Another first – meet baby Al
Al is not his real name – we hope to run a competition in the Lowestoft Journal to find a name but here is our little beauty about 2 hours old.
When we got the alpacas almost a year ago we were reliably informed that they can take anywhere between 10 and a half and 12 months to give birth and that the birth will take place between 8am and 1pm – so that the baby (cria) is running around before the pumas come out!!… The pumas tend to emerge around 4pm in their native Peru but no one has told them that there are no pumas in Suffolk…
The very proud and highly attentive mum, Papillon, gave birth at 11.30am and baby weighed in at 7.5kg (16.5lb in old money).
He is now a week old and has already put on 2.7kg, which is amazing, and he is running all over the field being closely followed by all the others. He’s a real character and an absolute joy to have as part of our growing family.
The photo below shows one of our groups picking up alpaca poo (click on the picture and see a short video of the herd). This is a highly popular job and is always greeted with a cheer when we say we are about to do it!
Talking about growing babies…
The kid goats are growing really well and are developing great characters. We spend a lot of time with all the goats and, along with us, they love every minute of the attention.
Up up and away
A friend of mine recently enjoyed a trip in (or is that on?) a microlight. After flying over his house and along the coast he thought he would give the farm a visit and he kindly took this photo… you can actually pick out some of the alpacas if you look carefully… and doesn’t the pond look big from up there? Thanks Colin, great shot.
Charity shop dedication
Through the dedicated work of around 15 volunteers our charity shop in Kirkley has been raising money for the care farm since it opened in November 2014. In that time they have contributed almost £9000 (after paying rent and rates). In the last year they have raised £3500 and to mark the occasion, Rob Foreman, one of our trustees, received a cheque from Sue Betts (shop manager) and some of the volunteers.
This is a wonderful achievement from a team who give their time either weekly, fortnightly or once a month and we are so grateful to everyone of the volunteer team as well as the customers who support our work.
Sue Betts writes: We appreciate all suitable items donated to the shop. Please remember us if you are planning that much needed spring clean declutter. At the moment we are particularly in need of good clean Bric a Brac and kitchenware items, why not pop In and grab a bargain, it will be good to see you.
Our usual opening times are Tuesday – Thursday 9.30am – 2.30pm and Friday 9.30am – 12.30pm. These times sometimes vary due to volunteers availability. Thank you all for your continuing support.
The sensory garden goes from strength to strength and is looking more and more amazing every month. Not only are the flowers, shrubs, herbs and willow growing beautifully but we now have an alpine garden and the beginnings of a fantastic pond(s) plus stream and waterfall… not only that… hidden in the rocks and stones is The Ring itself!
Yes, ‘My Precious’ is there, waiting to be discovered. Gollum hasn’t been seen yet but give it time… (for those readers who don’t know ‘The Lord of the Rings’ please read on.
Where there’s muck there’s brass (well, vegetables)
Compost – 26 tonnes of it, was kindly donated by an anonymous donor. I had a call to say ‘Would you like some really good compost? to which I answered: ‘That would be nice.’ Little did I realise that the 55ft artic lorry would be full of it.
Wow, what a gift. An amazingly helpful and very practical donation which will benefit our soil no end.
Every silver lining has a cloud though and the cloud on this occasion was the somewhat lingering smell which accompanied the rather large pile! (Sorry neighbours – I did promise we would move it quickly and, only one week later, it has been distributed to various parts of the farm where it is already doing its job.)
Thanks to our donor but thanks also to everyone who has helped move it and put up with the smell. You are all heros.
Wild flowers at their best
What a sight. As you walk around the farm there is so much to take in, beautiful animals, good looking buildings, people working on all sorts of projects, swans, ducks, coots, moorhens, flower beds, vegetable plots, hanging baskets and these… incredible wild flowers… breathtaking.
What is even more amazing is that these beautiful wild flowers are not all planted by us. The council sowed the daisies when they vacated our site after they had built the new road, we sowed the cornflowers and others have just appeared as if to say “we want to be part of this display”.
… and enjoying the peace and tranquility… here are a great group of farm workers enjoying home made soup on the patio outside our new patio doors (aren’t we posh?). Great days, great memories and new friendships being forged each day. What a privilege to be part of this adventure.
The first cut of hay this year has been brought in (thanks for your help Jakey), most of the compost has now been distributed to various beds around the farm, lots of jobs have been done recently and the place is looking wonderful. Please come and see for yourself… we will be having our next work party on Saturday 1 July. We have saved some jobs for you to do so if you can get along we would love to see you anytime between 10am and 4pm. As always, if you can help we would really appreciate it, but you are also welcome to simply have a cuppa and look around. Please come along – the cygnets are growing fast so don’t miss the chance to see them while they are still cute and fluffy.