Rock & Roll Farming with Michael Blanche
Tonight I’m delighted to be heading up to Perthshire in Scotland to talk to farmer, consultant, and host of the Pasture Pod Podcast Michael Blanche @totallyewesome
We start off with talking about how the hell he developed an interest in farming, given he’s the son of an accountant and a teacher, and how he got his first sheep and a tractor at the tender age of 3.
We discuss how he went from being an almost beret-wearing English student, to being a tweed underpants wearing REALM student at Harper Adams, and how this in turn led to a job in land agency.
We go into why ultimately this wasn’t for him, and the next step which was working as a farm advisor for SAC, before talking about his first steps into the zany World of sheep farming, which was partly inspired by a life changing trip to Wales.
We talk about the initial challenges, and how in the first five years he TRAVELLED THE EQUIVALENT OF TWICE AROUND THE WORLD (?!) to see his sheep, and also the heartbreak of being repeatedly turned down for farm tenancies.
We hear at length about his Nuffield scholarship ‘The Farming Ladder’, and how the experiences he had, and 1st generation farmers he met from all around the World, changed his outlook and increased his determination and need to farm even more.
We also talk about how eventually, at the 8th time of asking he secured a tenancy, and just two months later had just £500 cash available for a 500 acre farm. We also of course discuss the fantastic Pasture Pod Podcast, why pasture pumps him up, and his bedroom shrine to me.
All this and lots, lots more. People take the piss out of me for overusing the word ‘inspirational’ in my podcast interviews, but I don’t care – Michael Blanche is a truly inspirational man, and it was a pleasure, as well as great fun, to talk to him tonight..