Wendy Clarke, Dargle resident and editor of the Drakonteur newspaper visited Sarah March recently and wrote this account of her morning.
“My hair got moo-sed by one of Sarah March’s calves.”
I sat down on the grass in a field on Sarah March’s farm in the Dargle. She had been telling me for a few weeks to come and do this, but eventually it was our newly appointed tour guide, Myra Glover, who “took the bull by the horns” and dragged us out to meet the heifers. And I was blown away. You see, I’m no farmer and I don’t know much about farm animals – and I certainly didn’t expect them to act like a pack of playful puppies – but the minute that long tongue curled itself around a lock of my hair and started chomping … I was in love.
And immediately I also totally understood Sarah’s obsession with her cows. “Cover girl” Sarah stands at about 6ft 2 barefoot, which is quite intimidating, even for most men, and yet her animals aren’t intimidated at all. Which is understandable, because behind that tough physical exterior beats a heart of gold. Watching her lying on the grass with her dogs snuggled alongside her, and her cows munching contentedly close by, I can’t help but admire this “self-made woman”.
Apparently when Sarah bought the farm it was a mess. It was covered in wattle and had no buildings on it other than an abattoir. (That alone would have put me off!) But undaunted, and all on her own, with the exception of two farm labourers, she removed the wattle and cleared the fields. She then built herself a lovely home and bought some beautiful cows.
To look at her delightful farm today, it is difficult to imagine how it once looked. It is the quintessential small farm; a very neat homestead in lush green fields full of fat and happy cows. By far the prettiest and neatest farm in our small valley. The sort of place that instantly reminds me of rural England and gives me a warm thrill every time I look down at it from my home further up the hill.
But its Sarah’s affinity with her cows that most impresses me. I must admit I once looked at her very cynically when she told me she didn’t need a herdsman because she “talked” to her cows. So, to witness her walking onto her land and whistling, like one would for dogs, and see all her cows come running to her, was a truly sublime experience. She then started walking towards the paddock that she wanted them in – and they followed!
But as if running the farm on her own isn’t enough, Sarah also works as a rep for a specialist animal feed company. A truly remarkable woman!