Organic Jerseys and Onward

August 7th, 2010 by Kim

           –UK Vacation continued

Classic Herd Farm Shop

Saying hello to Classic calves, store building in the background.

Our final visit on the Isle of Jersey was Friday evening at the Classic Herd, owned by Darren & Julie Quenault.  We were sent their way by our very talkative & entertaining hostess Victoria, who likes to buy their dairy products as often as she can.  She said the other breeders on the island view Darren as a bit of a renegade, because he has chosen to not sell through the RJ dairy board, but sells all the farm products directly to the consumer at their Farm Store.

A view of the herd on pasture.

We showed up at the farm right around evening milking time and first snooped through the store checking out all the wonderful goodies.  We asked around a bit, and were finally pointed to Julie, who was able to round up Darren to show us the herd.  He’s a very nice, down-to-earth dairy farmer with an intentional, thought-out, pragmatic approach to what he’s doing.  He has come to grips with the fact that he’s the outsider, but is doing what he believes in. When we mentioned that we had met Derrick at the LeFeuvre’s, he commented that he “definitely wouldn’t have been invited to that”.

A very nice looking young cow.

He has gone to organic production, with his cows being mainly grass-fed, plus some silage, and he’s trying to avoid having to buy in large quantities of feed. 

After finishing their milk buckets, these two heifers started licking off each other's chins.

He has 60 cows, and admits that his production is lower than it would be with conventional methods & a larger herd, but he feels he has as many cows as his current pasture will support.  He was able to give us some good breeding tips & what to look for in good conformation when buying.

A closer view of the castle as we leave St. Helier by ferry.

 

 

Planes, Trains and….the Ferry 

Saturday morning we had breakfast, packed up & said good-bye to Sarah & Victoria, and headed down to the harbor at St. Helier for our travel day.  We took the fast ferry to Poole, England, which only took about 4 hrs. compared to the overnight, slow ferry.  It had a couple decks for cars, and a couple for people.  We ended up on the upper level with the nice seating. 

The harbor on Guernsey.

It was a rather nice trip across the channel, with a stop at Guernsey to let some people off & some new passengers on. 

This big boat leaves quite a wake.

After landing in Poole,  we took a cab to the train station and continued on to London by rail.  We checked in at The Mad Hatter Hotel then went downstairs to the Pie & Ale restaurant for a wonderful dinner.  Being exhausted at this point and finding cities quite distasteful, I was quite happy to go to bed early and see nothing more in London than the backs of my eyelids!

Sunday Best

Our first view of England - almost there!

We slept in Sunday morning, then meandered by foot & bus (yes, double decker) across London to the Old Dominion Theatre.  It’s a working live theater through the week, but on Sunday, Hillsong Church London meets there for their 4 services.  We arrived in time for the 1:00 service.  WOW!!  They’re big on technology, yes, but what amazed me the most was how quickly I was swept into the presence of God, and surprised by the intensity of the sorrow & longing – I miss this!  All I could do was weep the whole way through the worship.

The worship at Hillsong was amazing.

After the sevice, I ended up waiting for Jeff near the “Connection Point”, while he went to the “loo”.  I was very soon greeted & “accosted” by Debbie.  She invited us to join her & her husband Neil for lunch, which we did.

Sunday morning in front of the Old Dominion.

  We all went to the shop down the street & bought sandwiches & stuff for lunch, then walked to the park.  There were groups from the church scattered all over the lawn, fellowshipping & eating.  We had a nice chat, but of course, they brought up the subject of our home church.  So, we ended up sharing some of our pain & disappointment with these complete, but caring, strangers.

Lunch in the park with Hillsong members.

Early evening, we finally got to the airport to fetch a rental car and set off across the countryside.  It was a beautiful drive, and we arrived late in Bledffa, Wales at our next lovely little B&B, Lower Fishpools Cottage.  Owner/hostess Jenny was still up to meet us & settle us in for the next part of our adventure.

But I’ll tell you about our time in Wales next week.

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