Abergavenny Food Festival

SATURDAY MORNING, mid September, and Jane and I are in full waterproofs, headtorches and wellies laying face down in the garden in the pitch black being towed by a pig. And so it continued… It wasn’t the start we’d anticipated.

Half an hour later and two Berkshire weaners are settled in the trailer and we head off to Abergavenny. We arrive in glorious sunshine and are directed into the farm event where the pigs have a nice big pen, fresh straw and water and are looking bright and well. We, however, look like nothing on earth – Wurzul Gummidge & Stig of the Dump combined. A quick scrub in the Wetherspoons loos & a bit of lipstick and we are ready for the show. This is the first Farm Event Abergavenny has hosted and I was enormously proud to be their first guest speaker.

The tent was fun – seating arrangements were bales of straw, as was the sofa on the stage! There was the most interesting series of presenters and a good debate about farm to plate at the end. Jane sat at the back of the arena, knitting; and like all good audience members, she asked everyone questions and helped prompt conversation.

It was also an exciting opportunity to meet not only other food producers and retailers but to meet friends made on social media for real. Twitter Pigpal Martha, organiser and presenter, bounced over to greet us; as did others keen to say hello and see the pigs.

The whole event was welcoming in fact and it was a privilege, as always, to chat to the public about our farming practices and answer any questions as best we could.

Huge thanks to Jane Bissett of The Kennixton Flock for riding shotgun; to Martha Roberts and the team for making us so welcome; and to Abergavenny Food Festival for having us.

Watch the Seasons Turn

The Secret Acre

deerAnd another year goes by. So last month I put up two curtain poles and a washing line at The Secret Acre. Because October marked our first year anniversary of moving in. And rather embarrassingly these were the last of the ‘quick’ jobs still undone from that very first month!

But missing curtain poles aside, October was a chance for us to reflect on the good and bad points of our first year. Fortunately, perhaps, our positives and negatives were remarkably similar.

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Generosity / Recycling

An exceptional Autumn for the pigs here at Swanbridge.

Just citing today as an example: thanks to @tomosalilford they all had brewers’ grains for breakfast and then they dashed off into the woods for yet more acorns and the last of the blackberries. A trip to @Hendrewennol and I have another boot full of pumpkins; thanks to @WPenarth another car load of pumpkins and bananas. I arrive home to sacks of apples along the drive thanks to Barbara, a not so near neighbour. Then, Joanna and her family rock up with apple pulp from fruit pressing.

#swanbridgeporkers will be fine tasting pork and sausages thanks to the generosity of others. The ultimate in recycling.


Home Oak

IMG_20161021_171431.jpgHolm oak – #woodpecker woz ere

Around my feet, pigs are rooting for fallen acorns & chatting to each other all the time.

I can hear birds various & there is evidence of rabbits. A pheasant crackles & oyster catchers are calling from the beach.