With the Care Farm now entering its fourth year we would like to update you on what will be happening here in 2017...
Having gradually increased our days for regular groups, we are now open four days a week. Our groups on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday are mostly for adults plus one or two places each day for students referred from local high schools. Although we like to keep the family feel by keeping our numbers small, we have decided to offer an additional ninth place on each of these three days which means we now have spaces available. On Wednesdays, during term time, we have students from three local high schools.
Currently our Fridays are reserved for educational visits when schools, pre-schools, home educators, or other groups of children or adults can book a visit specifically tailored to their requirements. We are also happy to accommodate evening visits; these have been much enjoyed by local groups such as Rotary clubs, Church groups, and Brownies/Guides to mention but a few. You can find out more by clicking on the “Ed. Visits” link above. Anyone interested should contact Isobel Meikle on: 07967173740 or Isobel@wickgrange.co.uk
Our friends Lorna and Jerry from Elmley Castle did an amazing job with their lambing this season; as a result, January saw the arrival of eleven orphan (cade) lambs at the Care Farm. It’s lucky there is not much planting or watering to be done at this time of year as bottle feeding and exercising these little bundles of joy has been the main focus for our regulars; plus a sudden surge of educational visits. If you haven’t already, take a look at our Facebook page to see pictures of us with our lambs. We are also grateful to Lorna and Jerry for the loan of handsome Hercule the Ram back in November 2016. All being well, we will be lambing our own ewes any time from 1st April. Ed has been booked in to fence off a paddock for our lambs to go out in so we can convert the lamb barn into a lambing barn. A new and exciting experience for everyone at the Care Farm!
Our Berkshire pigs have now left the farm to make room for two new piglets due in April. Having worked with various breeds of pig at the Care Farm over the years, we all agree that the friendliest pigs were our Large Blacks from Mike at HMP Hewell. These lovely girls would happily roll over to enjoy a good belly rub and we are awaiting news of a new litter. If anyone is interested in sponsoring a pig for your freezer we will be glad to take care of everything for you.
This spring, as in previous years, will see us incubating any fertile eggs we are lucky enough to be donated. We are hoping our ducks will decide to sit on their own eggs once the weather warms up, and we will be buying in twenty day old chicks to raise and sell on as point of lay pullets.
As well as caring for our animals, we try to be as self-sufficient as possible. Seeds will be sewn and potting areas are prepared. When the seeds begin to sprout and grow we hope to end up with a wonderful variety of fresh herbs, salads and vegetables to use in our delicious home-cooked lunches. We also like to grow flowers to decorate our dining table and give the place a homely feel.
The polytunnel which we fundraised for in 2015 is a tremendous asset. It provides a space, whatever the weather, where we can work. The more physically active of us have helped to build and fill some new raised beds. The less physically active of us enjoy sitting under cover to plant seeds and bulbs. The process of planting, growing, harvesting, preparing, cooking and eating our own produce offers huge health benefits for everyone at the Care Farm.
**Gardening is an area where we need more volunteers to help us. If you are a keen gardener with a couple of hours to spare each week we would love to hear from you.**
With self-sufficiency playing such an important role, it is our aim to introduce a wider variety of fruit onto the farm. We plan to build a fruit cage, plant an edible hedge and create a small orchard of apples, pears, plums and cherries which will also provide some shade for our free range hens. It’ll be great to make pies, crumbles, jams, chutneys and jellies from our home grown produce. You can buy our Care Farm preserves at our next Pop-up market on Saturday 22nd April. Keep an eye on our website for more details about this forthcoming event.
Don’t forget to keep up to date with what we’re doing at Wick Care Farm by following us on Facebook – find the link on our homepage.