I am Sarah, married to Jimmy since 2002. We have three children - Ellie is 14, Harry is 11 and Oscar is 6. I also have a step son Tom, who is 18 and we are trying to train him up to help on the "farm!"
We live in a lovely village near Stowmarket in Suffolk, on our 1.5 acre smallholding. Jimmy has been breeding pigs for over 3 years now, and we keep a few sheep - 2 gave birth last year and it was fun raising their lambs. We like to fill our freezer with fresh, home reared meat, and do sell the surplus to friends and family. We also have piglets available for sale throughout the year. I did keep hens and ducks, but we suffered a nasty fox attack a while back, and I am yet to replace them (also the hen house needs some repairs and fox proofing!). I have 3 pet rabbits and of course my wonderful dogs Max, Polly, Sookie and now Lola too. We took up beekeeping in 2015 and we have 3 hives setup, two of which have bees in. We have harvested 3 lots of honey so far, and on nice days it can be found for sale at the front of our drive.
A couple of years ago we also tried our hands at raising turkey for the table, and our Christmas dinner was delicious!
Jim likes to grow fruit and veg, although he is having a break from it in 2017, it's wonderful to have so much space to fit everything in! You can read more about our smallholding on our Lynton Farm website.
Above is a photo of Max looking down our garden to the chicken house on his left and the stable where our pigs farrow. When we moved here in Dec 2012, none of the land was visible, it was all covered in brambles! Jim has worked very hard over the last couple of years, and my once computer nerdish, slightly geeky husband has changed into a farmer!
Above is a photo of Jim and me at Bressingham in Aug 2014.
Since I started this website, we have added a different dog breed to the family. Jim has always wanted a bigger dog, and has found his ideal breed in the Komondor. They are a large Hungarian working breed, bred for guarding sheep from wolf attacks. They are fiercely loyal, protective and loving, but they have a lazy side too! My usually shy husband is in his element when talking about his dogs - Trixie is the eldest (2 in July) and Buddy is the tallest (2 in September). Jim has been trying his hand at showing Buddy, and they are very excited to have won their class at Crufts this year!
Jim has recently joined the committee for The Komondor Club of GB and he is also the new Website Editor. He hopes to breed his first litter of komondors in 2018.
Below are a selection of photos of our pets, children and garden.
Once upon a time, I assumed I would never be able to have a dog of my own, due to severe allergies that we discovered when I was just a child - we had to re-home our labrador cross Ben, and I was devastated.
My husband Jimmy, grew up with dogs, and kept mentioning that he would like one, which made me feel awful as I had to say no... until the discovery of the cockapoo, thanks to a Facebook friend...
To cut a long story short, I came across Jukee Doodles, liked what I saw, and reserved my now, not so little Max, before he was even born. It was love at first sight, and he is now my shadow, my friend, my companion and I can't imagine life without a dog now. I have had no allergy issues with him at all, and this still amazes me! The CCGB was born shortly after Max's arrival, and I am very proud to have been a part of it since then.
It was a short while later, that we decided to get 'poo no. 2, so I went back on JD's list. Polly Pea came into our lives in January 2013, just after we had moved house from a new build in a town, on an estate, to a large but neglected, detached house in a quiet village with around 1.5 acres of land, mostly covered in brambles! We worked hard on the house and garden, and finally it seemed a now or never sort of time to have our first litter of puppies.
Polly came into season at the end of May 2015, so off we went to Jukee Doodles, where Polly had a dirty week with Nike the super stud, and her beautiful puppies were born on Thursday 30th July, the day before my CCGB Breeder inspection!
I am still delighted to have been Approved, and take our Club Code of Ethics very seriously. That was my first litter, and was very much a learning experience, but it was an amazing one, and I am so very proud of my beautiful girl, she is such a wonderful mum!
We then welcomed the arrival of Sookie from Jukee Doodles in November 2015. Sookie is a red sable F1 cockapoo and she slotted into our family as if she had always lived here. She is small for the breed, so it will be interesting to see what size puppies she produces.
The later generations of cockapoos fascinate me, as do the genetics in any litter, and I hope to enjoy my hobby, for a good few years to come. Of course the health and welfare of my dogs always comes first!