National Gardening Week and Swarms of bees!

We’ve had a very exciting week this week! All of us have been busy little bees in the run up to summer and Open Farm Sunday!

On Tuesday I attended training by LEAF, where I learnt all about how to discuss farming and agriculture to school visits, other farmers and the general public. I learnt so much about the rest of the industry as well as our own farm! Did you know that pigs and poultry produce less greenhouse gases than other animals? We must be on the right track!

It was great to see other professionals such as dairy farmers, scientists and land agents taking part to learn more about this fascinating industry too!

Our alternative provision pupils have been tasked with coming up with their own DIY projects this term. One has chosen to build a shelving unit, and others worked as a team to brainstorm a list of things that need building around the farm. They’ve narrowed it down to a hay trough for the alpacas, and a set of table and chairs for our upcoming outdoor eating area. Each of them are planning it from start to finish, and telling us how to help them and what materials we’ll need.

It has been national gardening week, so we’ve got loads of gardening done with our care farmers, alternative provision pupils, and our local wellbeing hub who visit every month. Despite the intermittent rain showers, we’ve got lots plants outdoors like cabbages, radish and beetroot, and kept our gherkins, herbs, cucumbers and chillis watered inside the greenhouse.

Gardening Week

Gardening Week

We have lots of plants you can grow at home for sale from our honesty box, or you can message us to see what we have available and to order some! We have another long weekend coming, what could be better than getting in the garden?

On the pig farm, we’ve had some leave us this week. We have some more to leave next week, and after that all the pens will be mucked out and cleaned ready for the next lot. We don’t have much time inbetween so we’ll be kept very busy!

The rain didn’t force farm club inside this week, but a swarm of bees did! Our group visit could see the swarm swooping across the garden, and they got forced out of the kitchen garden when the bees headed there and found a tree to settle down on.

The rain could have been very bad news for the bees, but luckily our neighbour Lucy is a beekeeper (and helps us with our own bees!) and was to hand to save them and get them in a hive quickly! It took around 3 hours to collect the whole swarm, but she got there!

Next week we’ll hopefully be extracting our own honey! It has to be over 16 degrees to open the hives, so fingers crossed for a warm day coming up- we’re too excited!

We also have the shearer coming to give the alpacas a trim in time for summer on Tuesday! It’s one of our favourite days of the year! Keep an eye out for some amazing before and after shots. The alpaca fleece from last year and this year will be available to buy from the farm, or to order. You can pick your favourite alpaca and use their fleece for crafts, spinning, and processing.

We have some school visits next week for primary school children to learn all about farming. They’ll find out about the pigs, the crops and where their food comes from! Primary and secondary school teachers can book one off or regular school visits at any time. Just let us know what topic you’d like covering, and we’ll tailor a visit for you!