Back in October we began a search for four inspirational young farming voices to give us a 'taste of the countryside'.
Here's one of our competition winners, Anna Bowen, talking about a year on the farm. Is it quiet? Is it boring? Read on to find out:
Six years removed from school, the majority of my friends have left Carmarthenshire, drawn away by work and education to the shimmering lights and wider opportunities of cities and larger towns.
When they come home for visits, they almost always say the same things: it’s so quiet; what does everyone do; there’s no diversity; nothing has changed. Most of the time I nod and agree, but are they really right?
Life in the countryside is dictated by the seasons, and although the change is predictable and cyclical, each new month brings with it a change in routine, a new source of adventure.
The shortness of summer is emphasised by the need to make silage repeatedly, while the sun shines and the grass grows. The lambs grow fat and the cows graze, cars lining up on country lanes to let them pass through for milking.
Autumn brings hedges full of sloes for making gin, and the distant roar of harvest. Some of the block calving units knuckle down to the rush of bringing in a new generation of stock. Pheasants grow uneasy at the crack of guns and the excited romping of dogs.
This is my favourite season, when the leaves turn golden and fall like rain, and the mornings are painted with pink and yellow sunrises. Up and down the country, hunters begin to shed their summer fat and the hounds follow their huntsman on his bicycle.
The winter frost is spreading its web across the fields. Our cattle are now in until the days lengthen again. Sheep come down from the mountains to warmer pastures and the rams run for a time with the ewes. The shooting season has filled farm shops and cafes with a bounty of pheasant and partridge.
Saturdays are a haze of port and sausage rolls, followed by fast galloping across ploughed fields and through bare woodland. The mud glistens thick and fat beneath glossy hooves. Hands wave from windows as we pass. The field is a cross-section of society: farmers, landowners, teachers, stay-at-home-mothers, shopkeepers, nurses and businessmen.
And then to spring: the grass growing, the wheat ripening, the rush of calves and the bleat of lambs. My friends in London post their first images of cherry blossom on Instagram; in fruit-growing areas the orchards are full of earth-hugging clouds of white and pink flowers.
The countryside is as diverse and challenging a place as any other. For me, it is a place where I am fortunate to have an exciting and rewarding career, brilliant hobbies and the opportunity to watch the awesome changes of nature.
For others, it is a place with few options, slow broadband, slow buses and grinding poverty. It is a place little understood and much stereotyped, where generations pass without leaving the valley, where memories are long and the weather is king.
The countryside tastes different every season, whether it is a glut of blackberries, spring lamb, the first potatoes, or the slow simmer of a venison casserole. It reflects the diversity of the people who live in it and the agriculture that sustains it.
It is both playground and workhouse, pleasure and poison, wide sky and cell, life and death.
What is there to do in the countryside? Everything.
Follow @annaebee6 for more on her life in the countryside