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I’m a farmer’s wife

68 replies

farmerswife100 · 13/07/2018 13:50

If this one will be of any interest?! AMA

OP posts:
Scrowy · 13/07/2018 20:03

I would concur that 'farmer's wife' is a separate role in itself, not always performed by 'wives' these days but certainly by women related to the farming business, be it wives, partners or daughters.

These days it mainly involves paperwork, fielding phonecalls from reps and making urgent trips to 'Get Stuff' but historically in rural communities the traditional 'farmer's wife' kept the countryside running.

It's a subject I found so interesting I actually wrote my masters dissertation on it Grin.

The traditional farmer's wife is a dying breed for sheep/beef farmers. I don't know many these days that haven't had to take a second or third job on top of doing the farm stuff to supplement the farm income.

Scrowy · 13/07/2018 20:08

Oh and DP and I (northern sheep and beef farmers) both voted remain.

farmerswife100 · 13/07/2018 21:54

We, and everyone we know, voted remain.

Scrowy I agree it’s a dying breed, and I feel very lucky that we are able to live the way we do. I used to work full time, earning silly amounts of money, but wouldn’t see DH for weeks on end because the very rare times he’d have off work, would always fall when I was at work! Then I’d get home to a disgusting house and just feel resentment all the time. Now I can cart lunch out to the tractor if he’s been working flat out and I haven’t seen him, and I get to enjoy our house and Farm without getting annoyed at it. (I can save my annoyance for the idiots on mopeds who set fire to our bales instead Wink)

OP posts:
bellinisurge · 13/07/2018 21:56

I asked because the Brexit line is that all (well, the overwhelming majority of) farmers voted Leave.

halfwitpicker · 13/07/2018 21:57

Oh god great, I'll have loads of questions for you. Massive James Herriot fan here.

Have you read James Herriot?
Any old school traditional farm house recipes you'd like to share?
Are you permanently knackered due to it all?

Mobydick100 · 13/07/2018 22:03

Do farmers generally think everyone else is a bit lazy?
Is there much money to be made in farming in UK at the moment?

GreenMeerkat · 13/07/2018 22:06

Where abouts in the country are you?

My Dad is an arable farmer. Well, part time. My Grandad had a stroke and it was his farm so my dad now runs it part time from the other end of the country, while still doing his day job!

farmerswife100 · 13/07/2018 22:13

bellin from what I remember, I think Farmers in Wales and the West Country veered more towards leave, but we are in the East where we don’t know a single leave voter!

I’m afraid I’m very uncultured and haven’t read any James Herriot, although DH has and loved them. He’s always telling me I would love them.

Traditional recipes - I’m afraid I’m a bit rubbish with recipes. We get given a lot of meat (beef, venison and pheasant mainly) and grow our own veg so meals tend to be whipped up with whatever is in season or in the fridge. It’s mostly a lot of stews/chillis etc that can sit in the warming oven in the aga without getting ruined, because I never know when DH will be home to eat.

DH is never, ever tired. Well, I’m sure he must be, but he never stops. He just keeps going and never mentions it. He is awful at sitting still. Me, on the other hand. I am forever knackered and I barely do anything!

OP posts:
dairyfarmerswife · 13/07/2018 22:22

You are braver than me OP, I almost started this thread but chickened out!

I actually do work almost full time on the farm, as my housekeeping standards prove and I certainly have a huge amount of input into the running of the business.

@scrowy I want to read your dissertation! My Mum, and late MIL fulfilled the role you describe, though both filled practical roles at times too.

Maria1982 · 13/07/2018 22:28

I want to read scrowy dissertation too!
Farmers niece here, grew up down the road from my uncle and aunt.

fourpawswhite · 13/07/2018 22:34

Another who almost started this! Nice to see OP.

We do have sheep and I can confirm we do put lambs in the bottom warming door of the aga. So this would be one who has got very wet and cold. In it goes in a wee box and the door open until dry. Then in a little old fashioned playpen to torment the dogs until it feels better.

On a similar scale for more able lambs we have the pet lamb pen. They have an overhead heat lamp and stay there and get bottle fed whilst being warm and cosy. Then when all better if still no mum they move to the pet lamb shed which has a special "milk maid" machine to feed. Basically a large unit with lots of bottle teets which you pour the milk into and they help themselves. So there you go, the life of a per lamb.

