It’s been exactly a year since we moved from Kent to Devon. Dad and I sitting in the front seats of the Audi with the dogs in the back. Sifting through motorways down to Hampshire to pick up Molly from her friends house. A surprise birthday cake and pressies at Molly’s friends house and then back on the road.
Since moving last year, the farm is slowly progressing. Got the fencing done, worked in the woods a little, cleared brambly bushes, lopped branches, marked where we would like our barn to go and now have five slightly mad sheep on the land. A few Charollais x Mule and one Charollais x Masham.
We’ve seen the seasons change from warm to cold and back to warm. Have had those rainy wellie walks, visited festivals and started food markets in Exeter.
It’s all happening down in Devon! Markets in Exeter, sunny days, bleating lambs, attempting to do a little bit for the 30 Days Wild challenge and visiting county shows and festivals.
So to catch up with the livestock at Breazle Smallholdings.
We still have the Devon Dusters who are currently munching their way through the grass at the farm, completely content and still attached to us as ever.
For some of you who don’t know, Molly got another three lambs. These ones have not been named but have been featured on our Facebook page quite a bit. They have finished drinking milk and are now slowly exploring the big wide world of the out in the big wide world of the farm. Getting used to a big life with other sheep, new sounds and other people.
Our other 3 lambs – photographed by Molly
Sitting on the edge of the river. Crying seagulls fighting over bread and a mass of swans gliding across from one edge to the other. It’s market day in Exeter. Every Thursday and the sun is shining glistening ripples shimmer in the light. The sun is on my right burning my cheek and the end taste of sugar and cinnamon donuts linger in a need to hold onto it a little more.
I can here dad and Molly behind me chatting away behind the food stall, the griddle getting steamy as it waits for customers to taste dads crispy dosa.
The swans look so majestic. Swooning in elegance like they own the river. The bridge the reaches one side of the river to the other is filled with wheels of cyclists and kids. Canoes clank together floating gently on the ripples.
The Wildlife Trust have a challenge this June. #30DaysWild where people can do a random act of wildness of each day. A way to connect with nature and feel happy and healthy. Hugging trees, walking bare foot in grass, learning wildflowers, helping birds…
On Sunday we decided to emerge from the cocoon of the South West and make our way to Kent to pick up the Devon Dusters (Mo and Dusty), our two ewe lambs my sister was given.
We woke up at 4am, got ourselves ready and walked the dogs. Half asleep as we stumbled into the car around 6:30am. Dogs in car and a box of sandwiches, fruit and a flask of hot tea for the journey ahead.
We hitched a borrowed trailer to the car and left Devon, weaving in and out of cars along the tedious and long A303. Streams of white lights glaring in our eyes as the dark stormy clouds disappeared. Listening to desert island discs, a captivating talk with Alex Crawford and Kirsty Young.
We stopped at Cobham services where dad slept and let the dogs have a wander about.
As we came into Ashford, we had butterflies in our stomachs. A tingling of excitement. Going down the back roads into Wye, passing strangers and familiar faces.
The dogs wide-eyed… sensing a familiarity of the place.
The gates at Wye station were of course closed. Dad guessing who would come out and open the gates.
Passing through Wye…
Time to back the trailer and put down hay.
Mo and Dusty (‘Molly girls’) in with a flock of Southdowns.
And here they come!! Watch out! Mo and Dusty running to the gate where a bucket of sheep food awaits.
On the way back to Devon, dad kept having 10min power naps and the electronic window would close so we ended having to place bin liners on the windows with masking tape so rain wouldn’t come in. Half in tears/half laughing.
All in all, the journey went well and the lambs are settling into their new home.
It has been such lovely weather recently in Kent and our two little (well not really little anymore) lambs have been skipping around our back garden in the sun and slowly causing havoc.
Both our neighbours who have young kids and grandkids have been round to see the lambs. Chasing them around the garden and stroking their soft coats. We showed them Dusty’s tail which fell off yesterday. Molly says when lamb tails come off, it is a sign of good luck.
The end of the month is drawing near and Molly and I are heading back to University soon, leaving Kumar to look after the lambs, carry on looking for trailers and think about moving home when the paper work is finished. Only a few more weeks hopefully to go and we will be settling into the new house in Lifton, Devon.
Bright clumps of yellow daffodils hug the edges of fields and bluebells flock the woods. In the distance you can hear the bleating of lambs calling out for their mothers and tractors hogging the winding back roads.
After about a year of looking for the ideal piece of land to farm in the West Country, Kumar has finally found and bought 18 acres in Devon, which sits North-West of the Dartmoor National Park, nestled in-between the small village of Bratton Clovelly to the East and the Roadford Lake to the West.
If all goes well, we’ll be moving to Devon in May from Kent and renting a small cottage in the village of Lifton, only 15mins away from the land and close to the Devon-Cornwall border.
It’s lambing season and farmers are busy. Molly has been helping out on a nearby farm lambing 300 ewes for the last two weeks. On top of lambing and mucking out pens, she has been looking after a small gathering of lambs which have come from those ewes who gave birth to triplets. We’ve been given two of them to start our own flock in Devon and have named them ‘The Devon Dusters’. The’re called Mo and Dusty.