A summer fete success!

We have had rather a frenetic week but it ended well. Though today, Sunday, there is a considerable measure of tiredness in young and old alike.

The week saw members of the family departing to celebrate weddings in Poland and Zimbabwe or in Chris’s mothers case East Grinstead! Given that it was the week of the summer fete the absence of key members of the family heightened the inevitable tensions leading up to the summer fete.

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In the event the day was a great success. The weather was good, almost without exception all stall holders turned up on time, the planning was effective and around 400 attended of whom at least a third were children. A large group of volunteers led by Sebastian ensured that all went smoothly on the day. A flat tractor tyre on the Friday evening did of course mean some fluttering of the nerves but Tim found a replacement vehicle and over 200 enjoyed tractor rides down to the large pond at the back of the farm and a detour to see and hear about our green endeavours to use geothermal energy to both heat and cool all units on the business park.

Ian, a parent from the school Rosie and Boots, came at very short notice to act as DJ and Leslie was there with her sheep – always a great draw. Eric with his two Shire horses ran a non-stop wagon ride service and Robert oversaw the ‘country games’.


The BDAA were present in force and looking very chic. Becky and Jasper were selling Demeter produce from our garden and were very happy with the number of sales they made. Our three WWOOF -ers made a great contribution as well in particular by ensuring the mood in the car parking area was never less than good humoured.

By the time the last visitors left Alison and Kate were also at last able to relax.

One of the real pleasures of these events is the chance to catch up with people who have been coming regularly over the years – some investors, many local people who now regard our summer and Christmas events as part of the yearly cycle.

But the week was not just about the fete. Michelangelo spent much time on the tractor spraying 500 while Sebastien laboured at making tree guards so the Orchard may be grazed by sheep. An anxious eye has been kept on Jupiter but so far the signs are positive. The vets are still unable to work out exactly what it was all about, so there remains an element of mystery.

Stock has had to be moved around more than we would have liked but in the absence of rain the pastures are not making the growth we really need.


Becky and Jasper have received a lot of support from Marion and the other two, and despite the lack of rain most plants have done well.

Excitingly progress on the barn – the extension has been very speedy and the signs are that the roofing might well be completed by Wednesday. The next task, frightening in its financial implications, will be the buying in of gates etc to keep stock in.

The leak in the neighbouring field has been repaired and the field is now dry. Anne and I are re- reading Donna Leon and this is a useful reminder that actually there is much in this country to be grateful for – except of course the banks which seem to operate on the same moral code as those in Italy.

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Friday for me was particularly eventful. Having finished paperwork and decided to maintain my accidental death policy, it was nearly invoked when I took a tumble which ended up with my head hitting a brick wall! All of which confirmed that at my age one is not quite the 50 year old one imagines one is! Still one thing it needed demonstrate is how lucky we are with our local doctors. Within the hour, plaster and bandages had been applied and apart from a sprained thumb and rather a lot of aches and pains normal service should resume on Monday.

Farmer Adrian

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