I have never really given much thought to hay, nor to the process of bailing it and storing it. However, when its your first ever batch from your own field and the work is done by a group of people you know well, the feelings change completely. On Friday 12 June, on a lovely sunny afternoon, Jakey said that we needed to get the hay bailed and into storage, as the rain was coming. The forecast was fine and we had planned to do the work on Sunday afternoon but Jakey insisted, so after a few quick phone calls to get the required help, everyone arrived and the physical work started (a lot more physical than you might imagine). 156 bales were duly stored away just a minutes before the rain pored down! Why hasn’t Jakey got a job for the meteorological office?
To smell that barn, full of newly mown hay is the smell of teamwork. It was a fantastic moment for all concerned and a date to remember – another first for the farm. Thank you to all those that responded to the cry for help.
On Saturday 20 June we had another workparty and what a day. Almost 30 people came during the course of the day and we achieved so much. An area near the front gates that has almost completely been cleared by students from Great Yarmouth College over the previous couple of weeks, was tidied up, the last few bushes were cut down, piles of stuff was burnt and large amounts of rubble was removed. This area is now ready to plan out as it is to become our ‘Sensory Garden’. A complete contrast from the overgrown wasteland that used to welcome people’s arrival.
At the last work day a few weeks ago, three small storage areas on the far corner of the barns, beyond the dairy, had been knocked into one to form a kitchen. The three rooms all had quite different floor levels and on Saturday those floors were broken up and the hardcore removed so that we can lay a new, flat base. This was an immense amount of hard graft and we are so grateful for those heroes that just continued to bash and chip and carry all day. Incredible dedication.
The other momentous occurrence this weekend was the erection of the polytunnel frame. Its true that the most important part of most jobs in in the planning and setting out. That was never more true than with this construction. The positioning and levels of each footplate was crucial and took more than half the time spent on the whole thing. By 5pm we had the most beautiful site of a 28 x 54ft skeleton all ready to be kitted out and clad. I was getting so excited by the end of the afternoon, just walking around the site and seeing all the areas that had been progressed. You really are an amazing group of people and I am so privileged to be part of this great charity.
I am so excited I’ve had to attach another photo just to show the naked beast that will soon be the maternity ward to young vegetables!
Next weekend (Saturday 27 June) we are getting together again. We got so close to completing the polytunnel that we are aiming to finishing it then. There are lots and lots of jobs still to do so please do come along if you can spare some time… it would be great to see you.