Who would be a farmer’s wife?

On the opening page of The Farmer’s Wife, Helen Rebanks quotes George Eliot’s famous passage from Middlemarch. Dorothea adds to ‘the growing good of the world’ through her ‘unhistoric acts’ and by having ‘lived faithfully a hidden life’. With this enchanting, funny, fearless book, Rebanks brings her own ‘unhistoric’ life unequivocally out of hiding. The blood, mud, slog, exhaustion, bureaucracy and financial angst of farming are ever-present She lives with her husband James (a bestselling writer) and their four children in the Lake District on their farm shared with six sheepdogs, two ponies, 20 chickens, 500 sheep and 50 cattle. Writing in the present tense, she describes the rhythm of

Why I’m investing in sheep

Laikipia In the past I had a low opinion of sheep. During my first forays into farming I saw them as creatures hell-bent on dying, with lung diseases, rotten feet or nasal maggots. Their legs snapped in ant-bear holes and hyenas tore them to pieces. To stem tides of oviform death we dipped, injected, dewormed and castrated. Many hours evaporated searching for stray animals. I found them dreary, sold off my flock and concentrated on cattle. Up here, north of Mount Kenya, people name their sons after special bulls and men hold important conversations in among the cattle at evening, so that the talk can be inspired in bold and