Rufus Denne, 28, is producing a monthly diary of what life is like on his family’s farm in Nash. With one episode out now, we caught up with Rufus to learn more about why he’s filming his experience.
On a farm in Nash, Sarah has found a husband for one of the geese in her flock, Crystal.
“Everyday I have days when I am so despondent and I’m so tired and I think I can’t do another thing,” Sarah laments.
“Then there’s days when things like that give me so much pleasure they just put a smile on my face. The silliest things - that’s Edward and Crystal.”
Edward, a prize-winning bird, is welcome company for Crystal the African Goose, who has spent far too long with suitors that weren’t to her tastes.
Their touching first moments together have been documented by Sarah’s son Rufus, a 28-year-old web designer and filmmaker, whose company Talk To Flank are producing monthly ten-minute videos, throughout 2018, to show what life is like down on the farm.
Rufus explained: “Mum’s an interesting woman, when she’s in the right frame of mind she’s very outgoing but being at the farm I think she’s often stuck in her own little world.
“I really didn’t brief her on what it was we wanted to do. I just wanted to make a video and she really like the idea of that.”
“Small farmers aren’t represented very well in the traditional media and that’s the whole objective from our side is to paint another picture of what farming is because it’s looked at as quite a savage industry with all the factory farming”
Rufus is very clear: he’s not here to make a political point, or much of a point at all beyond showing the hard work his mum puts into the farm.
“I’m not there to fight any points, or give any message beyond making it clear how hard my mum works and how much she cares about the animals, and that will come out without a script or anything.
“There’s a huge imbalance between what people think farming is and what farming can be too.
“You’d be hard struck to find people that care more about the animals than my mum and the farmers that she knows. If there’s one stuck in a hedge late at night shes driving there to help.”
“All we’re here to do is paint an honest picture, of another world, that people aren’t shown a lot.”
In January’s installment, the series’ first episode, Rufus introduces his mum, who has worked tirelessly on the family farm from the age of 14, and she invites his crew along with her to witness, and take part in, a day’s work.
Together they feed iodine to the cows, transport bales of hay, shift a hen coop from out of the mud, and bring Crystal and Edward together in an act of feathery matchmaking.
When transporting the lovebirds back to the farm, Sarah places Crystal on Rufus’ lap and instructs him to “hold her neck like that and talk to her, talk to her like you love her.”
Rufus, a self-described ‘country boy turned city boy’ who admits that he is not a farming expert, thinks that his mum’s personality shines through in a way he wasn’t expecting.
He said: “It’s funny because when I was editing it up with friends everyone was saying “how is she good on camera” and it’s great how normal she is
“It’s really quite bizarre how natural my mum is, it’s exactly how she is off-camera which is why my family really enjoyed it: an exact depiction of the nonsense that goes on at the farm.”
The family have been running the farm ever since it was handed down by Rufus’ great-grandfather, and Rufus’ grandfather, who retired in his eighties, and mother have spent their entire lives keeping it going.
Now Rufus and his three brothers, Marcus, 29, Barnabus, 26, and Simeon, 24, are learning more about the family tradition.
“Mum’s the only hardcore farmer in the family,” Rufus explained, “and I think she’s the hardest worker I know, lots of people consider themselves workhorses but when it comes to lambing time mum’s on call 24/7 and has been for 30, 40 years.
“My brothers and I, we’ve all taken a different route but that doesn’t mean we don’t all have an intrinsic love for the land and everything that’s going on, it means a lot to the family.
“I’m definitely discovering things as we go along. I’m asking questions in the video, not because I’m wanting to get answers for the series but because I’m genuinely curious.
“I’m learning more, I don’t know the ins and outs but I’m certainly growing and understanding as the viewers are.”
With eleven more episodes to go, Rufus is sure the next installments will be as enlightening as the first, with plenty more funny anecdotes and touching moments to come.
If you’d like to watch along and keep up to date with the broadcasts, head to www.talktoflank.com/farm/