Kate Humble with Jane, Simon and Arabella
Caption: Kate Humble with Jane, Simon and Arabella filming at Dalefoot
Caption: Back to the Land film crew and team at Dalefoot

Lambing season is here again – only sooner than expected.

Rampant ‘tups’ last autumn has meant the early arrival of lambs just as the snow sweeps back in. Not to worry we have them all snug and warm in the lambing shed.

As I delivered the first twin this morning my thoughts drifted to the second pair of hands I was missing – the famous Kate Humble hands which calmly delivered lambs alongside me last spring.

It hardly seems a year since Kate and film crew descended to capture footage of our farm life and our farm diversification into making compost from bracken and wool.

What a whirlwind couple of days that was! It was a truly amazing experience beyond our ‘ken. Working with ‘creative’ people is so different to our usual day jobs or working with animals or even children. Kate is a really warm person - engaging, professional, competent, insightful yet enormously practical. I am a complete fan. She arrived with quite an entourage - Researcher, Director, Producer, Cameraman, Sound Engineer and the ‘runner’ (yes, there really is a runner). They all descended on our farm on a cold wet spring day in the middle of lambing and as compost sales were beginning to build as warmer weather sends people out to the garden.

We were asked to try and ignore the attention of the cameras as they zoomed in on every little aspect – what is to us everyday life. Kate asked insightful questions probing for intelligent answers when sometimes the reality is incredibly simple and had never been actually thought about before. Shots were taken from every angle and I believe the sheep, dogs and cats might possibly be up for an ‘Oscar’ with their natural diffidence.

The ‘Back to the Land’ team came with their own sort of magic and I feel that the questions they asked, and the reflection they asked for, may just have prompted a look through a ‘different lens’ at all our achievements to date, all the hard work the Dalefoot team put in and our future plans for new compost recipes and life!!


Here is a link to the BBC website for "Back to the Land"

Editors note – a ‘tup’ local name for a ram

1 comment

  • Val Miles

    22 March 2017, 9.02am

    Watched 'Back to the Land' last night. A lovely inspiring programme.

    Your composts are a welcome addition to the small range of peat free composts on the market. Such a brilliant use of the materials you have to hand.

    I've been making my own garden compost for many years but always buy some for seeds and young plants. I'm looking forwards to trying some wool composts this year!

    Hope your twins arrive(d) safely and your enterprises continue to prosper.


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Barker and Bland is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Dalefoot Farm, Heltondale, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2QL. Registered number: 8312959

This project is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

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