month we have been feeding Read More
I’m very sad to say that this week Grumpo (Richard Ranson) finally lost his fight. A true Meat Hero, Grumpo was a massive foodie and genuine family man, and his morals and beliefs are at the core of our Ballakelly Farm family values.
His passing has left a huge hole in our hearts, but through our farm his legacy will live on.
This blog is dedicated to Grumpo and the importance of family time.
He believed in the saying:
“While it’s easy to get swept up in the busyness of everyday life, it’s important to make family time a priority. The family that eats together, stays together.”
In my book, family meals (breakfast, Read More