In recent times, we’ve been reminded about the benefits of the simpler things in life such as healthy home cooked food. And many of us have a newfound appreciation for things we may previously have taken for granted, like the great outdoors.
It’s when we aren’t able to enjoy parks, beautiful beaches or glorious countryside in the way we have before that makes us appreciate just how important they are to us and how they can lift our mood and make us feel energised….
But what if ‘your office’ is the great outdoors? And that working from home, fortunately, is ‘business as usual.’
We thought it was timely to ask Alistair, one of the farmers who supplies our delicious oats, what life is typically like ‘down on the farm.’
Do you have a busy season?
Farm life is never quiet or dull! Spring is a busy season with lambing time, cows calving and preparing ground for spring oats. Harvest is also a busy season with combining, baling, carting in, drying batches of oats from different fields and lorries collecting grain to take to store.
What does summer usually mean for you, day-to-day?
Selling lambs, shearing sheep, hay and silage, tending to oat crops and a couple of days out to The Royal Highland Show and Border Union Show (though sadly, there won’t be any shows this year!)
Oats can be planted in Summer and Winter. Do you use both seasons? Why?
We use both seasons to spread out the workload throughout the year. Winter oats are harvested before spring oats, which takes the pressure off people and machinery.
Do you always keep oats in the kitchen?
Yes, we always have oats in the kitchen – I have porridge every morning and we use them for baking.
What are your favourite things to cook with them?
We love making flapjacks and biscuits - Australian jacks (similar in taste to an oatmeal cookie and granola bar) and chocolate oat cookies are particular family favourites!
Best part of the job?
Seeing all the hard work come to fruition when the harvest is safely gathered in. Also, hopefully, having a good season for growing livestock.
What is it you love most about the outdoors?
You appreciate the countryside and how it changes throughout the year. And of course, all the fresh air and peace and quiet.
Thank you Alistair. The great outdoors and some of your home baking sounds like a perfect combination! Click here for one of Alistair’s favourite family recipes that use our oats….
Photography by Fiona