Open Farm Sunday 5th June 2016

Open Farm Sunday turned out to be a great success.  At least 200 people came and had a look around and took part in the activities on offer.  There was a great mix of people of all ages from babes in arms to grandparents and seniors.   We were lucky with the weather which made it easier; however, a few people said it was too hot to walk the mystery trail!   Tom, aided by Zac in the trailer, did not stop doing trailer rides - 7 times they set off with a full load down to the river where they ate peas and listened to Tom answer questions on the farming,  wildlife and conservation. The Care Farm animals proved very popular too, especially the ducklings who looked cute and quacked away merrily and our large black piglets who performed to order by lying down to have their bellies rubbed when given the right fuss.  Other activities included a mystery trail, planting bean or pea seeds in a newspaper pot, a pollinator survey,  looking at a beehive and equipment, handling and experimenting with different types of soil, digging for mini-beasts and crafts. There was a steady flow of people seeking refreshments and the atmosphere was happy and relaxed.  Many thanks to everyone who came and for all the positive comments made on the feedback forms.  Also many thanks to all our helpers  - we could not have done with out them....   We hope to do it again next year.

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Pop-up Market – a great success!

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There was fun at the farm last Saturday, as Wick Care Farm threw open its doors to host a pop-up market and café. The event was a great success, so Isobel and Jo and their team would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported it, both in the run-up and on the day itself.

There was a range of stalls offering plants and produce, crafts and curios. Some of the wares were made ‘at home’ on the Farm, while others were brought to us by friends. Everything looked wonderful, and special thanks must go to our visiting stall-holders – the market just would not have been the same without you.

The café proved extremely popular, and no wonder! Besides hot tea and coffee, our visitors enjoyed lovely home-made soup and rolls (with real butter!), and a table laden with fabulous cakes. The only difficulty was deciding which to choose, but with plenty to go round there was no need for anyone to stick to just one! While the sun shone and the live music(many thanks to Marianne Fisher) played outside, the swallows flitted about above the barns and everyone made the most of a beautiful English spring day.

Our animal stars had many fans. Our lambs, piglets, chicks, sheep, geese, hens and ducks were all ready to be admired, and it was lovely to see lots of people enjoying meeting them. Many visitors also went on a tour of the Care Farm, to discover what’s going on in the polytunnel, what’s growing in the vegetable patch, and who’s living out in the fields.

The day ended with a raffle and prize draw. First prize in the draw was a gorgeous hand-made quilt, made by and kindly donated by Bobbie Turley. Also thanks to other kind donators of prizes including K&J Mason of Pershore Market who provided a basket of fruit. Well done to the winners.  

When the numbers had all been drawn, the stalls taken down, and the tables cleared, it was time to count the takings. On the day we took £1,300 which is absolutely fantastic. All proceeds will go into improving the facilities of the Care Farm.

Thank you for the photographs by Judy Knight. 


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A host of golden daffodils

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What a beautiful sight... These wild daffodils have done really well this year.

Quilt for Raffle at our Pop-up Market

Many thanks to Bobbie for making this wonderful quilt for the Care Farm raffle. We are selling tickets for the raffle now and will be drawing it at the Pop-up Market. There will be a variety of other prizes too. If you would like to buy a ticket, do contact either Jo or Isobel at the Care Farm.

We have had a number of people interested in having a stall at the market.  Hopefully, there will be stalls selling plants, home produce, Canadian namaimo bars, home crafts, Neil's Yard products and Poppy's pies.

We will be serving tea, coffee, cakes, biscuits, hot soup with a roll and cheese & chutney baps. 

We hope you will be able to join us there.

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Lambs and Shearlings

Jo went to visit the flock of Jacobs from which we had some lambs last year.  She arrived  just at the point when Mrs Turner (ewe) decided to give birth to her quads.  She delivered the first 2 quickly and they were on their feet immediately. The next 2 were a little more difficult and it was lucky that help was on hand.  Mrs Turner did very well and kept all 4 new borns feeding well all night.  After Lorna gave them some extra colostrum, we were able to bring two of theses ram lambs back to Wick Care Farm.  The clients voted on their names with the result - Sunny and Shaun. They have panda markings on their face and look very cute! They settled down well and have been a delight to all our clients and visitors. 

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We were worried that 2 was a difficult number of lambs to have... what would we do if something happened to one of them? We approached another breeder to ask whether they had any multiple lambs / orphans they would like us to look after. To our delight, we were given 2 wonderful lambs which we called Sherlock and Spot. They immediately settled in with the other 2. These came from a 4 horned flock. Spot has 4 horns but Sherlock only has 2.
When we went to fetch Spot, we were offered 2 shearlings (last year's lambs)too. This was a great opportunity as we are hoping to start our own flock and have our own lambs next year. They have 4 horns too and are very pretty. When we went to collect the shearlings, we were offered 2 more lambs..  We called these Starlight and Stig.  A couple of weeks later, we were given another one which we call Sprout!  Our little flock of lambs are of varying sizes but are very lively and doing well.

