Sorry for the lack of blog posts recently, but between my University course and sheep work both on and off the farm, I’ve been a very busy boy! I promise to do my best to keep on top of things from now on.
We sold the first of our lambs a few weeks back. They were sold through the ring at our local market, Wallets Marts in Castle Douglas, weighing between 48 and 50kg.
Selling them was a pretty nerve-racking experience and I spent the best part of the week running up to the sale worrying about how they would get on. They were the first livestock I had ever sold and obviously I wanted them to do well, not only for myself, but also all the others who had played a role in getting them to this stage. I was more worried about letting them and the farm down than anything else.
Despite the lamb trade being pretty abysmal (and unfortunately it has only gotten worse since!) the lambs did well, achieving one of the higher prices on the day, so all the hard work did pay off. I’ve briefly touched on the price, and I won’t launch a crusade or bore you with a sermon on it here, but I will say this. PLEASE, support your local producers!
I know the weekly food shop can be expensive, and lamb is certainly not the cheapest meat on the market, but buying local meat, rather than cheaper imported meat from Europe or further afield, can make a huge difference.
There’s so much wondferful, fresh, local produce in season right now, and while it may cost you a little extra, that little extra will go a long way towards boosting the market and helping British farmers.
On a more positive note, things have been picking up dramatically on the self employment front. I’m now working quite regularly, with around 1200-1500 sheep across a number of local farms. Shearing season is in full swing right now, so that has helped to keep me busy.
Learning to clip is definitely something that appeals to me but for now I’ve been on catching duty. Over the last few weeks, I’ve caught and battled with around 1000 sheep, keeping the pens filled for the clippers.
I’ve included a few photos from clipping at Upper Senwick. I do quite a bit of work here and Paul and Nicola have been a great source of help and advice since we were put in touch by the NSA.
Nicola is a regular tweeter and I highly recommend you go and give them a follow and keep up to date with life at Upper Senwick. You never know, you may even come across me on occasion!
In the meantime, you should definitely keep an eye out for their latest additions, Neil and Ian the Alpacas. I’m already a big fan and I can’t wait to do some work with them and learn something new!
I’m going to train all our animals to curtsy to me! pic.twitter.com/l8uEyGJCTu
— Nicola Sanderson (@senwick) June 21, 2015