Spring is in the air
What a difference a few days of sunny weather make.
It seemed like the ground was just starting to dry out when we would have another downpour (or hailstorm) and there would be rivers running through everywhere… then Spring arrived and what a difference – instead of running into the polytunnel to keep dry and warm we now have to open all the doors and vents so that the flowers don’t shrivel up.
Watering has become one of our main activities. We have been so successful with producing plants from seed and planting out into a variety of beds that we now have to spend a fair amount of the day using the hose or watering cans.
The photo below shows the well organised start of a parsnip bed (I can’t wait for all this veg to be ready) to taste the fruit of our labours will be such a great experience.
Coming soon to a farm near you…
One of the hardest things about this line of work is summed up by the day I had on Wednesday.
Pete (our farm manager) and I had to travel to deepest, darkest Peru (well, Darsham actually) to view a herd of wild animals for the farm. Can you imaging what its like to take your life into your hands and walk through a field of these Peruvian teddy bears?
At any time one of the inquisitive creatures could have nuzzled up close and sniffed my hand to see if I had some food… it was terrifying… anyone convinced yet?
These beautiful animals are some of the cutest things you will ever meet and we had to spend an hour (or two) walking with them, feeding them and generally learning about them from Paul, their owner.
The great news is that we have put in our order and will soon be taking delivery of three males closely followed by two females with their cria (babies) once they are born in June. How amazing is that? I said it was a hard job!
Not only that but we then had to cross the border into Norfolk (distance is no barrier for this intrepid duo) and visit some goats to find the right female company for Geoffrey (our little Golden Guernsey who we are waiting to be weened). We found two beauties (see below) who will be arriving as soon as their accommodation is complete.
Watch this space.
I have been writing lately about the progress with our service-user centre. This week saw the walls being plastered – what a transformation. With the windows coming soon and the upstairs being worked on next Saturday we are getting very close to having our first completed building!
If anyone is available to help on Saturday 14 May we would love to see you. Please don’t think this is all about skilful labour… there is, of course, skilful labour involved but there are also a number of other jobs which require less skill. Watering has already been mentioned and there are always things to move, tea to make, conversations to be had, walks to enjoy…
If you can’t make next Saturday but can make 21st please don’t fret, we are on a roll whilst the weather is being so kind and will be getting together again only a week later when we aim to progress the construction of polytunnel No 2.
Watch this space.
Being a Care farm
For over 18 months we have been clearing weeds and brambles, making repairs and preparing the site for the actual work of being a Care Farm.
As most of you will know, the day finally came and we opened our gates on 11 April and have now completed our fourth week doing what we set out to do.
There is still a lot of preparation work to do but we have begun the work of providing a therapeutic environment for people to enjoy. The feeling of accomplishment is huge and always in tandem with the feeling of grateful thanks to everyone who has helped us get to this point: volunteer help, financial support, professional input (advice and practical) as well as encouragement.
Andrew comes to the farm each week with the students from Great Yarmouth College and he likes wood (understatement of the year). A couple of days ago, having cut up and built the log stack (see below) he said to me “This is like people, all different shapes and sizes, the smallest and most vulnerable are on the inside and are being protected by the larger, stronger ones.”
In the next edition I will be writing about the Pathways Care Farm Shop. We are so grateful for the support we get from Sue Betts and her wonderful team and it will be good to let you know more about their work and how you might be able to help them.
Finally, I say this in every update but that’s because I mean it: Please come along at the weekend if you can (even just for a cuppa) we would love to see you. Saturday 11 and Saturday 18 May.