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Clarkson's Farm

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Honestly, this show is probably the best thing Jeremy Clarkson’s has made, even better than The Grand Tour. In Clarkson’s Farm, Jeremy tries to take over the retiring farmer who used to tend his land to see how hard could farming be. Turns out that it’s pretty damn hard.

While Clarkson is still a goof ball, he does take it seriously. He also tries to improve the environment through his farm, particularly through rewilding. I’m not sure how effective his tactics are (the lumber was controvertial but his explaination seems plausable), but I welcome this change over his previous environmentalism bashing (through he still does that).

The things I liked most about the show were the people he had helping him as they really knew what they were doing. There’s:

  • “Cheerful” Charlie, the stiff upper lipped agronomist and estate manager who really understands the business and gives good advice.
  • Kaleb the farmhand and a true farm boy who really knows his way around the farm.
  • Gerald who maintains the farm’s fencing who’s also a true farm boy. He’s very hard to understand. That’s because the editing plays up this unintelligibility, but also because it’s a strong rural accent that’s quite rare in British media given that he’s 70 and has never left the area. In fact, proper captions makes what he’s saying very clear [VIDEO: 4:47].
  • Lisa, his girlfriend, who helps out on the farm but mostly focuses on the shop. Very supportive, helpful and open-minded as well.

There’s also the other people called in to help at times like the shepards who are also very knowledgable. On the topic of sheep, that was the most endrearing part since he really grew fond of the sheep. I saw a review noting how there’s the assumption that livestock isn’t cared for at all. I don’t doubt the attatchement is genuine, but you’re still exploiting them and given how much of a money sink it was to Clarkson, if you take it somewhat seriously, you’ll need to comprimise their welfare somewhat. Still, it was sweet to see him care so much about his sheep.

The bigger thing which is particularly important are the environmental issues. There’s quite a bit of tention between what a farmer wants to do and what they’re allowed to do, particularly on an environmental front. He lost a whole lot of crops due to a beetle since the particular pesticide to get rid of them was outlawed. There needs a way to get everyone at the table to figure out a sensible path of action because this disconect between the farmers and regulation. But it’s not like it’s completley pointless. Like, would you really like fertilizer in your water?

Honestly, this show is a must watch bacause it shows why most people abandon agrarian work given the options. It’s just so hard. Between understanding all the intricacies of running the farm, compliance with various regulations at multiple levels as well as the weather (especially the weather which will get worse given climate change), there’s so much work to do. Oh, and he did this during the COVID pandemic which is harder still. His earning reflect that as he barely broke even given that his yield fell by half from the previous year. I’ll definitley give the next farmer I see a pint when I see them. Heck if you bitch to me about the weather, I might just buy you one.