December with Tablehurst Young Farmers
As we’ve headed into December it’s got colder and wetter making for some challenging conditions on the Farm. It’s been great to see how the children have developed their resilience and had fun even on wet and muddy days!
Our Seedlings Group have been busy planting bulbs for the spring, mulching the newly planted trees in the sheep field and spreading straw for the dairy cows. Both groups finished for the term with a warming fire, which they used to warm apple juice (and cider for the grown ups!) that they had pressed themselves in the autumn. They also cooked bananas with chocolate buttons in the coals and were entertained by the marvellous Aly with his fiddle and guitar.
Our Farm Kids have really had to deal with the elements over the last couple of weeks! Fortunately during the torrential rain one Thursday, they were able to work in our new barn clearing and cleaning. It’s really starting to take shape. They also planted bulbs that will spell out a special phrase in the spring - keep your eyes open!
In the cold they’ve been completing active tasks to keep warm. Collecting fodder beet leaves from the field to feed the pigs, cleaning the farrowing house with farmer Chris as well as feeding Anna & Jeff and giving them new bedding. They also made a new woodchip path down to the barn.
In the last week of term the group made their own juice by gleaning apples from the orchard and putting them through the press to make delicious apple juice. They drank the juice while listening to a story around the fire.
Our Saturday Group has been making reindeer and headed off to the log pile to look for good reindeer making logs. Everybody got involved with the drilling, sawing and whittling. They only finished one reindeer but it's a good one! Have a look in our gallery.
It’s been a thought provoking time for our Let’s Grow Group as they noticed that something was happening with the turkeys and wanted to find out more. They were invited in to see what was going on and observed that, although it wasn't pleasant, the slaughter of turkeys at Tablehurst is humane and fast. It led to some really interesting conversations on the ethics and morality of eating meat and how livestock are treated (well, in the case of Tablehurst).
They’ve also been making and spraying CPP (Cow Pit Preparation), which introduces good bacteria and hopefully prevents ill health amongst the animals whilst they are in the barns over winter.
The group has been working closely with Stephan in the farm workshop, experimenting with heat and electricity and "repairing" computers, televisions and toasters by taking them apart and learning how they work. Useful skills for the future.
We wish you all a restful break and look forward to seeing you again in January.