A MONMOUTHSHIRE farm hit the screens last night, as the first episode of Escape To The Farm with Kate Humble premiered on Channel Five.

In the 45-minute programme - the first of a four-part series - presenter Ms Humble welcomed viewers to the 117-acre Humble by Nature farm, in Monmouthshire, and gave us a peek inside the reality of farm life in 2020.

Here's what we learned:

  • A pig pregnancy can be a complicated thing.

The star of the show was Sausage, a pregnant pig, who needed a helping hand (literally) with delivering her piglets.

South Wales Argus:

Kate Humble with Sausage the pig. Picture: Escape To The Farm/Channel Five

We learned how the best sows have large litters of piglets, which is why farmers will select ones with at least 12 teats to ensure they can feed all their little ones.

Like humans, pigs can also encounter issues with giving birth (even if they have done it before), so farmers cannot be scared to get their hands dirty (or their arms for that matter).

  • Pigs smell different depending on where they're from

Apparently Welsh pigs smell like biscuits.

  • Dry stone walls sometimes need patching up

The show also shows other less exciting aspects of farm life, such as maintenance. A stone wall was deteriorating and, similarly to the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, cows has noticed the weak point.

We saw Ms Humble, her husband Ludo Graham, and deadpan dry wall expert Ken Young work together to repair the damage.

The end product is more beautiful than bricks and cement, and - thanks to Mr Young's wall engineering know-how - will likely stand for at least another 100 years.


  • Most fish caught by fishermen live to splash another day

We also saw Ms Humble explore other parts of Monmouthshire. She joined a fisherman looking for brown trout in part of the River Usk. It was certainly not her forte - she didn't get a nibble, but he has more luck.

Perhaps surprisingly, we learned this particular fisherman releases most of his catches back into the river – he seemed to enjoy the calming aspect of fishing, catching, checking the health of, then releasing back into the water.

We also saw how anglers develop an in-depth knowledge of a specific stretch of river and focus on that area. Plus, the lures don’t necessarily injure the fish; the fisherman caught a trout and, upon release, the fish showed no distress or pain.

  • Mills just keep on turning

The episode also featured a trip to a nearby mill - showing us how it uses water to create renewable power, which is used to make flour. This seemed to highlight the importance of our environment and taught viewers there are more options energy options than just electricity.

  • The wonders of nature are all around us

The main lesson of the episode seemed to be that being at one with nature can be grounding and soothing, with Ms Humble showing off her favourite part of Humble By Nature farm: a mighty oak tree, believed to be around 600 years old.

South Wales Argus:

Kate Humble's favourite part of the 117-acre farm is an ancient oak tree. Picture: Escape To The Farm/Channel Five

  • You don't have to go far to get everything you need for a delicious meal

The programme also showed the value of simple recipes and locally sourced produce, with Ms Humble offering easy recipes for bread and trout.

We learned that yeast isn't always needed to cook bread and that cooking doesn't have to be complicated; Kate Humble said it herself: "If I can make it anyone can."

South Wales Argus:

Kate Humble cutting her homemade bread (Picture: Escape To The Farm/Channel Five)

Escape To The Farm with Kate Humble is a four-part series. Below are the dates and times for the next three episodes which are on Channel Five:

  • Tuesday October 20 at 9pm
  • Tuesday October 27 at 9pm
  • Tuesday November 3 at 9pm