Pathways Progress – 1 May 2017

1st Birthday Celebrations

A lot of very exciting things have happened at the farm over the last two years or so. We have transformed a derelict site into a beautiful and useable resource: We have planted an orchard, built a sensory garden, built a car park, erected two polytunnels, built raised beds, paths and animal pens, populated the farm with pigs, chickens, alpacas and goats… and we have seen our first new births (the goats, Amos and Asher). However, a year ago, on 11 April 2016 we opened our doors for the first time to welcome the people we had been working hard to help. This is what all the preparation had been for.

That first week we had two people join us, wow – it was exciting and we knew immediately that we had started something good and very worthwhile.

Referrals started to grow and after a month we were helping six people, then eight… quickly reaching double figures… we now work with over 30 people each week and the library of stories we are building is inspiring and heart warming. I hope to record some of the stories soon so that more people can hear the good news of what is being achieved on our little piece of ‘heaven on earth’.

Last Friday (28 April) we hosted a BBQ and tours of the farm for many of the people we have helped over the year as well as many of those who have trusted us enough to make referrals. The event was to mark our first anniversary and celebrate the end of a remarkable year. We were also honoured to have many representatives from Suffolk County Council, Waveney District Council, Geoffrey Probert (the High Sheriff – who presented us with an award to recognise our contribution to the local community) and Peter Aldous MP (who said some very kind words about our past, present and future). We are very grateful to everyone who attended and who made the day such a success. We are also very grateful to Tesco who, not only donated a lot of the supplies for the BBQ, but also provided a number of staff to help serve refreshments. Thank you all so much. We would also like to thank Heil’s bakery for the amazing (and huge) cake which fed over 100.

Amos and Asher

In the last update I promised to show some footage of our beautiful, friendly, lovable, full of life baby goats. If you click on the photo above you should get to a link of them being rather excited by their new freedom in the outside pen.

These two adorable animals have brought us so much pleasure and added an amazing amount to the calm and relaxing feel of the farm. They love attention and they have won everyone’s hearts.

The bird hide

Kingfisher, heron, gulls, moorhen, ducks (with 9 ducklings), swans, coot, eagles… did I say gulls? Most of these have been seen from our brand new hide… I made up the bit about the eagle!

What a wonderful way to spend an hour (or just a few minutes) – sitting in the quiet tranquility of this little corner of the farm, tucked away amongst the bushes and looking out over the pond.

It is important that you, the reader, understand just how hard a day’s work on the farm really is. We don’t just sit around drinking tea and eating biscuits. We have to keep an eye on baby goats and ensure their safety at all times and now, on top of all that, we have to check the wildlife on the pond by sitting very quietly in a shed and staring out of a little window. Its not easy.

On a serious note: if any of you are interested in becoming a volunteer (that means working with our farm workers once a week), please let me know and we can start the process by letting you have an application form. We have the most amazing team of volunteers all of whom bring something of themselves to our community. However, we are always keen to hear from others who feel they would like to join us in this very important and highly fulfilling roll.

Spring is bustin’ out all over

The colours and fragrance at this time of year are so good and bring so much hope. After the dark, cold winter months, almost without warning, new shoots appear and the entire place leaps into bloom. I don’t have to list the benefits of new growth – they are well documented and obvious to all of us yet the joy that is produced each year as we see each new flower open and join the orchestra of beauty all around is a wonderful thing to experience at such close quarters.

Rob, Jane and their team in the polytunnels and garden beds and Tim on the sensory garden have done brilliant jobs and we can’t wait to see the changing scenery over the next few months.

and finally…

As some of you you probably know, we are having work parties on the first Saturday of the month in order to make it easy to remember. The next one is on Saturday 6 May. If you can get along we would love to see you anytime between 10am and 4pm. There is a lot to do and so much to see. If you can help we would really appreciate it, but you are also welcome to simply have a cuppa and look around. Come along… you know it makes sense… you might even see the kingfisher!




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