Hello, I’m Chris Kneale a neighbour of and friends with Al and Rach and this week’s guest blogger!
I am involved in the Agricultural industry, farming, diversifying into alternative crops (Quinoa) and running my own “Rural Business Consultancy” business following 8 years as the Governments Senior Agricultural Advisor. As a result, I am lucky to work with some exceptional Island people – Farmers!
Last weekend, at the Islands food and drink showcase event the “Food and Drink Festival” the organisers celebrated 10 years with guest celebrity and farmer “Adam Henson” who presents for the BBC primarily on the rural news programme “Countryfile”. I was honoured to have been asked 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
I have been working on raising awareness of farm safety and with it being farm safety week 2018 I have been telling anyone who will listen that farm safety week provides an opportunity for all farmer’s young and old, to stop and take stock of safety on their farm. We need to build on the good work that has been done and turn that into real and sustained change in safety behaviour. I have been working with local radio and the media to try and raise awareness of what people should be doing on farm to help prevent and avoid accidents. The first question I always get asked is 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