When we moved I worried about how the sheep would cope with the change in both climate and pasture. I shouldn’t have been so concerned though. The stars of the Broadstone flock have definitely been the Devon and Cornwall Longwools. They have met each challenge with ease. The abnormally wet and cold winter this year hasn’t affected them in the least. They remain strong and ready to lamb in 5 weeks time.
Of course, they are meant to be hardy. But they’ve endured wind blasting through their fleece at 80MPH at times on a mountain 1000ft above sea-level, hail the size of golf balls battering on their heads and water flowing through their toes like a river. Yet, they’re still fighting fit. Ok at times they’ve been bought in for a rest from the weather but these girls are exceptional.
For me their success on this farm has been good breeding. Animals need to be strong and able to adapt easily to their environment. This has been achieved by choosing the best of the best to breed from. If you breed from stock that persistently have health problems you get rubbish off-spring. The passing on of good strong disease resistant genes is a ‘no-brainer’. These sheep cost me little in time, energy and money. But it has taken years to get to this point.
I farm without vaccine, antibiotics, and routine worming or pour-on solutions to control external parasites. In this day-and-age when too many drugs are present in the food chain this is a good thing for our meat and fleece customers. It’s also a good thing for our healthy sheep. By encouraging natural immunity they remain robust beings living a natural life.
We’ve been living on our farm for 14 weeks now. LOVING IT …..
Its been a busy time with only a few moments to be still and enjoy the energy the farm has to offer. But moving into a new place in winter isn’t the best of moments and all activity has been directed towards ensuring the animals are settled and well.
One the whole everyone has done remarkably well.
The dogs just love it. At the end of the day they crash on the sofa or on a bed and leave us to relax. There is little energy to play with toys which is going to save us a fortune when it comes to Christmas and birthdays. Mollie has surprised us the most. She has gone from a dog that wanted to sit and do nothing to one that is out every day; running about for as long as we are active. She is getting muddy, smelly and wet and doesn’t mind. We now have a very different Mollie from the Princess that was in Gloucestershire. In many ways I think this change is a reflection of my own contentedness in this new home
The chickens are unable to free-range for the moment. They aren’t happy with this arrangement and no amount of enrichment is making up for that. However, they are safe from Mr and Mrs Fox. A run was erected in the snow to give them space to stretch their wings and do chicken stuff. In the spring this will be moved and extended to a more permanent place.
The sheep travelled and settled really well. The Devon and Cornwalls have settled well and are so suited to the climate here. As expected the wensleydales and Blue faced Leicester’s need a bit extra care and are mostly living inside as there is a lot of wind and rain fall. The Devon and Cornwalls et al are only bought inside when storms are due. Not that they wouldn’t cope, but it gives them a rest from having to tolerating bad weather.
We had such a lot of plans that we thought were going to be executed once we got here. That enthusiastic energy that flowed through us has dampened down a bit. Short day’s mean that there is limited time to undertake too much. I also think that it’s given us time to re-think plans ; align with the farms energy and re-think more. For me the farm is like a painted canvas that someone else has done. It’s not a blank canvas because there is too much history here. Others have created a picture on the canvas that reflects them. Now, some of the paint wants to come off and some of the paint has already fallen off. I feel that the farm is giving me the space to start making the painting different. This time the painting isn’t human driven but a co-created picture. Exciting times ahead I think.
I have encountered the ‘spirit’ of the farm a few times since we moved here. I have asked for guidance, opinions and asked if ‘she’ needed me to do anything particular. Nothing has been requested and I have felt each time that I’m been given free-range (for now!).
It seemed appropriate that on the winter solstice the essence Preseli Bluestone that I made about 10 years ago was sprayed onto the large stones and onto the land at the top of the farm. The air was damp and slightly windy. It was dark and it felt bleak and raw. I offered that essence to the stones and land as a healing gift. I wanted to mark the occasion. It was important to me to stand with the stones and declare to the land and the stones that I’m now custodian and of my intentions. Then shortly afterwards on the 6th January 2018 the first biodynamic preparation was gifted to the land and the elementals.
I have planted some trees around the farm, mainly a mix of willows, Alder and silver birches. Given their ability to withstand damp conditions im hoping that these will thrive. The soil is full of small stones which made tree planting harder than expected. There is another 30 –ish trees to plant before the spring energy rises.
This year (hoping this is a one-off) there have been some very high winds and lots of snow and rain. Pastures are soaking wet and at times the drainage has had a hard time coping with the volume of water flowing through the farm. A lot of infrastructure needs to change and animal management for next winter is being planned now.
The sheep were recently scanned and I’m delighted with the results. All but 5 are pregnant. A good volume of twins are expected. To be honest I was expecting only 50-70% of the ewes to be in-lamb. I thought that tupping late and moving them would cause a problem. But no, all is well. And maybe this is a reflection of not just their holistic management but on the fertility of idea, universal support and welcoming energies that we have experienced since we moved here.
