‘I like everything about working on the farm’, says Matthew. ‘Feeding, mucking out, doing the bedding, cleaning the milk buckets – I really like it.’ ‘I’ve probably lived at Larchfield roughly seven years. I came here basically because the farm work interested me.
‘The calves stay with their mums for a bit’
‘There are six cows in the dairy herd, and they have their calves in the spring and summertime. The calves stay with their mums for a bit. Then you’ve got to teach them to drink milk from a bucket. They sometimes struggle to learn. You’ve got to climb over the calf, hold it between your legs like a clamp and put its head in the bucket to help it realise it’s there.
‘We use the milk ourselves, we do. Some goes to the Coffee Bar. The Bakery sometimes has a bit. The houses all get milk. Our customers can buy it – the money goes to funding for the farm.
‘There’s about thirty or forty meat cattle. And pigs. They’re for the bacon and chops. Do you know Stewart? He runs our butcher shop. We have arable fields as well. And sheep – the Blue Leicesters are bigger than the Sussex.
‘Most days farm work is what I do. Also every Monday afternoon I work in the garden. And Monday morning I work in the Bakery. Have you ever had Paradise Slices? We make them. It’s basically like a chocolate brownie, with fruit and nuts. Absolutely beautiful.
‘For the weekends, I’ve got my record player and amplifier. Andrew helped me get them from a shop in Middlesbrough. I like records and listening to Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Abba, Crowded House and lots of other kinds of music. I’m happy here, I am.’