Welcome Back to Wick Care Farm (WCF) by Jo Ballin

Since WCF opened six years ago we have faced numerous challenges as with any new venture. Thanks to the wonderful supporters of WCF we have always pulled together and tackled each challenge with confidence. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever contemplate needing to deal with a global pandemic but suddenly LOCK-DOWN was upon us. There have been highs as well as lows during the past 4 months and we have done our best to ride this Corona-coaster with the same team spirit that has always made WCF feel so special to everyone associated with it.
Isobel and I set up a rota of contacting everyone we would usually see every week and tried to find ways to help everyone feel connected. We have messaged, emailed, phoned, and even used good old Royal Mail to send news, photos, cards and video updates as regularly as possible, and to check how everyone was coping with the situation.
Keith (aka Mr Quizmaster) was tasked with doing a quiz for the staff team via WhatsApp. He applied himself to this with great enthusiasm and has kept our brains well exercised over the weeks (as well as causing some hilarity) with questions ranging from Anatomy to Zoology and even some requiring in-depth knowledge of the Teletubbies.
If you have been following us on Facebook and Instagram you may have seen the following…
Lambing at the beginning of April was much nicer for our ewes thanks to everyone who helped raise the funds to buy our field barn. We were also grateful for your help with naming 11 lambs (Bevan, Bart, Barnaby, Begonia, Betsy, Buddy, Buttercup, Blossom, Byron, Bluebell, and Bramble).
The piglets, Tulip and Daffodil, have grown from those cute new arrivals on 7th March to the courgette devouring video stars pictured on 31st July. They love to have their backs scratched with the special brush made by Tom P.
Two of the female geese became broody and sat for weeks and weeks on an ever increasing clutch of eggs but sadly did not manage to hatch a single gosling.
Tomato plant sales rocketed this year with so many people choosing to grow their own food rather than attempt a supermarket shop during lock-down. We delivered plants locally and discovered lovely tucked away homes in places we have never had cause to visit before.
Our virtual Easter egg hunt on Facebook received a record number of viewings even though there was no chocolate involved. Did you spot all 32 eggs?
Joel, with the help of his boys (aged 5 and 2 yrs), continued his role as WCF’s resident musician and entertained the team with some fabulous songs (and slightly dodgy camera work). Please have a listen to Joel’s band’s EP “I just want to go outside” via our Facebook page.
The swallows returned to their old nests in the attic and we managed to photograph a very newly hatched chick. They are now building up their strength and preparing for their long journey to South Africa for some winter sunshine.
As new life was being celebrated by the swallows, some semblance of our “old life” at WCF was starting to shine like a bright light at the end of a long tunnel. In early June we were given the go ahead for our teenagers to restart their weekly sessions and then gradually we have had the green light for most of our adult clients to return. We have put a lot of work into minimising any risk of Coronavirus being brought to or passed on at WCF and everyone is starting to settle into the new routines. We currently have smaller groups for shorter sessions over more days. We are staying with 2m social distancing, spending most of our time outdoors or keeping doors open when inside, and taking each day as it comes until the risks from Coronavirus, or the weather, dictate any change of plans…
Also, in June 2020… “Make hay while the sun shines” was literally the case on Thursday 25th June. William, Sam, and I, ably assisted by Clair driving the tractor, were tasked with bringing the hay in. We had not banked on temperatures reaching 30°C that morning.. However, heavy rain was forecast so we knuckled down and got the job done, and before you ask… “ NO” it did not rain after all 😊.
And finally… on Tuesday 28th July we started planning for Christmas when we took delivery of 20 turkey poults. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to see how incredibly quickly they grow and how very loveable and entertaining turkeys can be!

Written by Jo Ballin

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