‘This Farming Life’; Friends, crofting and BBC 2’s new programme


TFL Tolsta_smlLate summer time every year, I receive a delivery of mutton and beef from the Outer Hebrides. I always look forward to the delivery, not just because of delicious naturally reared meats it brings, but because it is also a chance to see Sandy Granville, my friend who drives all the way from the Isle of Lewis to deliver it.

I first met Sandy several years ago when I stayed on the Hebridean croft run by him and his wife Ali. Wonderfully welcoming and warming the Granville’s soon made me feel at home, even though the croft was a world away from the kind of agriculture a southerner like me is used to! I was soon feeding the croft hens and pigs from the community pig club and enjoying the Leòdhas or Lewis crofting ways.

TFL Feeding the hens (sml)Barristers turned crofters, the Granville’s have quiet a story to tell, and sharing home cured meats and hearty meals around the dinner table, I would laugh heartedly with Ali & Sandy as the tales were told. It was clear from the outset that Sandy is what most people call a ‘character’ but I think of him more as a rock star of the crofting world 😉 So it was no surprise to me when the media became interested in him. However it was a bit of a surprise to get a phone call from Sandy telling me that with my next meat delivery he would also be bringing a camera crew.

TFL Film crewOne Saturday in September I found myself making tea for Sandy and his team as we discussed animal welfare, sustainable food and mutton that Sandy raises through ‘sea shepherding’. The filming forms part of a new prime-time BBC 2 programme called ‘This Farming Life’ that starts this Monday (07/03/16) and was filmed over the course of a year following life on five farms around Scotland, including the Granville croft. I don’t want to tell you too much or it will spoil the programme! However I will say that if you want to learn about crofting or just find out more about the Hebrides, you will not be disappointed in watching.

And…. if after watching you get a taste for the Hebridean way of farming you too can order mutton meats from the Granville croft by ordering on-line here. Or better still you can visit the Tolsta Chaolais croft on the beautiful Isle of Lewis for yourself.

TFL Feeding the pigs

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13 Responses to ‘This Farming Life’; Friends, crofting and BBC 2’s new programme

  1. Is it possible to order a DVD of this great documentary.
    Thank you in advance.
    Kind regards,
    Nico Werkhoven

  2. Paul Johnson says:

    Interesting programme farming life, bit of a shock to hear ali has like me has m s , bet husband could tell a few stories of criminal life

  3. Carolyn says:

    I’ve just noticed that someone has been uploading these episodes to youtube.

  4. Kath Macleod says:

    Go sandy! To see the difference in care needs for old hardy breeds and over engineered modern sheltered animals was a shock. Cattle and sheep wintered on sheds fed supplements in the name of production compared to outside all weather self grazing and exercised beasts took me back to my young days. I applaud the co operative and other crafters who walk to the beat of nature, the right breeds for the environment with the best hands off care. AND the meat is delicious!!

  5. Sandy newlyn says:

    Fantastic Programming, we would love to rent Sandy’s holiday Cottage but can not find it listed. Please can you help?

  6. Fiona Pownall says:

    I just loved this Farming Life. Real people are so interesting and it is such a refreshing change from the usual not very inspiring programmes we get.
    Good luck to these dedicated people and Sybil will find a person to take over, who is as dedicated as she and George are. In another life it could have been me.

  7. Lynn jackson says:

    How do you make a order of sandy thank you

  8. Lynn jackson says:

    No comments

  9. Sheena Bannatyne says:

    is it possible to buy a dvd of the second series of This Farming Life broadcast on BBC 2

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