News from the Farm Gate by Milly Fyfe

When will it stop raining? We are desperate to get out onto the fields and plant the crops for the 2020 growing season, however it is just too wet. The heavy machinery will slip and slide everywhere and will turn the soil into a swamp, and so it has been impossible to get any crops established before the colder weather creeps in.

At the moment it is a waiting game, hoping for a window of 4 or 5 days of dry, mild conditions, but it just keeps raining! Everyone in the farming community is in the same boat so we can all have a good old moan together!

I treated myself recently. I have always wanted a decent camera. I am quite arty farty when I have the time to be, and so I came across an opportunity to pick up a professional camera, complete with lenses and a flash. If I walked into a room, people would know that the photographer has arrived.

At the moment, I feel like I have all the gear, and not much of an idea, but with time I am hoping to use it to capture pictures of the children, farm animals and use it for my freelance marketing work too.

I think it is going to be lots of fun getting to use the camera. I have been fed up of relying on a smart phone to take pictures. Whilst a smart phone has its uses, especially as it is always in your pocket, it doesn‘t have a fast shutter speed and can‘t take clear shots from a distance or fast-moving objects, such as children or animals!

The camera will be an area where I can be creative, and you never know, I might be sending in pictures for future Countryfile calendars...

Angus starts pre—school before the end of the year. I am not sure where the past two years have gone. Many people have told me how time flies once you have children. It really is true. I picked up his school uniform ready for his first day. The jumper and polo shirt are tiny.

Angus is really ready to get out into the big wide world and socialise with other children. It will do him the world of good. He can tell all the children about the animals and machinery on the farm. I am sure I will have to explain to the teachers about all the words he says and what they mean. Most of the words he says involve machinery, such as tractor, trailer and loader.

To mark Angus’ second birthday, I am going to make him a cake. This will be no ordinary cake. It is going to be a machinery cake, complete with diggers, tractors and plenty of chocolate mud. I have seen a few pictures online of this cake and have been inspired to make something similar. Even if it is a complete disaster, it will still look ok. After all, it is going to resemble a muddy field with machinery digging it up. What could possibly go wrong?

Sadly we were victims of rural crime recently. In the early hours of one morning, thieves came through our garden and into the farm yard. They broke into a shed and stole a quad bike and chainsaw. They knew exactly what they were doing as they wheeled the quad bike to the gate, and hot wired it once on the road. They drove the quad bike through the village at 5am and we don’t know what happened to it after that. We didn’t hear a thing, and the dogs didn’t bark either. To be honest, we are still in shock.

To make matters worse, our neighbours had their quad bike stolen, and a farm the other end of the village had theirs stolen too. We think it must have been the same gang. It has got to be organised crime, as they are quick, they know what they are looking for, and they have rung rings around the police force. Even though they were caught on CCTV, the images are not clear enough due to it being dark. Nothing is safe anymore, so please be vigilant and report anything out of the ordinary, especially if you do happen to be out and about between 2 and 5am.

On a much brighter note, I have enjoyed writing for the Countryside La Vie magazine this year. Once again, it has been a jam-packed year, with lots going on around the farm. Our family is now complete with the birth of our second son, Dougie. There has been lots of development on the farm and with the house renovation. I have started some freelance marketing work, whilst juggling motherhood and being a farmer's wife. Life is good, busy and a lot of fun being surrounded by my boys.

Thanks for reading. “Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy 2020".


You can follow Milly Fyfe on twitter @millyfyfe and Orchard_Produce or Visit