Our Farm follows Rosie Boycott and her two and four-legged companions in their efforts to make a smallholding profitable in an era of food globalization
What’s a city girl doing in the country? After leaving the editorship of the Daily Expressin 2001, Rosie Boycott wasn’t sure what to do next. The natural step would have been to stay in London and continue her highly successful media career. But an horrific car accident which left her on crutches for eighteen months forced Rosie to rethink her life, turning her in a direction she would never previously have imagined.
When an opportunity arises to rent a small farm in Somerset, Rosie and her new husband Charlie decide to take it, determined to throw themselves into a new challenge and to make the land profitable. It proves a daunting task, but it also reaps rewards that have nothing to do with money, rewards they never expected. For what follows is an immersion in rural living which is often hilarious, sometimes profoundly moving. Pigs, ducks and geese are fattened for the butcher, occasionally with lamentable results; vegetables and cut flowers are grown for a reluctant marketplace, as Rosie and Charlie discover more and more about the hard graft of running a smallholding. Gradually they, the land and the seasons being to work harmoniously together. They learn, too, about the boisterous personalities of the animals in their care, and about weightier issues that affect the local community of Ilminster – particularly the new supermarket which threatens the soul of the local town centre.
As well as giving this compelling and endearing account of a new life in the country, Rosie finds recovery in the rhythms of the seasons and the complex patterns of the natural world. Throughout, she reflects deeply on our intimate relationship with nature and, ultimately, its power to heal.