My Dream Farm Review: Land Of Sheep And Honey
MY DREAM FARM: Thursday 21st January, Channel 4, 8pm ALERT ME
No it’s not the latest agricultural Barbie accessory or an add-on pack for The Sims, it’s a documentary which sees face of Gardener’s World Monty Don visit aspiring new farmers.
This week, Monty’s off to Dartmoor to see Dick and Pauline, a couple who have left their successful corporate life and moved to the hilly countryside to rear livestock.
I must admit it’s an appealing prospect; the site of all those green hills and lush verdant landscapes is enough to make the die-hard townie inside me want to break free. Don’t believe me? Just try thinking of rolling countryside next time you’re crammed into a packed tube carriage next to a bunch of mouth-breathing plebs.
The couple already have a hill full of sheep, some pigs and a beehive, but Monty’s on hand to point out that they’ll need to come up with some specialist products if they’re going to survive.
They hit upon the idea of making wool-stuffed duvets and so visit a local expert on sheep rearing and a textile mill to see how wool is processed.
They learn that they will have to diversify their products if they want to get anywhere and Pauline has decided to make soap using the beeswax – prompting an on screen lesson in how to make soap. Monty’s quite earnest that this isn’t hard and points us to the website for more info. Can’t see many people rushing out and getting a beehive, the only buzzing I want to hear is my fridge, but it’s probably better than learning to make it from Fight Club.
Monty makes a good point that in order to survive, they’re going to have to turn themselves into a kind of corporation and thus risk recreating the life which they wanted to leave behind. Ah, capitalism.
Months go by and Devon’s answers to Tyler Durden have bought some more pigs and have learned to shear sheep. This prompts another educational aside from Monty that keeping a sheep isn’t that hard work. Soon he’ll be suggesting that you keep a cow in the fridge or a field of wheat in your top cupboard.
He’s also managed to get some buyers from John Lewis and posh hotel chain Malmaison interested in the duvets but the couple has a lot to learn about the cutthroat world of the high street.
It’s difficult not to like Dick and Pauline – they’re passionate about what they do and willing to put the hard work in necessary to make it work. A refreshing break from Celebrity Big Brother but if you’ve seen one of these type of programmes, you’ve seen them all.