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Between you, me, and the gatepost (Bridport Times, December 2019)

We write monthly for the magazine Bridport Times. To see this article as originally published, view the pages on Issue.

Written by Ellen Simon

Bhutan, we hear, measures its success in gross national happiness instead of gross national product. Provided we stay above the breadline and can pay the bills, I think we might measure the farm’s success by whether the gates are good. Gates in good order are a joy. A gate should unlatch with one hand and easily swing open with just a light push. It should stay roughly where it is left, neither swinging wide open nor closing onto the person passing through. It should not touch the ground or have space underneath it to allow lambs to find their way through. It should have clear space at head level for the user, with no bramble shoots or sallow whips to catch unwary faces. It should close readily and latch securely when given a gentle nudge in the right direction. It should make a distinctive noise as it latches so that one can be totally sure without going to check that it cannot be opened with a shove from the next passing animal.

Continue reading “Between you, me, and the gatepost (Bridport Times, December 2019)”
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Bridport Times – A Stake in the Future (December 2018)

We write monthly for the magazine Bridport Times. To see this article as originally published, view the pages on Issue.

Every year we renovate and mend fences and, from time to time, we need new ones. December can be a good time for doing this as we are no longer busy with other things. The cattle and sheep are fairly stable: in most years the cows are still outdoors, feeding their calves and pregnant again, and the ewes are happily weaned of their lambs and enjoying the attentions of the rams, about two thirds of them pregnant by the start of the month. The wheat and rye is well-established in the arable fields. The winter vegetables have started cropping and the overwintering ones are established, ready to stand the winter. All is well, and we have time to think about the maintenance of the farm before we bring the stock indoors and find ourselves into proper winter routine. Continue reading “Bridport Times – A Stake in the Future (December 2018)”
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