Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A somewhat confused hen with her ducklings
Olivia with her 8 chicks
It is so funny watching the hen trying to teach her chicks to scratch about in the soil - The ducklings try to scratch with their webbed feet and then give up whilst the mother watches on, getting increasingly concerned about how dumb her children seem to be.
The Nuffield week-end was really good and wonderful to catch up with all the news from the other Nuffields.
We had a tour around a family run business called Cotteswold Dairies It was a little bit tricky on my crutches as there was a few ladders to climb but it was very well run and they seemed to have a happy (English!) workforce. It was great to see a small company paying the farmers a decent price for their milk and also giving the big companies a run for their money. We then went on to a company called Freeman Technology , once again a family run business that three years ago was being run in a small caravan in a middle of a field. It is now Internationally recognised and has won the Queens Award twice which is pretty impressive. After lunch we then went onto an organic beef and sheep farm, which whilst being set in the most beautiful Worcestershire countryside wasn't terribly viable and if it wasn't for the organic subsidies would struggle to make a living. It was also fairly obvious that the organic side was only done for the subsidies as the farmer in question hated small fields and had ripped out most of the hedges, which you would have thought would go against the organic ethos.
Back to the hosts, Oliver and Alex, for refreshments and a fun trial where we had to sample various products and guess which was organic, high range non organic or bottom end cheap supermarket.. There was tomatoes. carrots, cheese, milk and chicken. It was astonishing how badly we all did.even the organic farmers got it completely the wrong way around and yet the difference in price between the products was massive.It was rather an eye-opener and I have to say that it made me feel rather smug for not jumping on the organic band waggon.
I must go as it is our anniversary today and we are going to the wonderful Butchers Arms for a meal