Our new 4 horned shearlings  settled in with our last years lambs very well. When we took our 3 wethers (castrated ram lambs) to market, we were left with 4 ewes - a good number to start our own flock next year. We called the new ones Ruby and Ronnie. Ruby had been bottle fed and halter trained and was immediately friendly.  Ronnie has been a bit more nervous of us. However, she is now feeding out of our hands and has calmed down considerably.

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Wick Care Farm Christmas Fair

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Care Farm Update

We have had a very busy summer! We have welcomed several new people - both clients and volunteers. We said goodbye to our darling OT student (but she is still keeping in touch and attending our sales).  We opened our doors on 2 other regular days and hosted many school and home educator visits.  We have looked after our poultry who are now huge compared to the fluffy balls there were at Easter.  Our pigs are getting larger and it is getting near the time when we will have to say goodbye to them! Below are some pictures that better describe what we have been up to!

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The poly tunnel was built in April. Many thanks to everyone who contributed with their donations. We could not have done it without you.

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We planted it up and now it is full of ripe tomatoes.

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We renovated the trailer that is fitted out to carry people.  Our first trip was on a boiling hot day and we needed umbrellas to stop us getting overheated.  Phase 2 of the plan is to make a canopy! Any volunteers?

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Jean is one of our wonderful volunteers. This was our stall at the volunteers fair in Pershore.

We have celebrated many birthdays....

Now we are picking lots of produce...


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Gosling update – a historic occasion!

While the duckling and first gosling (yet to have names..) were having their first taste of grass, cracks were appearing in the other 2 eggs.  One of our clients said " this will be a historic occasion"! Unfortunately for those clients, nothing more than a small hole appeared throughout the day.  After another 12 hours, I got impatient and started to help the process... I immediately regretted it as I seemed to have punctured the yolk. I was worried that it would not survive.  Hours later, a slimy gosling slid out into the incubator, looking quite alert but very messy, covered in yolk and bits of shell.  Meanwhile, the other one was still only a hole. However, the next morning, the other one had hatched and both were looking fluffy and alert in the incubator and making themselves heard. Very relieved, I left them there to fluff up more.

After nearly a day in the incubator, the new goslings seemed impatient to be out.  I was worried what would happen when I introduced them to the other 2 who looked huge in comparison.  I waited until the end of the day and tentatively put them together. There was some exploring of each other with their beaks and quite a lot of 'chat' but I persevered and watched.  Still concerned, I returned again in an hour to find them all asleep in a heap... Phew!
The 2 new ones seemed much more steady on their feet and were trying to eat grass the next day.  The slimy one still looks a little like a dinosaur; however, he is very active and enjoys exploring the yard. (I say 'he' but I am not sure what sex any of them are.  I googled how to sex a gosling and inspected their vents.  My guess is that the little greyish one is a gander, and the others are all female... I may regret having posted my guess!)

Nest building time!

The weather was beautiful for our final Easter Activity day.  The chicks may have changed and are not the fluff balls they were, but they were friendly and curious and did not mind being handled.  However, the stars of the day were the first gosling and the duckling.  They were both very content to sit in the laps of the children and be stroked with care. 

The egg dyeing was again a success and the nest building was very good.  All around us, we could see wild birds collecting material to build their own nests and the pigeon in the barn had laid an egg which was very visible.    As we sat having our lunch, the first swallows appeared.  We opened the attic door for them and immediately there were twitterings there too...  Such an exciting time - full of hope and promise.  I realise that I must have created this website a year ago as the post about the swallows building their nests was one of my first!

First taste of Spring and grass!

I cannot believe how yellow or how soft our new gosling is.  The colour  in the photograph here is not as intense as it appears in natural light. For the first 2 days after hatching, the gosling could hardly stand.  She shuffled around and kept falling over, looking very comical.
Luckily for her, she has a companion.  A friend hatched a duckling last week but went away on holiday so 'duck' has come to us for his holiday.  The pair were immediately curious and explored each other with their beaks.  Now they are inseparable.

Today seemed the warmest day of the year and Spring has sprung!  The unlikely pair had their first taste of grass and sunshine. They seemed very comfortable on grass and ran around after us. So different from 3 days ago. However, after their excursion in the garden, they were exhausted! Snuggling up together under the lamp, they could not keep their eyes open...