I was determined at the start of this year that I would blog monthly...it turns out SO much happens in each month though that I find myself super busy and forgetting to blog. But I',m here, sat at my computer, so here we go; time for you to catch up with what is going on at Greatworth Hall.
Sheep: The sheep are in the shed and ready to lamb. We have recently invested in some feed barriers to make the whole 'inside time' a little bit easier. We have separated out the sheep according to how many lambs were inside them when we had them scanned in late December. We have 108 with twins, 18 with singles, 26 with triplets and 1 with quads! They're all getting very uncomfortable now as the time is very close; we're due to start lambing on the 3rd of March but will start looking out for lambs from now on really, there are always one or two who like to surprise us with an early one!
Farm Education: Since November we have been very quiet on the Farm Education front. It's a cold and wet time of year and few people want to come out through these months. However, next week we have our first school visit of 2017 and then we enter into a very busy march. Lambing is a great appeal to schools and it'll be fantastic to have lots of children out through this exciting season. It's perfect for teaching life cycles, about reproduction and how to care for animals. We also have a Brownies group visiting us in March to experience lambing and meet the sheepdog. With chicks incubating too, hopefully we'll have lots to show to all these school groups and community groups. We are still doing free assemblies for schools, if you haven't had one yet, there is still time!
Forest School: Yesterday was the launch of our first Forest School session and it was absolutely super. At the moment it is just open to one school to join us, with a vision that in the future we'll open it wider and maybe even have a Forest School Holiday Club. The children loved being outside and getting dirty; through playing in the woods they learn all sorts of valuable life skills; how to work with others, how to resolve tricky situations, how to make something out of nothing, how to persevere, how to observe and perhaps most importantly how to love and look after the countryside. Every day spent with children on the farm is a privilege but I can honestly say that running the forest school session was something extraordinary and wonderful. Here are a few shots of the children with us yesterday:
Tesco Future Farmer Foundation: Earlier this month I went on another workshop with the Future Farmer Foundation which was fascinating. It took a lot of brain power to get my head around all the finances and accountancy work involved in running a farming business but it was so helpful. Then, on my birthday, I had the opportunity to look around a meat processing factory that supplies directly into Tesco; a really interesting and informative day in which I learnt a lot about consumer trends and how Tesco design, test and produce products such as burgers and meatballs.
I think that is all from me for now. I'm sure there's much more to tell but I'll see where it all goes and tell you about it next month. Don't forget we have our next free open day coming up on the 25th of March - it is a lambing/chicks special. It won't be quite as big as our 'Harvest' open day but it's definitely worth a visit! See you then!