To top it all, On 31st January 18 we had a super blue moon and I gained a new guide. She appeared with great clarity and has been within my energy field since. Her arrival has made me feel quite nauseous at times, spacey and wobbly. I’m certainly hopeful that this will pass. But she marks a huge change within me. I’m looking forward to working with this lady whatever her role might be.
I’ve been using Forever Living products for a long time on myself and always had advised others to try them when health issues arose. It had not occurred to me that animals would also benefit from the healing quality of Aloe Vera. Recently a hen benefited from aloe gel when she got an egg stuck. Within 24 hours she was well and displaying normal chicken behaviours. This had led me to being open to using more of these products on both the domestic and farm animals. So over the next few months I will be exploring Forever Living goods when indicated.
Life has to flow. We pick up dreams and run with them. Thoughts, emotions and behaviours that no longer serve are abandoned. The whole being should be free to experience, free to express and free to learn.
This blog is a long time coming. Actually its being written a few months before I thought it would be. But there are times when people unexpectedly enter into your life. They come with a clear message that affects the way you think. They express truths that launch you forward and empower every level of your being. You are changed forever. This blog is a result of those people who came into my life with slightly different messages for me. One person reminded me that what I have is a gift and that by hiding it serves no one.
So, I welcome you to share this journey with me. My belief systems are and have always been fluid as I learn and experience the world for myself. My teachers are the animals I care for, the land I walk upon and the stars I sit beneath. This blog serves as a record for me as I enter the final half of my life. I wanted to track the journey because for me it’s what my soul came to do. For the past 48 years I have been working to this moment. My soul is trying to manifest the dream. Sit tight this is going to a bumpy ride.
There are going to be many differing dimensions to my writings. I am merely sharing my thoughts and understandings to form a record of a personal life goal. My journey is uniquely mine. Some of these writings may be alien to you; you may see things differently. This is my truth as I see it on THAT day. You have to find your own truth. Please dismiss anything you do not agree and explore those things you feel might help in your own personal journey. You may have experienced these things also. But what is important is that I do not know everything. I write as I understand things today. Tomorrow my understanding and experience may be different. This does not mean it’s wrong. It just Is.
So to begin.
In 2010, I side stepped into the role of farmer from the role of geomancer, shaman and healer. The former was a dream. I threw heart and soul into my new role, loving my work with animals and on the land. My old life not completely abandoned. I took with me intuition, homeopathy and essences. The rest I packed into my spiritual tool box for sometime into the future. Seven years later that tool box has been taken out of the cupboard. I’ve blown the dust off and fully allowed the divine once more to fill my life.
Hopefully, In a matter of months We will be moving to Pembrokeshire to start the next phase of our lives. This move is onto our own farm where I will continue my journey as a shamanic farmer, co –creating with mother earth and the animals under my stewardship. It has been difficult to-date to work in the way I really want. This is because the land i’m currently working on is rented. For me one of the problems with renting land is maintaining boundaries and ethics. I like to keep a reasonably clean karmic slate and therefore believe that I have no moral right to energetically adjust anything that I do not directly own or have no permission to. This permission has to come from both the land owner and the spirit of the land. The former has never been sought so I just graze the land and care for it in a basic way.
At present we are renting Circa 14 acres of pasture land overlooking the Brecon beacons. I am running 63 sheep of various breeds. Wool crafting is a passion although I hardly get to do a lot. The sheep are kept for their wool, meat and rugs. I have the following breeds:
- Devon and Cornwall Longwools
- Leicester Longwools
- Blue Faced Leicester and a few cross breeds.
I am very conscious that there are too many sheep on the land but each one is important. I very rarely sell on breeding ewes unless they are going to an exceptional home.
The spirit of the flock is strong with the matriarch ewe having lots of contact with me. I use her to ‘tell’ the flock what is happening on the farm, keep her updated on changes and as a point of call if I need to know anything that’s maybe affecting them.
At home there is a small flock of free-range hens. Currently I have 16 feathery ladies that persistently try to get into the house and under my feet.
Domestically, there are two dogs Mollie and Abby and an African grey parrot Darwin.
Patrick (husband) works away. He is my rock, my IT guy and someone who supports my work and enriches my life with his own special energy. He has little contact with the farm animals but is there to lend a muscle or two if needed. Non of this would have been possible without him.
In view of this move, last year I sought some guidance from my own ‘team’ of spiritual helpers with regards to lambing. It was suggested that I should not lamb this year (2017). This break has given me time to do courses, adjust things in our lives and rest before the hard work of full time farming occurs.
So, welcome to my life dear reader. Blessings