Back on my soap box or maybe that should be a "wool" box. I don't know about you but I seem to see posts regularly in the press regarding wool and how it's worthless. Now that is true, there is very little value in wool at the moment. BUT how many of you buy products that contain wool? I made a conscious effort last year to buy sustainable products, yes maybe they cost more but I reckon that in the long term they will cost me less!

wool

wool

The 5th of August in the food and farming sector was known as #Farm24. A day when all those who are involved in food and farming raise the awareness of the sector and what they do by posting on social media over 24hrs. This initiative was founded by the Farmers Guardian with sponsorship from Morrisons. It's a great opportunity to promote what you do if you are in that sector and for those that are not to give you an insight into a day in the life of those who farm.

#Farm24

#Farm24

Logos, are they beneficial to a business or not? I watched with interest a debate on Twitter late last year around the very subject and found the pros and the cons of the conversation really interesting. Personally I like logos and I have to say that I love seeing a business develop over time and the changes that are also undertaken with their branding.

Anyhow, back to the subject of this blog! Food from Farming was founded in 2015, and six years later I finally have a logo. Well I don't like to rush these things.

Sustainable! That word that we all keep hearing but what does it mean and what can we do to help?

"You use sustainable to describe the use of natural resources when this use is kept at a steady level that is not likely to damage the environment." Collins English Dictionary.

Have you been busy? I mean even more busy than usual? Back to back meetings scheduled, sit in front of your computer first thing in the morning, then next thing you know your tummy is rumbling as its 3pm and you haven’t stopped! But then do you stop, or do you just grab something quickly, sit back at the computer and before you know it, it’s 8pm?!

The more people I talk to, the more I realise that a lot of us are doing this and it’s not good for our bodies, or our mental health and it leaves us with no work life balance.

At least during #Run1000 I was getting out running a number of times a week and escaping the office, but I have to say that once January was over that I soon set into my old ways. In fact, during February and March I hardly ran. This is not good!

However, I still stepped away from the computer and I completed a 25 minute class, four days a week which has made me take time for me. In fact, it has helped clear my head by switching off from work, but it has also improved my overall fitness and I think it is also due to this class that I am running much more consistently and getting my running time down.

I live in a beautiful part of the world in Galloway which is in the South West of Scotland. I can step outside the house to fantastic views and I’m lucky enough to be able to head off for a walk or a run at anytime to admire the amazing scenery.

view

view

But I spend at least five days of the week totally alone, well besides my four legged friends that is! And I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation especially this year with covid_19.

A one-day event that seems to have now taken over the whole month of November. Where big businesses try to get you to spend lot of money with them for quite probably items that you don’t even need! I am being quite blunt here, but you may have guessed that I’m not a fan.

And then there’s the packaging to consider, all those large boxes, filled with unsustainable packaging and normally lots of plastic involved too.

I am delighted to announce that I have accepted the position of the the regional food group coordinator for Dumfries and Galloway. The news was announced last week in the following Press Release:

 

"Dumfries and Galloway Food and Drink Forum secures food funding boost"

Dumfries and Galloway Food and Drink Forum, the regional food group that aims to grow a thriving food and drink network for Dumfries and Galloway, has secured funding to champion local produce.

A friend of mine put a post on Twitter this morning to say that they were joining in a boycott and not using the platform for 48hrs. Now from a previous blog you will have read how I wish social media was ‘more Strava’ where we were all nice and encouraging instead of all the negativity.

So I decided to join in and have came off all social media platforms for 48hrs. For most that won’t bother me but I use Twitter as a conversation tool, spending Monday to Friday on my own, as my husband works away all week. The Jack Russell terrier is quite good at listening to me but not great at responding so Twitter is where I have quite a bit of conversation. 

. . . . . . then don't say nothing at all!

From my previous post Running - Love or Loathe? you might have realised that I enjoy running and feel an awful lot better both physically and mentally due to it. But you know what else I've discovered? I've realised that I want Strava to be my go to social media platform!

Why? I hear you ask.

Things are difficult at the moment as I’m sure they are for all of us. 

I’ve built up a great network of food and drink producers through the years and will speak to at least one every week. It was during one of these conversations that the idea cropped up of a group chat with a few of these producers.

So after a bit of toing and froing we found a date that suited everyone and the fortnightly "Swapping ideas, problems, thoughts and solutions" virtual meeting was born.

I love it, but that's when I get back into it. The hardest thing for me is once I stop for a period is to start again. I started really well at the beginning of the year when I decided to join the local ParkRun which had started in November. I hadn't done any running for years but was determined to get back into it and having something organised, helped to get back into the mindset of running again.

Oh my was it hard work, but I was determined to get to the end of the 5km and the best thing is that it is timed! I'm very competitive with myself so I had a time that I had to beat the following week which would make me continue to attend. I attended regularly from then and got my time down by two minutes before all Park Runs were cancelled indefinitely due to Covid-19. 

Food and drink businesses are finding the current situation difficult. Our route to market has either become non-existent or changed to only a small percentage of what it was. But chatting to a lot of the businesses that I know, they are still thinking positive and looking to the future.

This is also a time to reflect on your business, look at what you are doing, the lines you produce and the sales of those lines. I think we are quite guilty of being reactive when it comes to our businesses. This is a great opportunity to study your strategy and business model. What has been working, what hasn't and how you could improve. We don't like having time on our hands, but will we ever get time like this again to really scrutinize our businesses?

Today is the 29th April and my last day of lambing. I think it’s a Wednesday but when you’re lambing you have no concept of what day of the week it is as all days are just lambing days. My great idea for a daily blog hasn’t gone well but that is mostly due to time constraints. Lambing is basically working all day, stopping for food and then sleeping! So not much writing getting done. 

It was a great idea to do a daily diary of lambing but putting it into practice just didn’t work. I’ve done nearly 75hrs in the first week, pulled a muscle in my leg and feel like I’ve been run over. As for what has been born daily, I’ve not a clue but the good news is that in the first week we’re a quarter of the way through. Oh and I should say that 850 ewes are the lambing total. 

Today started of nice and sedately, we got our rounds done, the pet lambs fed, completed building the pens and even got some of the ewes and lambs back outside. But then after lunch it seemed to all go a bit crazy and before we knew it, it was 19:30 and time to get everything checked before I left them for the evening. All those nice empty pens seemed to be filled, but at least we had the watering system finally completed!

Day 2 and another dry one. Today’s plan was to get the remaining pens built plus sort out the water and feed buckets for the maternity ward! All went to plan though took slightly longer than planned due to issues in between. One ewe decided that she only liked one of her lambs (one in photo with orange on feeding) and didn’t want the other. So I now have an extra mouth to feed and our first pet lamb but it didn’t stay in that pen for long as one of the singles needed help to lamb and had plenty of milk. She was lambed and given two lambs (her one and the pet). You’ll be pleased to hear she loves both!

Day 1 is normally a nice quiet day when we get the pens set up and we await the madness to begin. However the sheep hadn’t been listening and they had other ideas. 

The sun was shining as we headed around the sheep for the first time and we even viewed a rainbow.