Recharging our batteries – 4….

by David

20121002_29….took us next on our annual sabbatical deep into Cornwall….land of Doc Martin…and Poldark…and Juliet Cleave.  Juliet’s infectious high spirits captivated us on our very first bus ride in the area.  (she was the local tour director) So it was pre-ordained that we’d invite her and her husband, Chris, to join our Traditional Devon™ group.

20150612_231Speaking of Poldark, the Cleaves relationship is straight out of a BBC romance.  For years they cast longing glances across the stone walls separating their two family farms.  Finally, after too many years of delay, Juliet got up enough nerve to embolden Chris to propose.

Their Kew Herd has blossomed, too, and is now one of the premier operations in English Devon country.20150612_222  One reason is a string of outstanding bulls from Tilbrook, Ashott Barton and the late Ken Farmer’s Bywood herd.  We’ve had our eye on Bywood Cracker for some time but unfortunately that dreaded Schmallenburg virus turned up in his bloodstream, too, and that kills any chance for export.

The disease itself has run its course and the animals infected are now immune.  But health officials in the US still are not ready to give the green light.  They want to see “more history”.20150612_249

Meanwhile, Juliet and Chris continue to produce outstanding young calves for domestic sale only.  And we can only hope that someday, a Cracker son will pass the health exam. We keep vacationing at Kew until they do!