I’m sceptical that the policy makers took any notice of the 43,356 responses received to the health and harmony consultation document. Food production seems to be low priority in the new agriculture bill.

Mr Gove’s focus is on the environment and the likes of Chris Packham and George Monbiot appear to have more influence than country people that work the land. I find it infuriating that often the impression given is that farmers don’t care about our environment. It’s a misleading sentiment.

Did you know that the UK is one of eight countries in the world that spends less than 10% of household income on food. We’re ranked third, the United States and Singapore spend less. Switzerland, Canada, Ireland, Australia and Austria are the other countries on that list. The supermarkets and politicians might be proud of this fact, but I feel concerned that quality and production methods are being compromised, which will have health implications.

“Food is too expensive” I was told recently by someone working in the processing industry. “Rubbish,” I say, “food is undervalued in our modern world.” Those of us working in the food industry should aim to put before the customer quality and fairly priced food. We need a more joined up approach. Why are consumers reluctant to spend their income on food? We all need to eat, make a living, and nurture our planet. Perhaps you think I’m being idealistic.

The breakdown of average total household expenditure is interesting. Food and non alcoholic drink has less money spent on it than (a) transport, (b) housing (net) fuel and power, (c) recreation and culture. This was illustrated to us recently when our son Nigel was contacted and asked if he would model some organic clothing from a well known brand. He was requested to name his fee. Nigel sought advice and came up with an eye watering sum. I was dubious and then astounded when he gleefully announced they’d agreed to pay.

I was absent when the fun and filming took place. I called my husband to find out how it was going. He described Nigel being attended to by makeup artists, while my husband enjoyed chatting with several young Londoners but complained they didn’t understand his Sussex accent. In all a dozen people had arrived in a minibus. Luckily our cattle and sheep weren’t at all camera shy. Mid morning a local restaurant delivered coffee and cooked breakfast, and everyone was happy.

A few weeks later commuters were treated to a full page picture taken of Nigel in our grain store kitted out in said clothing. There were other pictures, an online interview, and a few posts on Instagram. I can only conclude there’s more money in fashion than in farming. Nigel said it was less graft than a days work on the farm, and his bank balance has never looked so good. I swiftly told him he’s not getting those pay rates for farm work.

In a blaze of publicity Chris Packham recently launched “The people’s manifesto for wildlife” which apparently is freely open for future contributions if anyone wants to have a say. There is much in the manifesto which I do not agree with. While they bemoan the decline of hedgehogs and ground nesting birds they are against top predator control. There seems to be no understanding that there’s a connection. There are suggestions of rewilding the uplands and releasing golden eagles, beavers and lynx. We have enough problems with domestic pets attacking our sheep without throwing that lot into the mix!

On the bright side there are some good suggestions including more emphasis on nature within the education system and giving school children outdoor growing facilities and more connection with farmers to give them greater understanding of how food is produced. Another suggestion is for hospitals and hospices to increase access to and provision of “nearby nature” for both patients and relatives. A therapeutic idea: there is much solace to be found observing nature.

Here I’d like to pay tribute to Dave, part of the A&E family: we worked together for many years. After my tendon injury, he called me up saying he’d like to lend a hand and would be round the next day. We set off in Shrek and found some sheep in our corn – getting them out was a mission. I was not good at balancing on one leg, and Dave was weakened by his chemo treatment. While trying to patch the hole in the hedge we both fell over ending in a heap on the ground, laughing at our predicament. Dave said: “look at us, a couple of crocs, let down by our bodies.” He was always fun to work with.

He loved being outside, and before he left that day he helped water my potted oak trees that I’ve nurtured from acorns. I won’t be in market this week because I’ll be at Dave’s funeral. He smoked and he died of pancreatic cancer. He was a brilliant nurse and he leaves a young family. Dave loved nature, so I’m going to plant an oak in his honour: he’d like that. If you smoke, please try to give it up.

“One never knows” is the Pearly Queen’s motto. I learnt this at a recent Farm Women’s club meeting at a scenic local fishery. We were treated to a talk on the history of the iron industry.

Our hostess originated from London, herself a Pearly Queen, so we learnt about their traditions and good work fund raising for children’s charities. The evening ended singing “maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner” which most assuredly I’m not! If anyone wants to join our group they’d be most welcome. Next month it’s harvest festival feast: yum.