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Grantown crofters launching their first book on life at Lynbreck

By Gavin Musgrove

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Lynn and Sandra's book goes on sale today.
Lynn and Sandra's book goes on sale today.

BBC's This Farming Life couple Lynn Cassells and Sandra Baer have launched their first book on their Lynbreck Croft journey from novices to experienced hands.

The pair, who also penned Life on the Croft until recently in the Strathy, shared their experiences of life crofting on their holding by the town at The Pagoda last night.

The Bookmark hosted the launch of 'Our Wild Farming Life: Adventures on a Scottish Highland Croft'.

Lynn and Sandra met while working as rangers for the National Trust in England and soon realised that they shared a dream to live closer to the land.

They bought Lynbreck Croft extending to 150 six years ago with no experience in farming but a huge passion for nature and the outdoors.

They were lured by their desire for a simpler and more sustainable lifstyle.

Now they raise their own animals, grow their own produce and are as self- sufficient as they can be.

Their candid account captures the reality of realising one’s dreams, the moments of doubt, hard work, financial insecurity and rewarding journey towards making a living.

At the centre of their work, is a clear mission to grow, source and eat ethical food.

Their diversification of the business includes tours of the Lynbreck Croft.
Their diversification of the business includes tours of the Lynbreck Croft.

Publishers Chelsea Green state on the book: "From the inauspicious beginning of a few hens laying eggs to sell from an honesty box at the end of their track, Lynn and Sandra eventually bring pigs to work their land and learn to raise Highland cattle.

"Their skills grow daily, from hunting wild deer for their own consumption to butchering and making charcuterie to sell to their local community.

"In addition to the never-ending chores around the farm, Lynn and Sandra apply for grants, write business plans, set up subscription boxes and egg clubs – becoming accomplished entrepreneurs as well as committed farmers.

"Their nature-led approach to farming serves to highlight the shortcomings of our current food system, and the lack of support farmers receive to grow healthy, organic food for their communities. Lynn and Sandra hope this book will go some way to explaining just how much can be gained by understanding and supporting small farmers.

"For anyone interested in how small-scale farms rebuild connections between people and the land, this book is a wonderful, honest, enlightening read from two intrepid women who are living their dream and farming in their own way."

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