Duncan Farrington: Modern farmers are Jacks of all trades

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With the shortening of the days, winter routine on the farm is well under way.

It is the time of year when trees and hedges are pruned or planted, ditches are cleaned and general maintenance takes place using a variety of men and machines.

There is nothing better than a cold damp day, removing overgrown and falling braches from trees, sawing some of the wood into logs for the home fire and making a bonfire in the field for the rest.

I love this work as it gives a real satisfaction of a hard day’s work done, while
carrying out an important conservation operation, encouraging healthy hedges and copses.

These days I don’t get to do as much of the actual conservation work as I would like and have to delegate the role to the guys on the farm.

While my neighbouring farmers use this time of year as a chance for some good old fashioned exercise, before finishing early for a warm bath once the sun goes down, I turn my attention to selling our Farrington’s Yellow Yellow rapeseed oil brand, in the busy run up to Christmas.

November and December is a very busy time for Farrington Oils.

In the factory the presses run flat out producing oil, while the guys are just as busy putting it into bottles ready for the shops.

Additionally we attend major food shows in London and Birmingham, as well as spending winter evenings going around our customers in the County and further a field supporting them in their festive evenings, where people come along to taste (and hopefully buy) many of the delicious foods on show.

While putting branches on a bonfire is admittedly very different to talking to customers in a farm shop about the virtues of using Mellow Yellow to cook their roast potatoes in, they both make me feel that winter is here, getting one in a festive mood ready for Christmas.

It’s a great time of year.

It is also a great example of the diversity of jobs involved on a modern farm, and whilst we may not be masters of them all, we certainly have to be jack of all trades.

For it to really work though, you do need a great team of different skills which we have at Bottom Farm.

From all us here, we wish you all a very happy Christmas.