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Saturday, June 1, 2013

In 2002, Jim, our kids and I moved to the English countryside from the eighth largest and driest city in the USA - Phoenix, Arizona. The extremes were enormous from dryness to daily moisture (rain and more rain), views of citrus orchards and desert cacti to rolling pasture and apple orchards and an always blue sky to a notorious grey day. We were certainly not put off by the grey skies or rain because the rural countryside made all our hearts soar. The British countryside is captivating visually, and all it's bounty is a gift from God tied in a glorious bow.
The season of lambing just finished some weeks ago and the fields were dotted with baby lambs hovering close to their mothers. Soon the orchards will offer fresh cherries and small holdings (British name for a small farm) will be opening for customers to "pick your own" strawberries and raspberries.  Local farm shops rival the supermarket chains and are never far a field. You can be sure to pass home made signs of "free range eggs" available on country lanes. Farming in England is their heritage and they embrace it and so does my family!
Yesterday Jim and I went to the county of Somerset for the 150th Royal Bath and West farm show, one of the longest surviving agricultural shows in England. It would be like a country fair I'm guessing Jackie went to as a young girl in Wisconsin. There is everything there from the different animal, floral and plant, and equestrian competitions, booths to buy farming gear and "kit", displays of heritage plants, tasting of cheeses and ciders....and all the fun rides!!! It was glorious yesterday and Jim and I wandered around the entire day. We laughed and rejoiced when a tiny three year old won the competition with his sheep. We spoke of Jackie all day, wondering about her families dairy and what kind of cows they milked. That inspired Jim to take so many pictures of cows to show Jackie and the Nagel family....hope everyone else likes looking at big bulls and lots of cows!!!!
It was wonderful to see so many young kids competing with their show animals and carrying on the great British farming tradition. I know Jackie is so proud of her family heritage in the farming business. Her eldest son has returned to Wisconsin and just bought his first property and his first cows!!! The next generation of America's farmers!
Jim and I are always keen to buy farming remnants. Coming on the next shipment is a small trough that could be used for a small sink in a tiny bathroom or the center piece in a fountain. We also have some old galvenized watering cans coming and bright green low buckets. We have some old gardening tools on the shipment.  I love this bright red rake to hang on a wall and hang keys or dried herbs from.
Well, it is another glorious day out there.....I'm going to venture in to my tiny vegetable plot and do a little farming!!!! I'll share my garden with you once things get a bit further a long in growth. Hope Jackie puts on her farming boots and gives us a tour of the homestead in Wisconsin!!! Here's to farmers everywhere!!!!

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