And yes, we are all knackered.

fourpawswhite · 13/07/2018 22:37

Oops, sorry pooriver, just saw you answered the lamb question.Blush

Heman we have goats, who have tiny goats, but I am confused about the pyjamas!!

Pooriver · 13/07/2018 22:44

four nice to be validated as mainstream though!! Grin

huggybear · 13/07/2018 22:54

My family are farmers and usually in June/early July.

huggybear · 13/07/2018 22:54

That was supposed to say usually holiday.

UbercornsGoggles · 13/07/2018 23:06

Are you really a farmer's wife or are you actually a farmer?

(Sorry if that sounds goady, it's not meant to, I just get sick of hearing female farmers referred to as farmer's wives - I hear it a lot in my line of work.)

UbercornsGoggles · 13/07/2018 23:10

Sorry, I've just read the rest of the thread and seen you've kind of answered this already, though I would still argue you're a farmer because you're intrinsically involved in the running of the farm business.

user1495884620 · 13/07/2018 23:10

Have you ever chopped the tails off visually-impaired rodents?

LadyLance · 13/07/2018 23:58

Do you cut any hay? If so, do you think this will be a good year for hay?

FWIW I'm from the SW and know a fair few farming/rural families and I believe most of them voted remain. A lot of the actual farmers rely on EU subsidy. Of the people I know who voted leave, most don't own land or directly have anything to do with farming.

Do you see a future for dairy farming in the UK?

farmerswife100 · 14/07/2018 00:37

This year has been great for hay, but I don’t think the harvest is going to be great because of lack of rain (opposite problem to last year!)

OP posts:
farmerswife100 · 14/07/2018 00:48

I was nervous about starting this, expecting to be lynched about not working and staying home, so it has been really uplifting to read those comments telling me I have an important role in the Farm.

I think the world of farming is a different world to anything else I’ve known. I’m from a city originally, and a lot of my family can’t get their heads around why I’m always on the farm. In their minds, they never visit their husbands’ places of work, so why I am always at DH’s? But it’s not just a job, it’s a whole lifestyle. Over the years, I’ve found people either ‘get’ it, or they don’t. Those friends who get frustrated when we can’t reply about attending dinner four weeks in advance sadly don’t last the distance. The ones who say ‘we are having people round for dinner on X date, you are both welcome to join or just one or the other, but just turn up whenever and no need to let us know until the night before’ are the perfect ones! I can see how it can come across rude to always answer an invite with ‘we will let you know nearer the time’, but we aren’t waiting for a better offer, we just need to see the weather forecast first!!

OP posts:
whataboutbob · 17/07/2018 21:16

I just think it’s a little sad you’d be afraid of starting this thread, why would you ever be nervous about telling others you're a farmer? Surely it’s an ancient and essential trade and not something to be embarrassed about! But I get there can be a lot of ignorance about the life . More people should listen to the archers Grin!


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GreenRut · 17/07/2018 22:42

Great thread, op, thanks!

Can you explain why you can't commit to dates in the future? What sorts of things could happen on that particular day that would suddenly mean you couldn't go to the party / whatever the invite is for? Is it always purely weather related?

Scrowy · 18/07/2018 10:04

For us GreenRut the most likely thing would be that we had a cow calving. Each calf is worth between £900-£1200 when they are sold a year later.

We might take a chance and leave an old experienced cow that we knew had been bulled by an easy calving bull to get on with it whilst we went out for a few hours to an event, but anything else would need checking on fairly regularly. Farming margins are so tight that we can't really afford to lose a calf and/or cow because we fancied a day off.

This year a friend had a lunch for her 40th planned in the middle of May which is lambing time for us. We said we would try and be there but it would be weather dependent. If it was a nice day we would probably be able to make it as the risks of lambs dying from exposure etc would be small. If it was a wet/cold/snowy day we would probably have to miss it. (It was a roasting hot day in the end Grin)

This year hasn't been too bad for getting crops in for us because the weather has been consistently good but most years there's usually 6 days in the whole summer suitable for making silage and every farmer in the whole county wants the same contractors at the same time to come and silage and everything else gets cancelled.

Even with the good weather this year DP missed a few hours of his brother's wedding reception to go and turn grass over ready for silaging the next day.

WhyDidIEatThat · 18/07/2018 10:10

Do you have thousands of acres?

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