Pathways Progress – 26 July 2017

Name the baby

Last month I mentioned the arrival of our little cria (baby alpaca). Well, a few weeks have gone and the poor fella is still called ‘baby’. We have therefore invited people to come up with names (see our Facebook page). He is a male and the name must begin with the letter ‘A’. Please don’t reply to this mailing with your proposed names – just go to the Facebook page and register your thoughts and comments there. 

This lovely photo shows a very excited group of young ladies who came (with their leaders) one evening to look around the farm and meet the animals. They were amazingly well behaved  (and so were the girls) and didn’t make a sound whilst they watched the alpacas. They were rewarded by a demonstration of mutual intrigue as, one by one, the inquisitive beasts came closer for a look at these strangers wearing red and white… what a great memory.

A hill, a wood, a path

There is a space behind the pond where the trees and bushes have been allowed to grow wild for years and any ancient paths have become impassable. Over the last few months, we have done some clearing and cutting back and we had a nice thought about creating a set of steps so that there could be a circular walk around the farm.

It was one of those jobs that everyone agreed would be a great thing to do but none of us knew when we would have the time to make it happen… then along came Prince’s Trust (a charity which works with young people who are long-term unemployed, have been in trouble with the law, are in difficulty at school, or have been in care). What a skilful and enthusiastic bunch of young people who were keen to tackle such a project and make a difference locally.

I have to admit that when I mentioned the project and showed them what we had planned I expected them to run a mile. Instead they smiled, rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in… even then, as they only had two weeks to give us, I thought they’d get a bit of clearing done and maybe mark out a step or two… I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The picture above shows just some of the rubbish that had accumulated on that abandoned hill over the years but on top of that clearance work they also had to mark and dig out a whole set of stairs, put the sleepers and posts in place and fill the steps with stone.

The photos below give some impression of their work but you need to experience it to fully understand how hard they worked and how skilfully they did the job. I was amazed and it is still a thrill to walk up that new pathway. Well done guys.

Geoffrey’s pedicure

I’ve never had a pedicure but I’ve been told that they are pleasant. Geoffrey certainly didn’t mind the attention as his nails were clipped recently… although, with Pete bending over like that, I’m sure he was tempted to butt that butt.

Pumpkin overload

I can’t say I’m a fan of the taste of pumpkins but these amazing plants certainly look impressive in our polytunnel. Some of them are ready for harvesting so please get in touch if you want one (no charge, but a donation would be helpful).

Target practice

This picture shows the back-breaking dedication of our team as they weed around the base of the fruit trees in the developing orchard. However, having just written about Geoffrey (the goat) a paragraph or so earlier, I couldn’t help think about his reaction to seeing this sight! Goat heaven!

A very large caterpillar

We recently received a very kind donation… we had to get a new skin for it but this wonderful polytunnel was gifted to us by a lovely lady who no longer had a use for it and knew that we would give it a good home.

Since we first started bringing in the hay a couple of years ago we have been storing it in the large barn you can see behind this new construction. We have now moved all the hay into the very hungry caterpillar and are clearing the space in the old barn for something more constructive… we hope to start work soon on a carpentry workshop which will add enormously to the scope of the work we can do on-site… thank you Rosemary.

and finally…

The farm is looking so good right now, new growth everywhere… and I’m not just talking about the weeds (although they do seem to grow faster than anything else). Please come and see for yourself.

We will be having our next work party on Saturday 5 August 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 (we mean it!). Please come along – the weeds really are doing well and we would love some help to attack them – as well as do a few other, more constructive, jobs.

If you haven’t been for a while, now is the time, you won’t regret it.


PS I’d like to leave you with this quote from Phil Aves (Lowestoft Rising): The potential to reduce public sector costs across Policing, Health and Social Care through this model is evident and the added social integration the farm community brings is making life changing affects to those it touches.



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