Lots has happened since last July – people have moved on and off, babies have been born, livestock have come and gone (aka eaten), hedges have been laid, successful events have been hosted… We’ve had about 100 wonderful volunteers come and help us, made about 250 jars of preserves, found ingenious ways to cook many swedes (as in the veg, not the people), sung lots of songs… If you need more filling in book in to volunteer and we’ll tell you more then 🙂
Ed has got a new flock of Jacobs sheep! Starting small with 6, he’s setting up a business selling beautiful sheepskins – perfect for presents or cosying your floor… In the pics below Ed is bucket training which is handy as Jacobs are well known escape artists. This was especially useful when we had to retrieve the sheep from the village after someone left the gate open… when Ed was away!
The new apple juice and cider press is very much underway along with loads of volunteer help and being coordinated by Pedro – in the pic are lovely volunteers Harry, Tim and Dan. It’ll be a stud frame building with facilities for making preserves as well. We might have a hand apple scratter or it might be steam or bike powered! That would be cool. The pasturiser will be heated by wood, being an off-grid farm and all. Talking of which, check out a lovely film about our off-grid forestry business.
Lady, our Jersey milker (in the foreground) gave birth to a little Jersey-Angus calf we named Buttercup in early summer so we’ve had loads of milk and cream since then! Enough to make ghee and freeze some for less butter-abundant times too. Pedro doesn’t always look this crazed when churning butter… As a volunteer you’ll have plenty of opportunity to make butter and perhaps even make cheese and milk the cows 🙂
As we turn towards the winter there are many things still growing on the land. Hanging shelves are ideal for growing things in the bean family as the mice love tucking into germinating beans in the colder months!
This is Jim. He’s great. He’s one of two of our working cobs and along with Charlie they help us prepare our veg cultivation ground, are vital in the timber business for extracting logs, and transporting things around the land and off the land with our cart and wagon. This evening he was taking us for an autumnally fresh trap ride around the quiet Somerset lanes.
Apples apples apples!!! That’s been super theme this last month. Jim and Charlie carted our apples to a local farm (we press offsite at the mo 3.5 miles away) where we pasturised 3000 bottles of delicious organic apple juice which we sell to Bristol, London, Glastonbury and various local shops. We also sell apples to local juice businesses and a couple of shops. Ped’s also been doing cider pressings with our heritage fruit varieties, you can’t not have cider on an apple farm.
And to finish – this is the beautiful view from one of our compost loos! Great place to spend some time…
p.s. if you’d love to visit but can’t commit to at least a weeks volunteering then consider joining us on our forestry weekends. They’re free and full of learning and meeting lovely folk. It’s also the way we produce most of our logs for milling. Delicious cake, fireside company, singing and playing games if you’re into that and the rich smell of earthy Douglas Fir forest guaranteed (especially if you faceplant). We currently have space on the Jan Feb and March ones but they book up fast!