Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Brawl, Farr

Brawl is situated close to the north coast of Sutherland.
The latest crofters at Brawl here share their thoughts with us.  Thank you John and Linda.

Brawl, steeped in history, was in the early days, a township and the characters who once inhabited the area, have left their mark on this remote land with many ruins of houses and byres, surrounding.

It is difficult to describe "Crofting today" whereby, we cannot compare today with yesterday, in crofting, except perhaps that we are not connected to the grid for electricity, nor are we connected to the water supply, but we manage just fine. I suppose it could be said that the old way, the traditional way, the crofters were far greener and eco friendly than many modern crofters are today.

On 21st century Brawl, our lives are intertwined and revolving around our croft, the land, our livestock and the small community in which we live.  Some days are an act of being doggedly determined in the art of survival, other days run smoothly and according to plan, such is the life of ourselves in today's small crofting community.

Relatively new to the area, we are actively working toward a certain amount of self sufficiency, whilst still contributing to the local economy and hopefully being in a position of putting back into the community whatever we can by way of produce and co-operation as is the custom.

What we can write with some certainty is that we do practice some of the more traditional methods of cultivation in as much as most of our work is done by hand as opposed to machinery and although we do not believe in the use of chemicals, our land is fertilized albeit in an organic manner.

For myself, I envy those who were born into crofting, I envy their knowledge of their area, the history and the culture.
Apart from the daily routine of feeding and attending to our horses, sheep and pigs, chickens and geese, to mention but a few, no two days are the same, our work on our croft is young, there is still much to do and with each day passing, small but not insignificant changes are taking shape.

We ourselves are history in the making, we love Brawl which has become our home. We love the crofting way of life and we are living our lives to the full in this remote and special place which has offered us the serenity sought after by many, but truly known by only a few.

As the seasons come and go, the changing colours of the landscape never cease to amaze, the deep reds and browns of autumn, deep purple heather in summer, the novelty of snow in winter and the bright yellow gorse flowers in spring.

Although we can not be considered young, there is a spring in our step as we look forward to waking each and every day. This year we have planted many different crops on land which has laid unimproved for years, it is hard work but it is rewarding too and our croft has become our life.

Any person who has an interest in Brawl, or our croft, or how we work are most welcome to call in and introduce themselves, for our part we shall do our level best to answer any questions they may have.
John & Linda
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