And we’re back! While Jeremy Clarkson’s recent behavior has potentially put an end to the long-term future of Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime. We still have another two contractually obligated seasons. Season 2 of the show kicked off on February 10th and features more hurdles for everyone’s favorite motoring orangutan as he tries to navigate agricultural life. This season, I think, brought its share of triumphs to Diddly Squat Farm, even though Jeremy’s own actions sometimes put his plans into jeopardy. From diseased badgers to ornery councilmembers, Clarkson has once again proven that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Season 2 starts off with Jeremy all but admitting that his plan to raise sheep has been a disaster, with the flock’s care being turned over to another farmer. However, much of the produce grown on the farm is doing quite well. Unfortunately, that has run into the problem of Brexit and the severance with the European Union upending livelihoods for many farmers, Clarkson included. Without EU farming subsidies to rely upon and the Conservative government still developing its own plan, farmers such as Jeremy Clarkson are having to come up with new ways to diversify their farms to bring in new revenue.
And thus, we hit upon the major plotline running through season 2—Jeremy’s decision to open a restaurant on his farm. Jeremy certainly seems to have very good intentions at the outset, wanting to feature locally-sourced ingredients and work with other struggling farmers to literally put food on the table. However, he tends to go about it in his usual manner of getting started without thinking about how all the logistics are going to work. On the plus side, Charlie, Kaleb, and Gerald are back to see to these matters and inform Jeremy of where he’s going wrong. With their help, Jeremy begins to build up a herd of cattle to help supply his future restaurant with beef.
What throws the biggest wrench in the plans for Diddly Squat Farm is the local council. With Jeremy Clarkson already unpopular for blowing up his old house and starting the farm shop without Council permission, he’s got an uphill battle that makes climbing Everest look easy. Jeremy attempts to mend fences with the locals by holding his own Q&A sessions, sponsoring the local football club, and including other farmers in the restaurant co-op, but none of this seems to do any good against a local council that has a vendetta against him for his past blunders.
Now at this point, I feel I should state that it’s not an easy thing for Jeremy to start his shop or restaurant, given that where he lives in Chipping Norton is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. An AONB has its own regulations that must be met in order to preserve the inherent attractiveness of nature. Local governments also have their own regulations that need to be met when it comes to planning and zoning to protect the land for future owners and for neighbors. However, as a professional planner in my day job, the use of these regulations against Clarkson ends up looking more like an excuse to tell him no rather than work with him to bring his plans into compliance. Throughout the season, this often results in Jeremy having to find clever ways around the rules.
Despite all this, there are some pretty wonderful moments for Jeremy, Lisa, Kaleb, and Charlie. The cows end up being quite the success in contrast to their efforts with the sheep. Also, if you thought the baby lambs were cute last season, wait until you see the newborn calves that now call Diddly Squat home. When one cow is proven unable to conceive, Clarkson makes a decision that shows what a big softie he really is. Jeremy’s scheming also results in success for the farm restaurant and the reopening of the shop (the latter now complying with the council’s requirements), which results in a happy ending for everyone. Well, maybe not the West Oxfordshire District council….
Leave a Reply