News of farming matters and activities on Tristan da Cunha for the year 2014.
Tristan Economy Section includes : Farming - Fishing - Woollen Industry

Sheep Shearing Day 2014
Report from Dawn Repetto
Photos from Dawn and Tina Glass

Sheep Shearing was held on Saturday 13th December. It was a beautiful day and everyone was at the sheep pen early ready to get started. The sun soon came out and most people were in T-shirts and sunhats. The children were soon running around the pen with their crooks busy catching lambs and the older people knitted and watched on. At around midday everyone came home and got together in their groups and enjoyed braais and cooked meals such as curry, meat pie and plum pudding, this went on until well into the evening.

Sun rises over the mountain heralding a glorious day for shearing
Bakki (pick-up truck), motor-bike or tractor to travel out?
The general scene as Islanders gather at the sheep pen on the Patches Plain

Views of one of the busiest day in the island calendar
as all the island community gets involved
to shear the sheep and provide the precious wool
that will later be carded, spun and knitted
into bespoke garments -

see the Handicrafts section for details

Below: Children get involved catching lambs so they learn skills they will use every year of their lives.

Kelly Burns with her sheep 'Megan' which she raised as a lamb in 2013, now a year on with her own lamb but still looks for and remembers Kelly.

Task nearly done.
Sheep in their smart Christmas outfits after a short back and sides

What a whopper!

Clive Glass (above) and Shane Green (right)
with the bumper pumpkin

Cynthia Green has sent these photos of a giant pumpkin grown at the Potato Patches
by Clive Glass and Shane Green on 25th May 2014 which weighed in at 36.5 kgs

Tristan Farming Scenes from Drew Campbell
PWD Director Drew Campbell took these images in January and February 2014

Above: Sunrise over Hillpiece
looking north from the Patches Plain

Right: Dean "Mc Queen" Repetto
rescuing a sheep stuck in the water trough


Two views across the Tristan pastures of the sun setting. The photo above taken from the Patches Plain shows Inaccessible Island.

Roof goes on Agriculture Building

Photos from Dawn Repetto shows a roof frame being built on the Agriculture Building on Friday 7th February 2014
and below the completed roof on the new extension to the department a few days later.

Annual Calf Marking Trip's late return causes concern
Report from Dawn Repetto
On Wednesday 15th January, some of the island men went to the Caves and Stony Beach to mark calves. This is an annual event which happens in the summer months. Sometimes the guys go by boats and return the same day and sometimes they walk there and spend the weekend.
This boat trip started out like any other but by early afternoon Tristan Radio had not been able to contact any of the men via radio. No one was worried at the time as this sometimes happens. By 6pm that afternoon contact had still not been made and by this time boats going out for the day would be expected to have returned, so the community began to get worried and Administrator Alex Mitham decided to send out the two island RIBS to search for them as a precaution. Within 15 minutes the two RIBs were launched, one going in the westerly direction and one to the east.
By this time many ladies had gathered at the harbour awaiting the return of husbands, sons and brothers, concern grew and still there was no news. Within half an hour the radio message was passed that all was well and the boat was slowly on her way back from Stony Beach. As was tradition, ladies still today visit the harbour when a family member returns from sea with a cold beer or a soft drink. However, on this occasion they all dashed home to get hot drinks and biscuits in readiness for the boats return. At about 7.30pm the boat arrived safely back, there were lots of wet men and wet dogs but spirits were high and the community was relieved at their safe return. Big thanks to the RIB crews who went out at short notice, the island RIBs are a comfort to the island as they can get from a – b very quickly and can be used when weather conditions are not suitable for other boats.

Drawing up a dinghy at
Seal Bay, at The Caves
Cave Point
View across Seal Bay Plateau
looking south-west to Nightingale Island.

Photos from Leo Genin
(above) taken in 2009
and Brian Rogers
(alongside and below) in 2008
show scenes on previous trips
to The Caves.

Approaching Cave Point with a splash


Easing into Seal Bay

Islanders with a young calf at The Caves in 2008