I’m on a high as we just got our first piece of serious feedback from a family we have met through Saoirse’s preschool and who came to the open day. They put it really nicely into words what they got out of being here working with other people on the land and the activities their daughter enjoyed. Out of the 60 people I emailed, only 2 people had replied, one who keeps trying and failing to come up to visit from London but said she would put her name to anything! True friends. And my sister who fedback some unspeakable suggestions of activities with the goats!
‘Black Grove farm is a great place for all the family, we helped out at a volunteer day and our daughter has attended the forest school.
At the volunteer day we helped with the mulching and even had a go at scything! it was hard work but really satisfying working outside in the fresh air doing something worthwhile, meetings lots of interesting people and generally feeling that this is what life is all about!
At the forest school the kids picked blackberries and vegetables, played in the woods made fairy wands, played on the haystacks and just enjoyed being in nature.
We are all looking forward to spending more time at the farm this year and meeting the sheep & goats!’
Friendly, welcoming family with aspirations that can benefit the local community.
Would highly recommend the open days where you can learn how the project is run and developing. You get the opportunity to help out too which is very enjoyable and makes you realise how much hard work goes into making this project work.
We also got our first booking for forest school, at Easter. I would like to find someone who is trained in animal therapy so I can have something really nice for the special needs kids who come. I also need to get good insurance which will be about £700!
I have been able to give the goats a lovely walk every morning and plans are afoot to make them a moveable goat shelter and be able to tether them near lovely patches of brambles and nettles in a few months’ time without worrying about showers of rain.
Oh yes and an important update…there are still 4 chickens! In my previous post I mentioned only finding three to put to bed but in the morning ‘feathers’ was wondering around as bold as brass. He must have been hiding under the goats hay. Now they are separate again so all food is safe. I’m keeping them penned in the electrified chicken netting which seems to have deterred foxes so far.
There is a pheasant there every morning that runs back to the hedgerow when he sees me. Is he chatting up the hens through the fence, trying to lure them into the wild like the rabbits in ‘Watership Down’? I can’t wait to have good fences in the woods and my goats and chickens can be free again!
To carry on and upscale this operation we need secure fences, a good stash of hay ready for winter, water on tap and moveable animal shelters. Rotational grazing is the healthiest way to keep them and maintain the land. With regular rotation, you spread the manure, break the worm cycle and give the plant, trees and soil a chance to recover.
Whether or not we will have this in place by Spring remains to be seen.