Pathways Progress – 29 March 2016

Meet Geoffrey

This is Geoffrey (and his mum). He is two days old, he is a Golden Guernsey and he is adorable.

As the name suggests, their coats are golden with hues ranging from pale blond to deep bronze. They are smaller than most other goats but they are very docile and very friendly – perfect for a care farm.

We had our first visit a few days ago and have booked this little fella for when he is weened (which will be in a couple of months time).

The next job is to find him some female company so watch this space for some more cute photos as we search high and low to increase the Pathways herd… being with these little creatures is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

Could this be the start of Spring?

The rain has stopped long enough for the mud to be starting to dry out and give us the chance to prepare some of the ground for planting out. It seems to have been a long and very, very wet winter but when the sun shines (even just a bit) and a bunch of highly enthusiastic people get spades and rakes in their hands, things happen – landscapes get altered – hope rises.

This area – the bit in front of the polytunnel, was beautifully prepared in the autumn. The the rain started falling… and falling… and falling. The puddles were so big and the soil contained so much clay that streams were cascading straight over the surface and into the polytunnel (and beyond). We therefore needed to put in some sort of drainage. This required Jakey and his JCB, a drainage pipe and a lot of pebbles.

The process was effective but it did mean that the beautifully prepared ground was decimated with great tyre tracks and deep indentations. That is how it stayed for a number of months until the dryer weather allowed us to go back over it… there were only a couple of comments along the lines of: “Haven’t I done this before” or “Is this deja vu”. But it will all be worth it in a few months time when this little corner of the farm is awash with colourful plants and wonderful flower beds.

Thank you to all involved.

Mission Impossible

Meet Matt. Matt is our resident builder. Without Matt I really don’t know how much progress we would have made in the last year or so. He is highly talented, unbelievably patient, a great teacher of his art and so generous with his time. What most people don’t know about Matt is that he hunts aliens in his spare time!

Some people might think that this get-up is just to spray the stable block with a woodworm treatment but we quickly realised that he is actually a ghost buster.

Seriously though, at the end of a very long day, laying floors, putting in electrics, fixing roofs and making doorways, Matt still had the strength (and the enthusiasm) to strap on this heavy load and attack the beams and the old trough. What a star… two weeks later and the smell is almost gone!

For another chance to join us for some fun and to help with vital, last minute preparations before we open up in a couple of weeks, please join us if you can this Saturday, 2 April.

Stop Press

I am thrilled to announce that we won the Tesco tokens award. We are so grateful to everyone that put their little red coins into our slot. The award means that we will soon be receiving £12,000 towards the nature trail: picnic tables, bird hides, fences and styles.

Can you imaging what a boost this is to everyone involved and what a difference it will make to the whole look and feel of the farm in general. In future updates I will publish some shots of the work we will be doing and I will let you all know when the trail will be officially open for visitors. How great will that be?

Another piece of great news – we have sold the hay. By this evening most of it has been taken from our store and early on Saturday morning the rest will go. It was very exciting when we gathered in all those bales, an historic day in the life of the farm, but is almost exciting to see it go… the circle of life (well, sort of!)

Lastly, if you are free and you would like to help us on Saturday 2 April please come along. If you haven’t been over for a few weeks (or months), don’t be shy, we would really love to see you even if you just want to take a look around. Please come.




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