Family Starting New Life Farming On Bryher
A family who have dreamed of farming in Scilly have started their new life on Bryher this month.
And for Ruth Eggins, it’s going to be a far cry from her previous job working as a nurse in North Devon.
Ruth and husband Graham have taken over the tenancy of Hillside Farm.
They’ve been visiting Scilly with their children for the past 14 years and during their trip over last year they saw the advert for the farm.
Graham comes from a farming family and had a successful career on a farm in Devon before the move.
Ruth says it had always been their ambition to have a smallholding and live a more sustainable life.
So she said the vacancy on Bryher was a chance to combine their love of the islands with their dream.
Ruth says they spent a long time discussing the move and took the views of their three children – Sam 9, Lizzy 7 and Martha aged 5 – into account, although she says they’re all thrilled at the change in their life.
The children visited the Tresco and Bryher School and met with teachers and pupils earlier this year.
And Ruth says they’re loving going to lessons on a boat each morning!
She says the farm is a chance for her and Graham to work together as a couple and to spend more time together as a family.
And they’re hoping to keep up the high standard achieved by previous owners Paul and Ruth Jenkins.
Ruth says the veg stall is very popular with islanders and visitors and they want to add to that, with more soft fruits like raspberries and strawberries as well as fresh herbs.
And they have big plans for livestock, including introducing saddleback pigs.
Four North Devon cows with calves will also be brought over next year to start beef production on the island.
They’ll take it slowly in the first year and see how things go, before growing, she says.
Ruth says she’s also hoping to continue her health profession, doing some work as a practice nurse at the Health Centre on St Mary’s.
Many people who have made huge changes in their lives often write novels about their experiences.
Ruth says while she has no plans to do this just yet, she has been keeping a diary of the ups and downs of their move to Scilly and might just put pen to paper in the future.