I am a farmer's daughter - one of said farmer's four daughters. We all grew up taking the beauty of the rolling Devon hills for granted.
Over the years my father has farmed different animals - he currently farms a rare breed called White Park. The beef is supposedly so good the king of England called for his sword and knighted his steak - hence the term Sir Loin. The beef was recently featured in the top 50 food things in the Observer Food Monthly.
When I was very young he had a dairy herd and milked cows twice a day. Fresh milk was then turned into thick cream using a seperator and this was then spooned over fresh fruit, turned into yellow butter or the most decadent ice cream (probably clogged my arteries twenty times over!).
We had two large Gloucester Old Spot sows - Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth. There was the ram called Rambo, a Jersey cow called Dolly, various fluffy legged chickens and bantams, ponies, Bluebell, Charlie and Peanuts that my father hated and the donkeys - Hercules and Mrs White. - that were always getting out until they were retired to the Donkey Sanctuary. Some of these animals were pets, most of them went on to become supper!
I am the proud owner of a Bickleigh Bag - made from a fluffy White Park hide that has been cured in Italy and stitched together by the designer Bill Amberg. These bags are more rare than hides that they are made from - each one numbered with a special tag.