As 2015 draws to a close, I wanted to reflect on the year and celebrate the many highlights that I have experienced. I’m so lucky to have a wonderful network of friends, family and supporters around me. I’m thankful for the fun times we have had and the opportunities that I have made or come my way.
So to keep my ponderings neat and tidy (because I am uber organised!) here are my 10 highs…
- Becoming Mrs Fyfe.
Andrew and I were married on 2nd May 2015 and we have enjoyed 7 months of wedded bliss since. We couldn’t have wished for a better day. All our plans and preparations paid off and we have the day to remember. We were also the last to leave our reception at 3am…
2.Transforming the farm into a wedding venue. Andrew and I had a vision of walking from the village church through a field to our reception on the farm. And that’s what we did. It took a lot of hard work and plenty of pairs of hands. It was so satisfying to see the end result and made everything really personal to us both.
3. Travelling to New Zealand on honeymoon. A trip of a lifetime. Andrew and I spent three weeks touring the north and south island and when people ask what our favourite part was, we can’t really give them a definitive answer as we made the most of our time there.
4. Securing a place on the Worshipful Company of Farmers Challenge of Rural Leadership course. After an application and interview process I have been successful in securing a place on the prestigious course which will take place in January 2016. I’m still working on securing some sponsorship to be able to attend and is something I have been motivated to do off my own back. #gamechanger
5. Filming for BBC Bargain hunt. Something I have always wanted to do is take part in a game show. After filling in an online application form for BBC bargain hunt, shortly after I received a phone call inviting both myself and my team mate Jenni Tinkle for an audition. We were successful in securing a slot as the Red team and took part in purchasing our items at Brackley antiques centre with expert Charlie Ross. We then went to Newbury for the auction and watched our items get sold. I wont give the game away but we did quite well and had a blast. The programme will air in March or April 2016 so watch this space.
6. Helping to raise lots of funds and awareness for R.A.B.I. Its been another busy year in my day job as R.A.B.I regional manager for the East Midlands region. In 2015 I have established a number of events including Gin tasting and Joules seconds clothing sales.
7. Securing a place on the Tesco Future Farmers Foundation. I have attended one two-day workshop so far and 2016 will see me take part in many more. I’m most looking forward to supply chain visits and I have already met some incredible people from across the country who share my passion for carving a future in farming.
8. Leading the Oxford Farming Conference scholars travel award to Agritechnica in Hannover in conjunction with the DLG. Whilst it was lots of hard work to organise (as it was the first time we had attempted the trip) it was a great opportunity to support 3 young people explore farming operations as well as visiting the Agritechnica fair.
9. Building upon my media and marketing work. I have been invited to take part in numerous interviews on radio plus spoken at many conferences including the Farmers Weekly Agribusiness conference, Midlands valuers conference and join two panels at the Cereals event. I have continued to enjoy writing for Countryside La Vie magazine and have featured in several foodie articles and blogs too.
10. Growing more produce on the farm. I continue to gather knowledge, experience and skills in rearing pigs and producing sausages / adding value to meat. I’ve also been more ambitious in the produce I have grown in the farm garden. I have enjoyed a bumper harvest of everything from leek to potatoes and runner beans to sweet corn. I was lucky to receive some fruit trees as a Christmas present and a ‘Wastie’ variety of apple tree and so in 2016 I will continue to establish more of a crop to enjoy cooking with and sharing with friends and family. I’m hoping to start selling more widely too.
I could mention so many more highlights including being maid of honour for a friend, making new friends, having chickens and selling eggs and all the wonderful events and places I have been or shared with people.
2016 is set to be just as great as I have booked a trip to Thailand with Andrew. There will be many more adventures and opportunities. I am excited for the future and cherish all I have experienced during 2015.
Wishing you a Happy New Year – 2016 will be just as awesome.