I thought I was the only one fascinated by farming; but now that Jeremy Clarkson is in on the game (Clarkson’s Farm: so funny by the way) it seems that there really are other people reading and watching these things.
I first came across Amanda Owen’s book series “The Yorkshire Sheppherdess” after I read “The shepherd’s life” by James Rebanks (another great book). I enjoyed James’s book about farming life, but I loved Amanda’s stories even more; I think because she has 9 children. My nan had 14 children, so I am always fascinated by other big families.
If you love to read about alternative ways of living and working these are a great series of books.
The Yorkshire Shepherdess is her autobiogrpahy; so this is the best book to start with. It documents her life from a small child in Huddersfield, her short-lived modelling career, to her first shepherdess roles, meeting her husband and giving birth to her 9 children. She lives on Ravenseat Farm in the Yorkshire Dales, in the middle of nowhere, and has the most extra-ordinarily painless and quick births – enough to make the rest of us mothers jealous, particularly the birth of Clemmy – by the fire, all on her own! Who births their own baby?!
I love the way she brings up her children (except for letting them drink Coffee!), the way they all know how to birth a lamb from such a young age and can do so much around the farm.
I love the amazing outdoorsy things the kids get to do – swimming in their own lakes, sledding, quad-biking, horse-riding, picnics on the moors, hide and seek in the barns and more. Its like an adverture holiday but its every day. And they have very little screen time.
Though it all fascinates me, I wouldn’t want to actually do it – like walk a lot, and farm and walk a lot more and work from dusk to dawn and never ever have a holiday or even a day off – they even work on Christmas day! It’s not for me but I do love to watch them do it; and I am grateful that they do.
Amanda Owen has three further books: Adventures of the Yorkshire Shepherdess and A year in the life of the yorkshire sheppherdess and a new mini book: Tales of the Yorkshire Shepherdess. Great books.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that she also has a popular TV show on Channel 5: Our Yorkshire Farm. A friend of mine (Em) told me about it after I had read all of her books – I was so thrilled to see the family I had been reading about. And the newest season has 20 episodes, so it can’t just be me watching! I am particularly fond of Clemmy, probably because she reminds me so much of my 4 year old daughter.
My favourite episode is when a bunch of sheep get into the yard and house; and Clemmy cleverly devises a plan to convince the sheep to move back into the field, all on her own – it’s amazing! I was also intrigued to see how they handled (are handling) Covid, isolation, home-schooling etc.
Is anyone else fascinated by Our Yorkshire Farm or The Yorkshire Shepherdess?
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