Enjoy the focus

Fresh from being subjects of an episode of long-running TV programme Country Calendar, Blair Drysdale recommends the exposure.

In Home Block5 Minutes

Fresh from being subjects of an episode of long-running TV programme Country Calendar, Blair Drysdale recommends the exposure.

WHILE I NORMALLY ALWAYS END up writing these columns at the eleventh hour, I’m now well past that and now four days late (sorry Terry). But things have been, well… bloody hectic here for the last seven days after our family and business featured on Country Calendar. And what a thoroughly enjoyable and pleasant experience the whole thing was.

When we were initially approached by the programme researcher three years ago, we said no. First, because I didn’t really want to do it, was anxious about doing it and our value-add business wasn’t ready for it. All these things at the time were genuine reasons for saying no, but in hindsight there was no need to be at all anxious about sharing what we do as a family.

They approached us again a year later and, as they say, the rest is history.

Over two shoots, five full days’ filming in total, the amazing crew of Celia Jaspers (producer), Ivars Berzins (camera) and John Patrick (sound), turned 20 hours of raw footage and commentary about what we do, into 23 minutes of TV for all in sundry to feast their eyes on.

Add the wizardry of voice from the narrator Dan Henry and what you have collectively is the safest sets of hands you could ask for when showing yourself to the nation. When you do something like this you just hope you do it justice, and the fact the first time we saw the programme was at the same time everyone else saw it meant I was a nervous wreck for two hours prior. I couldn’t eat or drink anything and those that know me well know they are two things I really enjoy! But after watching the first five minutes of the programme, all my anxiety and nervousness disappeared, and I realised there was never at any point a reason for either issue to be of any concern.

The week has flown by since and by far the best thing to come out of it is the feedback we received from family, friends and plenty of complete strangers. What struck me most about the feedback from people we don’t know at all, is how much they value the hard work and commitment of food producers in this country. Yet some mainstream media leads us to believe the opposite is true.

There’s so many good agriculture and food-producing stories out there waiting to be told. I really can’t encourage people enough to say yes to Country Calendar if you’re approached, because they obviously see something in what you do that needs to be told. We have no other platform with as much viewership to share the positive stories of agriculture and doing so has never been more important than it is right now.

On the farm things are looking really good after some very late, but much needed and appreciated rain. All our autumn-sown crops were in the ground before Easter and are very well established now and with soil temperatures still in very good nick the grass is ticking along nicely, and the winter crops are looking really good. The hoggets we take on annually arrived early this year (April) due to no grass at the other end so it’s almost time to train them to electric fences ready to go on to kale at the start of June.

After another hectic season I’m definitely looking forward to the slower pace of winter around here, only two mobs on four or five-day breaks to shift, some maintenance to do and a bit of time pressing a lot more hemp oil. With the world getting back to a resemblance of normality and our Government finally opening the border up, it’ll be nice to get away to somewhere warm with the kids for a week or so like we were meant to do way back in June 2020.