All the latest news from the farm and the kitchen
by Clare Fairs, August 22, 2016
Over July and August, life changes quite rapidly here on the farm, coinciding with the harvest of our rapeseed crops. In the summer I have to adapt as Sam spends very long days on the farm, which means I don’t have the company of my husband as often as I would like! His days usually start at 5.30am and he doesn’t get home until after midnight, so the children have a slightly different routine during the busy harvest.
Sam doesn’t often take a packed lunch onto the farm, as odds are it’ll be hot and sweaty by the time he comes to eat. Instead, he tends to buy lunch from a garage or local shop while he’s on his rounds from field to field. I’m very grateful that packed lunch maker is not part of my farmer’s wife job description!
Mealtimes are when we miss Sam the most, as we rarely get to sit down as a family of four. That being said, the children all love getting involved with the cooking so it’s always a fun time in our house as everyone helps out preparing our meal. Usually I choose meals that can easily be reheated for Sam, with favourites including fish pie, shepherd’s pie, three cheese & butternut squash pasta bake, lasagna and quiche.
During the month of August, I have another role to take on; Meals on Wheels. Our local pub, the Huntingfield Arms, prepares a lovely hot meal for all of our farm workers and it’s my job to make the deliveries. It goes without saying that these lunches are always gratefully received, keeping our hard-working farm helpers full of energy. As it’s the school holidays, the children help me out with this job too. We love having the chance to chat with everyone, see what’s going on and really feel like a part of the action.
Despite being so busy, this time of year is actually a joy. Everything we do builds up to this point in time, when we get to harvest our crops, and it’s wonderful to see the team’s hard work paying off. It’s certainly not easy, but it is a necessity and something we get used to in the ebb and flow of life as a farming family.
For my son Harry, this summer is an especially exciting time. He’s now 11 years old, so in two years he’ll legally be allowed to drive a tractor on the field. He dreams of following in Sam’s footsteps, and as a mum it’s wonderful to see him so passionate about his special role on the farm. He’s been watching Sam at work and asking lots of questions, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.
Right now I’m off to prepare some more lovely dishes for our recipe pages. If you’ve them out, I’d love to know how you’ve got on! Until then I look forward to giving you a sneak peek into my life as a farmer’s wife over the coming seasons. Until then, have a wonderful summer!