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Dave Beans

Rosie Boycott Loses 200k

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-...untry-farm.html

How on earth did she expect to make a profit from only working weekends? I find her patronising towards the full-time farmers who work their arses off for little reward. Its yet another story of some London-folk failing in the real world.

Edited by zagreb78

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-...untry-farm.html

How on earth did she expect to make a profit from only working weekends? I find her patronising towards the full-time farmers who work their arses off for little reward. Its yet another story of some London-folk failing in the real world.

I like this bit...

my publishers gave me a generous advance for my book, Spotted Pigs And Green Tomatoes: A Year In The Life Of A Smallholding, and with those funds I was able to keep the farm afloat. ;)

For these people and the intended readers, their knowledge of "the country" comes entirely from a picture on a biscuit tin.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-...untry-farm.html

How on earth did she expect to make a profit from only working weekends? I find her patronising towards the full-time farmers who work their arses off for little reward. Its yet another story of some London-folk failing in the real world.

It does show up how hard things are for the average farmer.

I don't know why this is off topic, surely this idea that people can make money out of something they know sod all about is one of the marvellous lessons that we have learnt from the property boom.

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No published 'comments' yet. Anyone care to contribute?

Salient points about w/end farming are good. Too much bile will most likely get it 'moderated' out.

IMHO, she's not as bad as that Millard bint.

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its time for the genetically formed herd of cows,,,only need milking between 9 and 5pm weekdays, breaks for tea and lunch, 40 days off a year, with 1 H+S and 1 HR cow in every 25 born.

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I quite like the article and quite like Rosie Boycott. Good resolution in the end turning the walled garden into allotments.

At least she put her money into something real, rather than something elses money into a ponzie scheme. The latter really would have been the City (or townie) approach.

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I've moved this to the main board because I agree with Frank Hovis it encapsulates the townie moneyed attitude towards the countryside. I'll move it back when it drops off the main board but I think it deserves wider readership.

It focuses on the money lost by bad investment. It describes Rosie Boycott as "running the farm" where is fact if you read it - it was her local partner and his family who were there every day working hard. She visited weekends and holidays. She tried to arrange contracts for the food and was Food Advisor to Boris Jonson. She appears to have little knowledge of the cost of feeding and looking after her toy farm and loses money.

Why is this a big story? People with too much money and little knowledge are losing money big time in BTL. shares and ponzi schemes.

It is a pity we don't hear what happens to the working partner who put so much of his life into the venture and how much he lost. Running a smallholding is a 365 day a year job - morning noon and night. Why these people think they can pretend to do it then write a book about it amuses me.

Cheers DB, it wasn't meant to be a whinge about moderation, I was presuming it had been posted OT to start with.

Anybody else think of Marie Antoinette and her pretend farm?

The hameau was small, rustic, and but in essence an ersatz farm (or ferme ornée) meant to evoke a peasant village in Normandy, built on the far side of a landscaped pond.[1] Created in 1783, to designs of the Queen's favoured architect, Richard Mique, the hamlet was complete with farmhouse, dairy, and mill. Here, it was said, the Queen and her attendants would dress as shepherdesses and milkmaids. Particularly docile, hand-picked cows would be cleaned. These cows would be milked by the ladies, with porcelain milk churns painted to imitate wood specially made by the royal porcelain manufactory at Sèvres. These churns and pails featured the Queen's monogram

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hameau_de_la_reine

Edit - comment added along these lines, will appear if they find it funny I suppose.

Edited by Frank Hovis

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1. "The one steady source of income came from vegetables.....[which] were taking a back seat in terms of time and management."

She found out that apparently you need a knowledge of varieties, have to make successional sowings, and regularly weed the whole thing. Takes expertise, time and graft, and weeding is boring.

2. 'What we had soon learned was that cabbages, carrots and the standard types of vegetables don't command much of a premium unless they are very young or produced very early in the season. '

Absolutely anyone on any allotment knows this.

Ahhh! The old daydream that you can make money from an acre of land.

A hour's prior conversation with any local with a productive kitchen garden or allotment would have saved her £200K.

Islington dinner table fantasies expensively collide with horticultural realities.

