Pathways Progress – 19 November 2015

Down came the rain

We have been so blessed with the weather since we got the keys just over a year ago. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of days that rain has affected – let alone stopped play. However, along with most of the country, we have taken a rather wet bashing in recent weeks – as well as hurricane strength gails a few nights ago!

I’m very pleased to say that our wonderful polytunnel is still standing, just as proud as the day the cover went on (what a day that was). The soil all around though has taken a bit of a battering. The picture above is a shot I took during a tea break. A number of us had been trying to dig a drainage ditch along the edge of the path in an effort to stop the water flooding the field. After much, very soggy, effort and a few wellies getting stuck in the clay/mud, we called a halt to proceedings and took our enthusiasm to another, less boggy, area. Warnes and Sons very kindly donated the services of Jakey and the JCB and the drainage ditch is now well on the way to completion. Thanks Bernard and Pete.

There is a picture at the bottom of this page showing Matt calmly working away in the old milking parlour. Give him a trowel and some bricks and he doesn’t know what time of day it is… what a brilliant and highly valued member of the team. We honestly would not be where we are now if it wasn’t for Matt’s skill and dedication (thanks Deb for loaning him out).

I also need to thank a couple of other people whilst I’m at it: Jamie Wicks, who is so often at his dad’s side – passing him the bricks, knocking down old bricks, knocking up cement… you get the picture. Jem Stevens, who is almost always with me to open up and lock up at the end of the day… Jem likes order. His first job each Saturday tends to be attending to the kitchen area to ensure everything is in its place and is spotlessly clean (not an easy task in a windy and dusty 170 year old barn). He then has to get the coffee on. Unlike his dad, he is a coffee snob and has to get the real stuff on the go. Having completed the domestic chores he then mucks in with all the other tasks needed and is a great support in so many ways.

I hope to get a few people to write their own accounts of ‘A day on the farm’ so the next updates can be more about other people’s thoughts than my deliberations… should be good. If you want to contribute please email me with a few ramblings of your own and we’ll see what we can put together.

ASDA tokens

We have just received a cheque from the lovely Bev Shipp at ASDA for winning their Green Token award. Thank you so much to everyone who made the effort to get them and then locate the right slot… if you put a token in our slot by mistake we put that down to divine intervention.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get enough votes to win the funding from Onefamily Foundation but we are certainly demonstrating the true values of One Big Family as we progress this great project each week and with each group that comes.

Hay for sale

We have a lot of hay baled, stored and ready for collection. Our hay is very good quality and we are looking to sell 300 – 400 bales. If you want some or know anyone else who does please get in touch on 07711 055898.


A number of people have told me they missed the link to our video of the (amazing) display last month. If this was your experience, or if you just want to see it again, please click the image (right) and, by magic, you will be transported back to that lovely celebratory evening.

Saturday 28 November

This may be the last chance you get to come and help in 2015. The weather has been kind to us most of the year and we have made huge progress so far. Next week we have a few jobs which require manual labour (not just the bodybuilders – all strengths are welcome and will be useful), other jobs which are less physical and some which might be quite decorative! If you can make it on Saturday 28 November we would love to see you – even if you can only spare an hour, even if you haven’t been along for a while… even if you haven’t visited at all yet why not come along for a cuppa, a chat or even a tour around.

If you are around we look forward to seeing you.



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