Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Forget Kid Curry I'm Going with the Flock; Taste OF THE NORTH EAST Food Sponsored by Bowey Homes

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Forget Kid Curry I'm Going with the Flock; Taste OF THE NORTH EAST Food Sponsored by Bowey Homes

Article excerpt

Byline: BILL OLDFIELD

WHEN I bought my current house it came with an adjacent paddock of around 2% acres' land which had rarely been use nor ornament to recent owners due to its steep incline.

My first priority is to make sure the place looks nice by keeping the grass and weeds down but I can't use a large lawnmower or tractor because the land's too steep. I have let it out to the odd farmer or two for short periods but I've always rather hankered after the idea of putting my own animals on there.

My penchant for traceable, good quality food means that I could have a veritable and profitable larder trotting past my window.

So with great excitement I've considered various animals. My first thought was sheep. The idea of being able to supply my own spring lamb and mutton to the restaurants has a certain appeal.

But every time I've told those who know about these things they've looked horrified and beseeched me to think again. Far from being, as I've always thought, the stupidest creatures upon God's Earth, it seems that sheep are remarkably creative and spend their lives thinking of inventive ways to commit suicide - with many of them succeeding at the most inconvenient times. And the fact that I don't work regular hours and can't commit to always being there at set times only makes things more complicated.

So how about goats? Kid curry and rice - which actually sounds like a Seventies pop group - started me salivating until I was told that to stop them getting out I'd have to surround the paddock with a fence of high security prison proportions. Or I'd have to tether them up which rather goes against the grain. We have rare-breed pork on the menu and rearing a few porkers would be wonderful.

However, it seems quite time consuming and therefore probably too much of a commitment. Also, the paddock would become a brown mud bath rather than the lush green oasis I'd prefer.

A local farmer attempted to persuade me to keep alpacas' rather funny but cute looking creatures - not unlike one end of a push-me-pull-you of Doctor Dolittle fame - that originate from the difficult mountainous terrain of South America where grazing isn't the easiest and flat land is at a premium. …

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