There is a little part of me which is all Barbara Good and I am a huge fan of the simple things in life. Imagine then my joy when I was invited by Yeo Valley to attend the Mendip Ploughing Match last month, and then imagine how my heart raced when I was asked if I would like to have a go myself!

Heaven in a big red Tonka toy!

Under the guidance of Slim the Tractor Driver I was soon whizzing around the field. I love earth at the best of times and this really was the best of times! Turning over that top layer was like stirring cake, pulling all the ingredients together in preparation for next years crop. Slim told me how each blade of the plough moves independently up and down so if it encounters a stone or rock it can deal with it. I loved the simplicity and this monster is not that far removed from these beauties.

Heavy Horse Ploughing

Look how they are leaning into the harness

Ploughing with heavy horses

I spent the entire day grinning!

This ploughing match has been an annual event since 1858, it is uncommercial and friendly and I loved the characters I encountered. There was a calmness and a sense of community coming together, sharing stories over cider. Lots of cider!  I was very pleased to see that Yeo’s sponsorship of the event was unobtrusive and complimentary.

The vintage tractors, lovingly cared for by their owners were absolutely beautiful!

Vintage Tractor at Mendip Ploughing Match

Some people had evidently trained their animals well – always useful to have a navigator!

Dog on a tractor

I have spent the last two autumns trying to get the perfect furrow picture, if I couldn’t get it here I was going to give up!

The judges examined them closely but to my mind these were obviously a winner – I’m an expert you know, I’ve ploughed a furrow or two!

And now, if you will, let me indulge myself with a few more photos of me, ploughing my own furrow here as I try to do in my everyday life, happily going my own way!

I didn’t win a trophy, my obvious talent went unnoticed by all but Slim and the Yeo Valley team but I walked away from that day with a very full heart. How I’d feel about it early in the morning in a biting wind and driving rain I choose to push to the back of my mind!

With thanks to Yeo Valley for inviting me, I learned a lot from Tim Mead about the miracle which is soil, I can honestly say that Yeo is one of the companies I have most enjoyed working with this year. Everything about them ticks my boxes; they are organic, ethical and nice to boot – and their yoghurt is delicious!

Having ticked a lifelong ambition off my list I’d love to know what simple thing you would most like to do. What would make your heart sing if you were given the chance to have a go?


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