I started writing my Farming Diary for the recently launched, Village Bystander back in 2006 and have greatly enjoyed sharing some anecdotes with you, about what goes on here at Bottom Farm, from month to month. Admittedly most of my reports are about mundane things that happen throughout the farming year, often revolving around the weather, with all the issues that may bring. However, I have been presently surprised when meeting several Bystander readers, hearing how many of you have enjoyed reading my little column over the last seven years. It is now time to move into new opportunities.
Back in 2006, we were a pretty standard family arable farm for the area. Times were hard in agriculture financially, with many farmers looking at supplementing their incomes from diversified sources. I was no different and had just finished my first year of producing our Farrington’s Mellow Yellow cold pressed rapeseed oil – the first farmer in the UK to produce such a product from field to bottle. Back then I sold around 6,500 bottles a year. Now we can produce that number of bottles every couple of days; a success that far exceeded my original ambitions and expectations. So rather than being a farmer with a little extra income, I am more an oil producer that tries to fit farming around the day job. None of it would have been possible without the support of my wife Eli, family, or indeed the fantastic growing team of people now employed to help meet our customers’ demands.
I will still be writing a farming diary, which you can read on our website. Additionally, I have been asked to write it for the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph as an exclusive column. I am very excited for the opportunity, but this is mixed with a little sadness at saying goodbye to the Bystander.
May I take this opportunity to firstly thank Katherine for hosting the dairy over the years, I am sure she will fill the column with someone far more entertaining than myself. I wish her and The Village Bystander all the best in the future. Secondly, thank-you to all of you that have read my ramblings and for all the comments I have received. So, for now, it is Goodbye from me.
However, time marches on and I am sad to say this will be my last column for the Bystanders