It’s a time of year I usually struggle with, which I willingly share in these pages because I’m keenly aware it is a feeling experienced by many, particularly in the farming community.
In her monthly column, Jo Mackenzie writes about life on one of the few remaining dairy farms in the north of Scotland
Some readers may recall from previous columns that Halloween is a pretty big deal in our household. And this year, we have embraced All Hallows’ Eve even more so by making October a month-long celebration of the spooky festival.
As much as it feels sad to say goodbye to summer, I love the change in season with the crisper weather and the fiery autumnal colours (The rain, not so much).
For as long as I’ve known my other half (almost 17 years), I’ve been keenly aware that farms and working in agriculture is dangerous.
It’s hard to believe we are almost into week three of the school holidays already.
May is fast turning into another busy month on the farm, at school and on the home front.
We are all very excited – the vending machine has arrived! We are now eagerly awaiting delivery of our branded glass bottles.
I have a new job. Well, kind of.
As for most people, I’m sure, with the new year comes new ideas, plans, projects and routines here at Rootfield.
It’s pumpkin time again, which always delights me and the girls.
It’s hard to believe it is September already but the cooler, wetter weather of late feels decidedly autumnal with the long hot summer all but a distant memory.
Somewhat unexpectedly, the summer holidays have flown by.
Thanks to the incredible sunny weather of late, Nick is delighted to have his first-cut silage in and covered.
This month in the farmhouse, we have been in full-on fete mode.
Our particular spot in the Highlands may have escaped the snow during the big freeze recently, but we weren’t immune to the sub zero temperatures.
Earlier this month, Nick attended the launch of our local Food Assembly in nearby market town Dingwall.
Confession: we did not get around to making sea buckthorn ice-cream as previously billed last column.
It's official: Rootfield has gone robotic.
It is all go on the farm just now.
It may be my memory playing tricks on me, but for several years now we have enjoyed fantastic weather over the Easter break. I certainly have photographs of Daisy since age three in a paddling pool at home, on the beach at Findhorn and, last year, playing lawn games at my Mum and Stepdad's in Cromarty.
I recently discovered a book by the Japanese professional tidier, Marie Kondo, and have been decluttering the farmhouse ever since.
Last time I mentioned that the future of dairying would appear to be going robotic. It is the way we are going here at Rootfield and if the level of demand for leading robot manufacturer Lely's machines are anything to go by, so are many other British dairy farms.
When the sheep arrive at Rootfield from my father-in-law's Essich sheep holding outside of Inverness, high above Loch Ness, it always signals the start of winter here at the farm.
I am usually a big fan of the "staycation" - no hanging around airports, no changing currency and no worrying about squeezing into a bathing suit - but its success for me rather hinges on the great British weather, which has thus far not been so great.
For the first time in my 20-year writing career, I had to ask for an extension on my deadline this month because the Easter holidays were so hectic.
Since becoming a mother almost five years ago, I have come to realise that dairy farming is a bit like parenting - for my husband, that is.