I dont know if maybe this post is going to be a bit-farmy? for some of you, but i think alot of you will be nodding along with it(comments appreciated). I just wanted to share with you a few things ive been enjoying of late.
Firstly, i dont know if any of you have been following the series fronted my Jimmy Doherty about the life and trials of Charles Darwin on BBC 2 recently?
The presenter, best known for his agricultural series'-Jimmy’s Farm and Jimmy’s Farming Heroes, (both of which i loved), set out to recreate experiments carried out by Darwin more than 150 years ago.
Im (very)ashamed to admit that although i'd heard of Mr Darwin- i hadnt a clue who he wa,s so i was fascinated to learn so much.
The whole idea of the series was to explore Darwin’s experiments – how he underpinned his theory of evolution. Jimmy says “When most people think of Darwin, they think, ‘Voyage on the Beagle, goes to the Galapagos, then hey presto, comes up with the theory of evolution.’
But it wasn’t like that at all. The evidence really came from his painstaking work after the Beagle voyage, which was based at his beautiful home, Down House in Kent. So, in the series, Doherty is following in Darwin’s footsteps in the most literal way – not only did he recreate many of the experiments, he did so in Down House’s spacious and leafy grounds, also showing us the notebooks Darwin kept.
I was amazed to learn that for a long time Darwin was too reticent to publish – he hid his papers in a cupboard under the stairs, in an envelope marked, “Only to be opened in the event of my death....
The series was truely fascinating, such simple experiments explained such huge things about the world we live in. Did anyone else enjoy it?
There were two other shows Mr P and i have tried not to miss this year. The BBC2 series a victorian farm, which followed a team of experts spending a year living like Victorian farmers on a smallholding in Shropshire.They restored a cottage before moving on to threshing, shepherding, cider making and cooking amongst other things, it was great.
More recently we've been watching a series(cant recall the name of it or the channel!)where a guy has moved into a smallholding croft alone(apart from his dog Ruben)in the west coast of scotland, he's got a few chickens and some pigs and is growing lots of different veg for the first time ever, trying to become self sufficient, surrounded by amazing wildlife, otters and pine martens.
Its been very informative but also interesting specifically as Mr P knows the area well as his father has a croft in Airor, Knoydart, western scotland. Hes going up there tomorrow morning for at least a week, as the land rover there needs some essential repairs, as does the work boat, and lots of the family want to spend time there this year. He loves the peace and tranqility of it, and the adventure of it all i guess, its like nowhere else in the country, will show pics when he returns. Murphy the spaniel will be going too, he likes to swim with the otters! So, a bit of a lonely week for me but hes left me with tons on kindling so a warm fire in the chilly evenings will hopefully feel like a hug from him.
Something im also loving, is country smallholding magazine. If you've never seen it before i urge you to get a copy.The articles are easy to read no-nonsense and very current. Alot of it relates to very basic farming practices but there are some unmissable articles for people who wanted to keep maybe just a few hens or a pig. Theres also some interesting advice on how to 'grow your own', something which i would love to do more of when we're completely settled in one place. I'll do runner beans and onions this year probably but id love some fruit as well, maybe some raspberry bushes....Last year in our paddock we kept four calves, two were Belgium Blues and two Aberdeen Angus. They were like bloshy young teenagers, great fun but hard work! We bought some different coloured feed buckets for each of them so that the girls could help with the feeding every day. Once we'd gained their trust it was great to have them recognise us and come up to the gate to greet us, they liked to suck on your hand if you let them-young calves will pretty much suck anything-as its enjoyable for them-like suckling from a heifer. At the time blogging wasnt on my mind so no photos but hopefully we'll get a few more in the next couple of months and i'll take some then!