Paul White has recently begun his farming career, with six acres of land in the heart of Lancashire running Lonk sheep and turkeys. Here, he tell Farmers Guardian the ups and downs of the journey so far.
It has been quite nice weather again and we have had that lovely quiet time in the middle of mid-summer where things are growing but nothing needs a huge amount of attention on the farm.
We finally managed to get on top of the grass and with the lambs getting bigger, they are getting through the grass a lot more - we have not had to mow it a second time which has been a relief as it took so long last time.
The bees are doing well again after we had the original hive swarm on us and were left with no honey. There is now a decent build-up of honey and were even hoping to enter some into the Trawden show in a couple of weeks time.
We have had to feed the bees to make sure there is plenty of food for them after they ate all of the honey, but they seem to be doing well now and we hope to have at least a couple of jars out of the hive in the next month or so, so we can taste what we have made.
Farming is all about learning - we will look to improve on for next year. The biggest challenge we have at the moment is the turkeys that we will do at Christmas and the space to put these in. We have been looking at putting up a polytunnel but it does not fit under the agricultural planning regulations because of the closeness to surrounding buildings, so we have been looking for a couple of acres with a building on it. As of yet we have struggled to find it.
Farm to fork
That is our biggest challenge in regards to the turkeys and will ultimately mean how many we can do - or do them at all. It is something we will certainly have to have nailed down in the next week or two.
We are looking at getting some store lambs again, Lonks, for over the late autumn to be able to produce some of our meat boxes which we will sell directly to the consumer. They will be a nice little backup if the plan with the turkeys does not come off.
24 Hours in Farming
We had a great visit to the Great Yorkshire show a couple of weeks ago where we got to see a lot of different breeds, meet various bee keepers and just generally have a day off and soak up a bit of that country life. I know that show season is a big time for many in the agricultural calendar and it is great to get out there and meet other people who are like you.
We are now working towards 24 Hours in Farming AKA #Farm24, the Farmers Guardian's flagship event on August 4 which puts a spotlight on the agricultural industry. I have a radio show on BBC Radio Lancashire called Our Lancashire Farm and tomorrow we will go out and record with various farmers across the county to tell the story of what they do to produce the food that goes on our table. This will be quite interesting to do, particularly at the moment, with rising costs and give the listeners a real insight into how there is a challenge for farmers. We are really looking forward to the next few days ahead and are ready for Farm24 to help to fly the flag for British agriculture across social media and on the radio with BBC Radio Lancashire.
Until next time,