Next Episode of The Family Farm is
Three families with no experience of farming volunteer to spend their summer living and working on a north Wales hill farm
Three families with no experience of farming volunteer for the adventure of a lifetime as they agree to spend their summer living and working on a north Wales hill farm in the shadow of Snowdonia. Moving into a purpose-built yurt village, complete with chicken coop, vegetable plot and pigpen, they will learn what it takes to run a farm and feed a nation. Their mentors are the farm's owner Gareth Wyn Jones and presenter Kate Humble (who also has her own Welsh farm), both of whom will be on hand to help them in all aspects of hill farming, from gathering sheep to shear them, through to training sheepdogs and selling ewes at market. They have been thrown in the deep end, it is hard work in all weathers with early mornings and long hours - but will the reality of country living live up to their dreams of rural life?
This week, the budding farming families experience farming on a totally different scale. As well as continuing their apprenticeship of the hill farm, each of the families heads to a neighbouring farm that produces food on a big scale.
The families have been put through their paces on some of the biggest farms in north Wales, and now they're on a mission to explore other ways of working. While most farmers produce food for big processors and big retailers, some farms are fighting to take back control of the supply chain and get more for their hard work and for what they produce. The Morgans travel to a small pig farm and meet a family working all hours of the day to make ends meet as they take their pigs from piglets to prime pork products. The McNultys work on a 200-strong dairy farm turning their milk to high-end ice cream. And the Burtons go to work at one of Wales's leading vegetable and crop producers, a family-run fruit-and-veg operation sending quality products to high-end restaurants and artisan shops.
The three families have been living and working as farmers for almost a month, and they have seen how most food comes from large-scale producers and how some farmers are bucking the trend and taking back control of the food chain. Now, as summer on the hill farm draws to an end, the families put everything they have learned to the test. A sheepdog trial finds out what kind of bonds the aspiring shepherds have forged with their dogs, and if they can work them like any farmer would.
It is time to think of preparing the farm for winter - to plough the fields and return the flock to the mountain, but have the families become farmers? The biggest test comes in having to choose two of their pedigree pigs to be sent to slaughter, and it is a tough reality check for the vegetarian and vegan farming apprentices. It is also harvest time, and the fruits of their labours are ripe for the picking in the skills they have honed and the food they can produce. Can the families now answer the biggest question of all: will any of them take up farming full-time?
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