Life on the croft goes on – as normal as possible. Mairi Mackenzie

Despite being in lockdown, life on the Croft goes on as normal as possible. Practicing social distancing from neighbours, I’m grateful for the quick chat over the garden fence as I go about my work. Isolation can be difficult for farmers and crofters at the best of times, RSABI are gearing up to meet the extra demand on their services and are very grateful to Scottish Government for the extra resources they have been given.

Dosing ewes1Lambing is just around the corner, lambing pens are set up, medicines and food supplies are well stocked up, ewes injected & dosed so I’m ready to go, hoping we are blessed with good weather to help us through.Pens ready for lambing.thieves1

Like many others I seem more aware of the beauty of nature all around us, spring bouncing into action, a vast array of colour, and the beautiful harmony of the bird song. I’ve set myself a challenge to try to identify the different bird song and become more aware of the birds we have on the Croft.

Feeding time1As a Board Commissioners have been discussing the future of Crofting and ironically COVID19 may well have changed crofting as we know it today.  Maybe now is the time for households to really think about where their food comes from. Those of us working the land producing beautiful tasty scotch lamb & beef reared in a heather clad, roam free environment, encouraging wonderful biodiversity need to encourage our home nation to consume our product. Maybe we have to start processing our product, producing tasty meals for the consumer to realise what’s on their doorstep.

Never has there been such demand for laying pullets, home grown vegetables and now hen encounter with stray black dog1there’s no pasta, potatoes…

There may be real contempt in the Crofting Counties for neglected and unworked croft land and many will think ‘Use it or lose it’.

There will no doubt be an increased desire among many to have the opportunity to eat vegetables from their own vegetable patch, and I do hope folk don’t have short memories and fall back into the quick supermarket shop ideology.

There are wonderful examples of Market Gardens on crofts, and we could learn so much from the system they have put in place serving the rural community with veg boxes. Maybe we are looking at coming full circle and going back to the mobile shop serving our rural population to go some way in mitigating climate change.