Fall, Photos and some Friendly Frenchmen (aka Gerard Depardieu and Laurent Audiot!)

13 10 2015

Smiling CowFall (Autumn) is upon us, and we had our first frost of the year last night, as well as some absolutely spectacular northern lights this week! This time of the year is all about preparation for the long, dark winter months ahead, and enjoying the wonderful autumn sunshine and light shows when they appear in total awesomeness!

The cows are being readied and the sheds are being bedded down for the coming months. Keith and Jess are making their last trips out on the boat to stock up on fish before the weather turns.

Photo by Jane MacLennan, Gairloch, Scotland

Photo by Jane MacLennan, Gairloch, Scotland

Tonight we will put the fire on and sit down to watch ‘A Pleine Dents’ starring Gerard Depardieu and Laurent Audiot. We had the pleasure of hosting these gentlemen and their lovely crew at Orbost Farm last year, and we had the privilege of sharing our produce and other local Skye Fayre with them in a Scottish Feast, round our kitchen table! If you missed it, here is the link –

A Pleines Dents

And here are some photos from our time filming at Orbost.

Waiting for the feast to start!

Waiting for the feast to start!

Keith, Laurent and Gerard going on a Deer Hunt

Keith, Laurent and Gerard going on a Deer Hunt

You can contact us and connect with what we are up to through our Facebook Page, Orbost Farm .

Two weeks ago, we were also privileged to host photographer Richard Schultz, who took some amazing photos on the farm of the cows, Keith and Jessica and the Gypsy Cob ponies. We are waiting with great anticipation to see the final pics from Richard when he returns to the USA after his Scottish Tour, but we do have a few shots from his assistant, Jordan Jennings, which we absolutely love and are pleased to be able to share with you!

Photograph by Jordan Jennings

Photograph by Jordan Jennings

Photograph by Jordan Jennings

Photograph by Jordan Jennings

Autumn sunsets are the best, and I’ll leave you with a few stunners from Tristan, who always likes to give the bike’s eye view!

cuillinsbikesunsetbikeviewsunset

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Growing Up on the Farm

31 10 2014

Growing up on a farm can have it’s plus and negative sides – Tristan has really turned his experiences into opportunities, and we are proud to be able to share with you his first biking video edit –





A New Year, Snow and a New Adventure

1 01 2010

I am so pleased I wrote my last post about Christmas in November, because true to form, December was absolutely flat out…….but we’re through the other side – YAY! December was full of processing, orders, markets, negotiating leases, signing leases, and finally a wonderfully quiet Christmas at home with the family – I say wonderfully quiet, when actually we were rudely awoken by Jess at 2am Christmas morning after she had discovered her Santa sack which contained pink velvet stilettos and a twirling baton – the strains of the can can up and down the hallway were just about too much to cope with! I had words with Jess about the importance of sleep, and then had stern words with Santa!

The snow and ice continues to pile up, and it is truly beautiful, but does pose some problems for feeding animals and sourcing running water for them! I keep reminding myself it is much better than driving wind and rain, which is what we normally experience at this time of year. I went out with the camera the other morning to capture some of the icicles…..

So today is the first day of 2010…..Happy New Year to all! I hope it brings you happiness and prosperity. We spent New Year’s eve sledging in the moonlight in the back fields with the kids – it was such a great way to welcome in the New Year! We set off some chinese lanterns before the bells to farewell last year, and some after the bells to welcome the adventures to come. And what adventures we are set to have this year!

After three years of persistance and hard work, we have finally secured a 15 year lease on Orbost Estate Farm. We are graduating from smallholders into farmers, and it is going to be an amazing challenge to take the business a step up, and endeavour to rebalance the hills at Orbost with our native breed animals and aspirations for traditional, low impact management of the ecosystem. Focusing on the job at hand though, the snow means increased feeding of the menagerie, and as we have experienced this week, vehicles and ice just don’t like each other very much! Keith moved the cows down into the inbye fields and is feeding silage daily.

The cows are all pregnant, and will be calving in the spring. We have a new bull, Xavier, who is a beef shorthorn bull. He is quite the gentleman, and looking after the girls very well. Cailin, our highland bull is off at a neighbouring farm, and will be going to sale at the Oban Highland Cattle Society sale in February.

Misty is enjoying the snow very much, and has exuberantly joined in sledging and snowman construction with Tristan and Jess.

The kids got a wii for Christmas, and we’ve all had a great time playing the sports games on it! How sore have my arms been for the last week! Although I can proudly say, at present, I am archery and bowling queen!! My golfing skills are somewhat lacking, but this is a true reflection on reality, as the one and only time I ever went golfing in the Hunter Valley I believe I managed to lose every single ball I hit! I’ve got to say, as computer games go, it is fantastic, AND there is only so much swinging about of your arms you can do before collapsing in exhaustion, so there is no risk of the children wasting hours motionless in front of the screen.

Well, a very happy and peaceful New Year to all, and watch this space for new adventures unfolding as we speak! ( sneak preview – the whole farm is unfenced at present, and to be able to let the Soays to the hill we are going to have to fence approximately 17km in total……..anyone fancy a fencing working holiday??!!***)





The New Addition to the Menagerie

2 03 2009

We are completely guilty of being one of those families that consists of more animals than people, and in fact, in our thirteen years together, Keith and I have had a wide and varied assortment of pets, including at one time some wallabies in our back yard – which we had obtained by swapping some polish bantam chickens – the wallabies, in turn, were swapped for a peacock three years ago, and last autumn we managed to obtain a peahen for him…….so hopefully this spring we will have little pea chicks running around the farm! In the mean time, as part of Keith’s job as a shepherd, he needs working dogs for gathering and working the sheep, and this week we added to our working dog possie with Misty – a 7 week old bearded collie.

Enough to make the blokiest bloke go soft at the knees!

Enough to make the blokiest bloke go soft at the knees!

Learning the first commands.....sit and look gorgeous!

Learning the first commands.....sit and look gorgeous!

So Misty is going to live in the house as a companion for Dherric (gaelic word pronounced Gerrick) who is our mad, but absolutely gorgeous Springer. We are hoping she will have a calming effect on him! The kids are obviously delighted…..and Keith is totally dotty about her too. I think she is lovely, but will be much happier when she works out the finer points of going outside for the toilet!