April 3, 2020 at 4:53 am
Sadly, a fox got into the chicken enclosures over the weekend and killed at least 11 chickens. A further three were wounded – ultimately, fatally. We have just four birds left unscathed. The four unscathed seem to be some of our younger birds: a hybrid, a Light Sussex and two Rhode Rocks. This is very sad but all the birds had much longer lives than commercial birds and had a free range existence.
We think we know the mistake that we made and have taken steps to prevent it happening again. It has been over ten years since we built the enclosures and trees have grown a lot in that time. We think that the fox climbed a tree to get in as one has been spotted up a tree previously.
March 17, 2020 at 9:35 pm
The older children of Farm Club – Joey, Jacob, Alex, Gabriella, Gracie and Abigail – have been working hard over the winter completing the ‘soaker hose’ irrigation system for Polytunnel 1 started by Barclays, and installing a similar system in Polytunnel 2 from scratch. We used very hot water to soften the tubing to fit valves and loppers to cut the hose. Gracie, Gabriella and Jacob liked digging a trench along the end of the polytunnel to bury the hose; they enjoyed lining up a collection of things that they found in the trench soil. Each bed has a valve so that we can switch them on and off. The system irrigates the soil very slowly but should be a much easier and more efficient way to hydrate the soil and water the plants.
October 10, 2019 at 9:22 pm
Our great friends at Barclays visited the school again and spent a day working on the farm. 13 volunteers worked all day and made a fabulous impact. They removed some old, rotten compost bins and installed two new ones. The used special perforated hose to create an irrigation system in the polytunnel, cut down a willow hedge and partially cleared the fruit cage. Most impressively, they cleared paths, laid new membrane and gravelled around the main area of raised beds. Their efforts – and Barclays’ generous cash donation – has really given the farm a big boost. In return, they got a warm welcome, a curry for lunch, some freshly pressed apple juice, a day of camaraderie, exercise and fresh air and a great sense of achievement – a fine day all-round!
August 27, 2019 at 8:40 pm
About 40 children and adults were on the farm this afternoon as we held our second family session this holiday. It was hot as we weeded and watered and harvested. Everyone got ‘stuck in’ and the children confidently tried a range of fruit and vegetables. We harvested some huge peppers that had a wonderful fresh scent.
Other harvests included potatoes, onions (some whoppers), courgettes, tomatoes (inc some ‘Big Daddy’), figs, carrots, blackberries, plums, apples, beetroot, runner beans, French beans and kale. At the end of the session we tasted some of the produce and then families took bags of fruit and vegetables home. Everyone worked hard and left the farm much more ready for the new term. Well done and thanks to all the families and to Ms Howells, Mrs Elam and Miss Gregory for supporting the event.
August 5, 2019 at 9:33 pm
On Monday 5th August we had a successful couple of hours with a group of families watering, weeding, planting and harvesting. Everyone got ‘stuck in’ and we had a bountiful harvest (despite forgetting to cut the kale). At the end we sat around and discussed each vegetable and families helped themselves to big bag fulls of produce. We harvested broad beans, runner beans, French beans (so many!), beetroot, plums, potatoes, courgettes, carrots and peppers.
Thank you to everyone for their great efforts: a real help during the holidays. We will have another session at the end of August to get ready for the new term. The tomatoes should be ready by then…
August 5, 2019 at 9:25 pm
Every day Ms Howells is delighted by the hard work shown by the children on the farm. We have had another successful summer term despite some indifferent weather at times. Everything seems a few weeks behind last year when we had that long, hot summer. We have already had some lovely harvests including plenty of strawberries – the children’s favourites!