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Stephenson Smart accountant's green-fingered successes... and failures

I can’t believe we only have a few weeks of summer remaining.

I survived the family road trip and the iPad was only confiscated six times in the car, which I would consider a moderate success.

Now we look ahead to a new school year, nights drawing in and the countdown to Christmas, thanks to weekly reminders in the shape of Strictly Come Dancing.

Neil Gayton of Stephenson Smart (15111320)
Neil Gayton of Stephenson Smart (15111320)

It’s also the time where I pretend I’m a green-fingered guru.

Yes, I am the proud owner of a vegetable patch.

Now I can’t claim to know a dahlia from a delphinium, but I’ve been growing vegetables and fruit in my garden for the last eight years.

So far we have grown strawberries, raspberries, potatoes, leeks, carrots, beetroot and onions.

The strawberries never make it past the collection bucket as the boys gobble them up as quick as we pick them and some of the raspberries have fallen victim to a few flying footballs.

Not to mention the fight they have over who picks the biggest potato/leek/carrot every season.

But nevertheless it’s a good way to demonstrate where our food comes from after some previous eyebrow raising conversations.

The great British weather always plays a part and some years our crop turns out worthy of best in show, and other times, well, we cook or eat it quickly!

It always makes me consider what farmers must go through.

At my accountancy firm Stephenson Smart, we have lots of farming clients.

One of the options we consider for them is farmers’ averaging relief.

Providing farmers meet certain criteria, we can organise a special relief which they can claim to add together their profits from farming for between two years and five years and be taxable on the average of those profits.

It helps to even out fluctuating results, especially if the harvest isn’t quite what was expected.

I’m not sure what I’m expecting other than mourning the fact that I won’t get to eat one single strawberry.

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