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She may have made money out of the venture taking books, articles, guest speaker, food advisor roles into account.

Good point.

I'm tempted to spend six months doing something I'm guaranteed to fail at, in order to cash in on the spin-offs.

Keep your eye out for my forthcoming book 'Where?!! A Blind Man's Year as 'Look-Out' on a Whaler'

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It focuses on the money lost by bad investment. It describes Rosie Boycott as "running the farm" where is fact if you read it - it was her local partner and his family who were there every day working hard. She visited weekends and holidays. She tried to arrange contracts for the food and was Food Advisor to Boris Jonson. She appears to have little knowledge of the cost of feeding and looking after her toy farm and loses money.

Well she subsidised a real farmer, nothing wrong with that. After all, we all do it as apart of the CAP.

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Seems Rosie's relationship with the guy who actually did the work - the farm manager - is now less than happy...

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle6727529.ece

Good spot.

To smooth their way, the couple recruited David Bellew to manage the farm. Last week, however, it emerged that Bellew, who is listed as a director and shareholder of Dillington Park Nurseries, has fallen out with Boycott and moved on to another job.

A local shop owner said: “David worked his fingers to the bone. He was the unsung hero. Yes, Rosie financed it, but it was David’s expertise that got it off the ground and kept it going. He came very close to pulling it off.â€

Bellew refused to elaborate on the acrimony this weekend. “With hindsight I wish I had never got involved,†he said. “Ironically, I’m better for the experience. I’ve learnt the true value of things and people.â€

When asked about the farm’s collapse and her relationship with Bellew, Boycott referred inquiries to her lawyers at Harbottle & Lewis, a firm which acts for the Prince of Wales, Kate Moss and David and Victoria Beckham.

The lawyers sought to deflect a series of questions from The Sunday Times and threatened to sue on grounds of privacy, citing the European Convention on Human Rights. :lol: :lol:

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She tried to maintain a living for her husband, herself and business partner on 8 acres :o I'm amazed that someone with such a basic lack of competence could be given a £20k a year job as a "Food Tsar".

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Seems Rosie's relationship with the guy who actually did the work - the farm manager - is now less than happy...

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle6727529.ece

Since taking up the role, for which she is paid up to £20,000-a-year, Boycott has been busy drawing up plans to convert unused plots of land in London, including the roof of the Hayward art gallery, into public vegetable patches.

Isn't that what Hugh F-W's landshare project is doing for free?

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I find her patronising towards the full-time farmers who work their arses off for little reward.
...Or pay someone else to do that for them while they count the subsidies they're getting and go to the nearest livestock market where they can go in the bar and compare notes with other farmers about how useless their workers are!

There are lots of part-time hobby farmers who do make a go of it - there must be a modern equivalent of the 'Fergie and 5 acres' smallholders of yore.

Edited by blankster

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She tried to maintain a living for her husband, herself and business partner on 8 acres :so I'm amazed that someone with such a basic lack of competence could be given a £20k a year job as a "Food Tsar".

NuBrit and SarahBell - I couldn't agree more with you both. I'm currently 6 months into sorting out a large overgrown garden locally that I got through the Landshare website. Full-time librarian lady owner has half of it down to flowers and shrubs, but rest became brambled wilderness. Oddly enough, it was once a small nursery. It's half-tidy now, and I'm now pulling carrots, beet, courgettes, purple-topped turnips, french and broad beans. 30 tomato plants looking good.

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There are lots of part-time hobby farmers who do make a go of it - there must be a modern equivalent of the 'Fergie and 5 acres' smallholders of yore.

I'm sue you can make a go of it, in some senses. But not a full time living. And certainly not when you are trying to claw back a huge capital outlay on a place you're not living on. Rosie's hopefully learned that the real money in vegetables comes from having desirable produce earlier or later than anyone else. And that takes a hell of a lot of skill (not to mention heating), considering supermarket imports put almost everything on earth that's edible into the supermarkets all year round.

The organic sector is contracting during this recession, not helped by a recently widely publicised survey that organic stuff has no extra nutritional value over 'standard' vegetables.

Selling 'premium' products is going to get harder, not easier.

