A visit from The Friends of Himbleton School and our first veg order from Worcester Roots

A lovely weekend, with the sun shining and the wind, though chill, was light. All good since ‘The Friends of Himbleton School’ are with us for a picnic lunch and a chance to explore the farm, admire the new calves and get very close to lambs and lambing. Thank goodness for the change in the weather. Our hearts sank yesterday when snow flurries were the order of the day!

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No more calves yet and, until last night, a dribble rather than a flood of lambs. Tiredness is probably the correct word to describe the lambing team. Chris in particular is the worst hit because he does the two night shifts and, inevitably, rarely can catch up on sleep during the day but Tim and Katja are also putting in long hours.

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I have previously referred to the lamb ‘orphanage’.  This is of course rather a misnomer as, to date at least, we have very few orphans. The lambs who are in it come from ewes that were lambing for the first time and had twins or triplets. In such cases we leave the ewe with only one of the lambs. Infra red heating, dry straw and warmish milk from our ‘shepherdesses all within purpose built accommodation means these lambs are doing well. They are split into two groups the infants at one end and the juniors at the other. Yesterday was an exciting one for the juniors who are now allowed out into the orchard during the day.

The farm remains sodden! However, when the sun shines as it is for the moment, it is possible to ignore the mud and puddles and enjoy the sights and sounds of spring. The grass is now growing well though we felt it wise to cover our backs and buy in some more organic haylage.

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Worcester Roots made their first order of vegetables from us this past week as the early sown salad vegetables are now ready to eat and the garden team continue to sow, transplant and of course weed!

Next week is going to be very very busy as we have four school visits – three from a special school and the fourth from Elmfield who have farming as their special theme for the year 8 class.
We continue to receive requests from would be WWOOF-ers – Katja will be joined in a weeks time by another from Germany and then apart from a period in June and September we have no vacancies.

Had to break off this note as a group from The Kings Heath Food Assembly arrived to talk about possible collaboration. As many of their members are particularly interested in biodynamically grown vegetables there could be a valuable relationship to grow!  Developing links of this kind is very much within the aims and objectives of the Benefit Society.

Yours, Farmer Adrian

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