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Volunteer Blog

Well, just to let you know we are still here at the Community Farm! And it is August- how did that happen?

All our work to keep this wonderful place open has paid off; so many, many thanks to everyone involved in the fight to keep us afloat. To all those who wrote funding bids, council and AM members who listened and supported us, MPs for the area and all those people who pledged money; we give you a HUGE thank you. We are pleased to be able to welcome visitors Tues, Thurs and Saturday between 10am-4pm.

We are due to have a visit soon from the Ministry of Agriculture, Lesley Griffiths AM is coming to see what can be done to help. This is thanks to a letter written by one of our awesome volunteers, Gavin so thank you Gavin!

We got money from Children in Need to continue with youth projects, as well as other funding to develop ideas to turn this location into a hub to support sustainable educative projects that benefit the community.

At the moment we don’t have enough staff or volunteers to keep the café open. When a volunteer is available there will be free cold drinks in the café area, and small snacks and ice cream to buy. Please feel free to bring a picnic- we have a handmade picnic area with lovely benches and flowers, or you can eat your picnic in the café. Please don’t consume food or drink in other areas of the farm.

We have loads of young animals born here this year, ducks, geese, chicks and lambs and some due to hatch any day now. We have also purchased 4 guinea fowl keets and our pigs we purchased earlier this year are in pig and due to pop any minute, so we will post that on fb when it happens.

Due to a long restriction on bird movements (now thankfully over), we now have a wonderful new chicken wing built by Thursday volunteers to house our fowl, turkeys, guinea fowl and chickens.

Over the summer we hope to have extra volunteers to help show the public the farm, as well as having play schemes every Saturday of the summer holidays (except August 26th) for 8-12 year olds from 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm. We love to welcome children to the farm and we know that children love to meet new animals!

There are nature trails, treasure hunts, pond dipping, as well as colouring sheets and books to read in the café area if it’s wet. There is a mud kitchen for younger children in the play area, pond dipping and lots of mini beasts to discover.

#Farm Squad, a training scheme for young people between 18-24 will start its second course in September. Some youth groups have visited the farm already for a day last week and we loved having them here to help our volunteers with the jobs. Gordon cooked us all a healthy pasta meal with salad from our organic garden and everyone really enjoyed their day.

Our volunteers are now more involved with trustees meetings so that they can be involved in ideas and decisions for the future. We attended a meeting recently where young people between, 14-16 years old gave us a presentation telling us how the farm had helped in their lives. Many had attended for years and loved doing projects, having fun, and helping in the open air with their friends. All of them said it had really boosted their confidence and given them wonderful experiences and friendships.

The sense of family and community generated by the farm is something we hear about time and time again from people of all ages and capabilities who are involved here. The Farm also also helps people turn their lives around by improving how they feel about themselves, get more active, spend time outdoors in nature, connect with their community, learn new skills and give something back by keeping this amazing place open for all to enjoy. These are all things that science has proven makes people feel better so the Farm helps to grow and heal people too. It really is incredible!

We have so much biodiversity on the farm and in Cadle Wood which adjoins the farm. We assisted council with a reptile and amphibian project on the common recently, where ponds had been dug but young trees needed cutting down and stacking. Recently our farm manager was really excited to see a barn owl flying there, encouraged no doubt by the change in habitat. On the farm we encourage wild places, weeds like nettles that are host plants for many butterflies such as the beautiful comma, a count of these is happeni9ng right now around the country. Our pond has successfully increased the amount of frogs in the area and they are always hopping out when we are weeding the veggy patch. We have lots of birds here, and many nest like robins and the blue tits who chose a weird spot on the door of a container!!! Abundant insect food and seed heads help increase their numbers and our dead hedges and the trees around give them shelter for their nests,

We also have our own duck and chicken eggs for sale as well as frozen meat produced here: - pork, sausages, burgers & bacon and lamb chops and burgers. So if you want ethically and locally produced meat from naturally reared animals this is the place to come.

Basically, it’s fantastic, free to visit and run by volunteers who love and benefit from being here- what is not to love?

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