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Doesn't make sense - you can't make reasonable money from pigs unless you grow your own feed - or get a contract with someone nearby who gives you a good price - or run a massive factory unit. She was buying in feed? Joker. Didn't even make sense when feed costs were low.

How big was her farm, why were set-up costs so high? You can't lose money on a farm with half a brain - if you're not putting the land price into the equation. She definitely didn't need a manager. That was all her profit straight out the window.

Edited by gruffydd

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I see she had 8 acres. She should've (1) Put up a load of polytunnels and raised beds - grown all year round salad and other high value veg, herbs and flowers. Sold direct where possible and to local caterers. Chickens and pigs should've been a sideline - (I would've avoided dealing with pigs - other than growing a couple for my own consumption) and she should've grown some of her own fodder.

I know people who make livings off 5 acres and less by growing salad veg. It is possible. Doesn't cost much to set up.

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NuBrit and SarahBell - I couldn't agree more with you both. I'm currently 6 months into sorting out a large overgrown garden locally that I got through the Landshare website. Full-time librarian lady owner has half of it down to flowers and shrubs, but rest became brambled wilderness. Oddly enough, it was once a small nursery. It's half-tidy now, and I'm now pulling carrots, beet, courgettes, purple-topped turnips, french and broad beans. 30 tomato plants looking good.

I think we got toms to pick today, cabbages for sure, broad beans galore.

Tried some rats tail radish but that's too chewy now *(very amazing stuff - mr fothergils sell it) - you eat the seed pods not the root! (Am letting it go to seed now for next year!) - look like chilis a bit.

This awful weather will increase the weeds though...

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I have said it several times before on here...

Here in Wales there is an almost endless procession of women from the SE who, having made loads of money, decide that they want to live 'The Good Life' and end up either chasing nice but dim Welsh small-holders or buying a small-holding themselves.

Sometimes it is couples but usually it is women of a certain age, of a certain marital background (divorce) and who have more money than sense.

It always ends up the same way - in disaster - and usually lasts a few years at most.

A friend of mine ended up dating a woman who was a senior exec in a national newspaper - earning 200K basic plus perks and bonuses - and she decided to give it all up to become a 'dutiful' housewife on a Gower small-holding. It lasted about 18 months and now she back wheeling and dealing in the big smoke.

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...Or pay someone else to do that for them while they count the subsidies they're getting and go to the nearest livestock market where they can go in the bar and compare notes with other farmers about how useless their workers are!

There are lots of part-time hobby farmers who do make a go of it - there must be a modern equivalent of the 'Fergie and 5 acres' smallholders of yore.

This is true, we have a family friend who works his small holding weekends and evenings/early mornings depending. Its all livestock though which may or may not be relevant but then he is from a farming family with a farming background with lots of contacts, favours to call in and suchlike in farming community.

Its a hobby to him but he isn't really what I'd call a hobbyist as such.

Still technically he is a weekend farmer who does better than break even.

Edited by Cogs

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I see she had 8 acres. She should've (1) Put up a load of polytunnels and raised beds - grown all year round salad and other high value veg, herbs and flowers. Sold direct where possible and to local caterers. Chickens and pigs should've been a sideline - (I would've avoided dealing with pigs - other than growing a couple for my own consumption) and she should've grown some of her own fodder.

I know people who make livings off 5 acres and less by growing salad veg. It is possible. Doesn't cost much to set up.

The trouble is that acres of polytunnels (with overhead irrigation systems) doesn't quite fit in the the dinner party daydream of collecting a basket of brown eggs in the sun from clucking, contented hens; or cuddling an oh-so cuddly piglet for the camera.

Townspeople often have a dream based on a rural life that never existed, except in The Darling Buds of May. No coincidence that's the book mentioned by Paul McGann in Withnail, on meeting suspicion and hostility from a farming crone, while that cold country rain keeps pissing down.

Withnail and I, An American Werewolf in London, Jean de Florette and The Seige of Trenchers Farm (Straw Dogs) should be required viewing/reading to counterbalance the 'biscuit tin lid' view of the country! :lol::lol:

Edited by juvenal

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