Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gosh its nearly a month since I last posted.....where does time go?
I have finally decided to give up livestock, so have sold all.....yes all my sheep. Some have gone to a nice home in Gloucestershire, some are going to Hereforedshire (The whole Ouessant flock, as soon as they finish lambing) some are going to Yeovil to a big flock and some have already gone to Yeovil....more in a minute and one ewe and her lamb to Devon. The pigs have gone too.....to Wales and Somerset and the 2 remaining porkers depart for piggy heaven (and my freezer) next Thursday........why?

Well after 28 years I decided that it had to be my family and sanity first, business second and sheep...a very consuming hobby....had to go.
Some people have asked if I couldn't have kept a few about the place, but when its in your blood a few tend to become a few more and.....

I sold some in the market, where they were bought by a farmer I know well from Yeovil who has since bought the rest privately.....It was hard taking the ewes and lambs to market, harder than I thought it would be as I often buy and sell there. But this was the last time.....the last dance....the end of an era.....and I sobbed my way through talking to friends, eating my bacon buttie in the market cafe and washing out my trailer in the washout queue.

Some people dabble with smallholding for a while, its an experience they say, one we wouldn't have missed. But other of us live and breathe it.....very hard to put into words how it is....which is probably why many cannot put it into words and probably why the market is full of old ex farmers who just cannot keep away....who need their 'fix' who need to watch the cattle, prod a few sheep, talk of the old days, rue progress and the dawn of the new age of electronic ear tags and multiple choice trailer tests. At nearly 49 I am a young wipper snapper in the market and a woman to boot.....yet I am retiring from livestock......never again will I call my sheep in and watch them all run and jump across the fields in their race for the troughs and never again will I sit in the midst of them enjoying their appreciative company. But life must go on.....new beginnings and all that.....
All my equipment, collected over the years is being sold, some has gone, some is even going to France!......keeping it just in case would be like placing a glass of beer in front of an alchoholic...
So sad days......
But I will still be involved indirectly.....just think of the 30 tonnes of wool I will be processing this year.
I took some pictures of this years lambs before they went....I will post them soon as a final reminder and then the blog will update and move on.

9 comments:

Greentwinsmummy said...

I read this on the forum earlier hun & wondered why,now you have explained on here x hugs to you.
Its very hard making big decisions,yet plodding on sometimes would cause so much damage in so many ways.I wish you luck with forging ahead & using your wonderful energy for new things
GTM x x x x

Blu said...

Wow Woolly.....so much is going on I think you are amazing. Lots and lots of luck in your new venture. Blu xx

MrsL said...

Sorry to read of your news, Val. All the best in new ventures, I'm sure there'll be something!!

MrsL

xx

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Congratulations Val, it's hard making big decisions and can be even harder to enact them. Well done and we'll raise a glass to you here for new beginnings.
Gabrielle x

Mouse said...

"The heart breaks and the heart heals and life goes on"
Sending you hugs

lavenderjack said...

Sorry to hear your livestock had to go Val, I know it must have been a hard decision. Good luck in your new ventures.

Val Grainger said...

Its a very positive move....thanks for the nice comments! It is difficult sometimes to let go and run headlong into the next chapter dragging the remains of the last with you!
I will still have lots of contact with sheep as the processing plant....must start calling it a mill apparently....gets into full swing with lots and lots AND LOTS of wool!

Henrietta said...

Hi Val

The girls have all settled in well, and sussed which pockets are most likely to contain food!!

Looking forward to having some fleeces to play with in a couple of months time!!

Hen

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Never say never, Val. Ten years down the line, with family grown up and the business ticking over nicely and a few employees, you may again fancy keeping a few animals. In the meantime, well done for making a hard but necessary decision; I see so many people almost paralysed by the inability to make a decision. I see that Gabrielle has already posted a comment, this is from Stuart