the magic of flasks 2

somehow a flask turns coffee into a different yet still immensely glugable brew, and, as previously theorised, allows a man a certain otherwise denied latitude with the sugar content



however, dont be fooled into thinking this applies to tea

never, on any account, under any circumstances, in the midsummer sun or the breathtaking cold, be fooled into thinking that flask-carrried tea is anything other than the devils gravy

and if some joyous day the imaginary joint genepool of angelina jolie, julie christie and catherine deneuve stumble across your field parched and desparate and turn to you, sweaty farmer, for liquid succour...send her on her way thirsty, and pray she returns when you have coffee

the magic of flasks

even i, on this optimistic 'climate change' farm, have to concede that the time isnt quite ripe for growing coffee beans in england...but if i could i certainly would



like chocolate, it forges a quietly personal, special relationship with you, the laws of which, as billy bragg once said of gravity, are very very strict

if you take two sugars it HAS TO BE two sugars, if none, it HAS TO BE none...cross this, even with a soulmate, and separation will surely follow

except (and i dont know why) if the coffee is out of a flask

space and time

we try and grow a good part of the pigs diet here on the farm...kale and turnips seems to be their preferred choice, and it gives them much enjoyed foraging fun



working their way down the field in blocks, they soon turn it up, clear the vegetation and the pounds pile on them

but it doesnt take much rain for it to become waterlogged, and up come the problems...its easy to exhaust the space and ruin just worked over land, turning it from veg beds to quagmire in a few rainy hours



paradoxically its organic status which is proving an additional obstacle.... feed is over twice the price, it is prohibited to bring them indoors in wet weather (unlike sheep and cattle), and finding an organic boar is impossible...timing is at the heart of everything on the farm, and getting the sows in pig in time to give birth in time for the young to grow in time to send them on before the wet months is a tight call



they are expensive, a money loser, a ground taker, an administrative headache, and my favourite of the animals on the farm...but the next fortnight will decide whether they may have to go

shelter

frost, wind and snow forecast, and the sheep have the sense to take advantage of the trailer roof put out for them

another carrier bag

luck always seems to intervene so that i rarely miss anything on the farm...having said that, if i missed it then i probably wouldnt know i had



as the rain had held off i decided to pace out a fenceline so i could order the posts and fence wire....i walked past the sheep on the way towards the house, amused that the rams initial mindboggling enthusiasm for his task had trailed off noticeably

like last year, i looked, looked again, and went through all the possibilities - a lump of moulted fur, a carrier bag blown over from a neighbours garden, before conceding that it really was a lamb, and wooh, thatll be a second just falling from its mother



so, thatll be one of the apparently 'done' boy lambs we bought in, or our longwool taken off to the slaughterhouse a week or two too late

either way, we're all a bit nervous after last years rejected lamb and its nasty death from septicaemia, so im off out to check theyre all doing ok - luckily no rain is due and the temperatures pretty good

Go to Otter Farm | by Mark D