I've watched Clarkson's Farm - here are my spoiler-free takeaways
An emotional roller coaster between genuine heart-felt moments and a total heartbreak...
How hard can it be?
Very! Taking into account every single factor, farming can be both heaven and hell. And I say that from the standpoint of my fairly close relatives, as they own a mid-sized farm in Bulgaria. Their lands are blessed with a lot more water on strategic positions for irrigation, so they'll never suffers in that department. But there is so much more to farming! And it gets you in a dilemma, which Jeremy should eventually tackle - what to grow. Wheat can be hit or miss with no middle ground. Barley is not too stressful, but there are no guarantees it will pay out. And rapeseed's success depends too much on you and the mercy of the weather.
You can roll the dice and go for everything, but you can be sure that at least one crop will not produce what you want, because we're not living in a perfect world and no farm owners have unlimited budget for people or machinery. Even if that was possible, the weather won't always play nicely. And there are countless pests, waiting on a launch-control to do their thing.
Or you can just go the way most farmers in Southeast Europe take it and get cracking either with a single crop or two that would require similar conditions and care from your side. It sounds like a safe bet, but if your crops fail for some reason - you've had it.
Bottom line - it's an impossible choice that have to be done at some point in your ownership. It's just how life works . . nothing ever comes easy and nothing is for free.
Are farm animals a hassle?
Very much so! But animals will bring you joy! And tears! Let's start with the cost, because this is where a new farm owner is likely to back out of his idea. It's expensive by all means, with a questionable returns. Chickens don't require too much, but in small quantities. If you want to become a serious egg producer, you should pretty much dedicate the whole farm infrastructure to that. Cows would be the safest choice for most farmers worldwide, but they are the most polluting by far and there's hardly any joy in their eyes. But they are not too difficult to care for and will hardly ever be a point of stress or trouble.
Sheep on the other hand can be a total pain in the bottom, but then they can spark your emotions in the right direction to keep you positive. For a time! They are lively and joyful creatures, who will require expensive and extensive care, keep you awake at night for a month, but then reward you with the most beautiful act in the nature - birth! And you can participate in that, if you don't have a weak stomach. But this is the point where things get truly nasty! A necessary act of what I can only describe as animal cruelty, the heartbreak of sending your lambs and getting them back in a barbecue-ready form... For some, this will be too much. Certainly is for me. I'm not saying I'll stop eating lamb, but I have a whole new level of appreciation for what the farmers go through with them.
Can you get the buzz?
Yes, you can and bees could be the wisest investment ever to make. Place them in the right spot and they can yield great pollination for your crops and a quality liquid gold (honey). Apart from the possibility of an occasional sting, there are no real drawbacks to beekeeping. They are the most beneficial insects by a long margin and can increase both the yield and the quality of your crops. Of course, bees on your property means staying away from certain chemicals and electronic interferences, because bee colonies can collapse without warning. But that's an easy pill to swallow for the price those hard working insects would deliver.
Is Britain really killing farming?
It seems so, indeed. And this wrong on so many levels, it's hard to believe that it's happening. But somewhere between the enormous amount of unnecessary bureaucracy and slowly cutting the financial grants, there is a glimmer of hope. And old McJezza (had a farm e-i-e-i) is for once the reasonable man that's here to point all of us in this direction. Food independence, self-sufficiency and even the way of life, no matter how stressful it can be at times. Those are the three pillars of farming that today's generations are totally oblivious for. The satisfaction of putting food on the table that you've created - top to bottom. The joy of harvesting your own good work. The carelessness for nearly every little 21st century niggle that would be plaguing you in your city-centred life. Those are the moments that makes farming desirable. So why the UK is not doing more to endorse farming is beyond me. Compared to what the EU is doing nowadays on that front, especially here in the South . . it's a crime!
The real star of the show
You've all seen Kaleb Cooper by now in the numerous trailers and interviews. You might be wondering - why this lad gets so much screen time. Watch the "Clarkson's Farm" to find out.
Hope you've enjoyed my spoiler-free review! 😊