The Farm’s 30th Birthday Celebration!

Wednesday 2nd August was the farm’s big 30th Birthday Family Fun Day Celebration.  The rain poured and the wind howled – but it did not stop people from coming and having a brilliant time. Hundreds of people braved the weather and enjoyed all the actvities. 

We had loads of different things to do all over the farm. In the Community Orchard  A Forgotten Landscape were making clay creatures, Avon Wildlife Trust were making a delicious foraged fruit stew and RSPB were all about identifying insects and bird song. 

The Brandon Trust had their amazing home grown produce for sale and you could look round their brilliant gardens.

In the Paddock you could try your hand at some giant wooden games with Pianeta Verde or even stilt walking!  The APE Project had brought some bikes along for a bike swap.  The goats were certainly really enjoying all the attention and extra food they got on that day.

Near the cafe there was music from Richard Hughes and Sophie to accompany the woodfired pizza making and eating! The pizza chefs worked incredibly hard meeting the high demand for top notch pizza.   There was also facepainting by Colour Junkie – children were wearing some really great and colourful designs.  Juicy Blitz were making badges and smoothies which is always great fun.

In the Water Vole Woodland the Children’s Centre had a variety of activities.

In front of the entrance was a fire engine that you could climb inside, brought along by Avonmouth Fire Station’s White Watch. This was very popular as you might imagine.

There were also the Wandering Minstrals, providing music all over the farm.

Then the moment we’d all been waiting form – time to cut (and eat) our amazing 30th Birthday cake, created for us by 280 Bakes.  Ali Vowels from BBC Radio Bristol cut the cake with Robin Hicks a farm trustee. 

 

 

30th Birthday Celebrations

Thanks to the hard work of all our many volunteers and staff the farm is looking forward to celebrating its 30th Birthday this year.  Join us on Wednesday 2nd August  12- 4pm for a Free Family Fun afternoon with music, food , nature activities and Bike Swap.

The farm was set up by local people who worked together to create a green space for local children and adults to learn.  Currently we have over  50 volunteers and work experience placements and run education and well being sessions in the woodlands, farm and gardens.

Work will begin soon on demolishing the main farm building, which was destroyed earlier on in the year by arson. We hope our replacement building will be in place by the end of 2017.  Support  after the fire was incredible from the local community in the form of donations from individuals, schools and clubs, offers of help and moral support for staff and volunteers. Thank you to everybody who took the time to support their community farm. 

We will be celebrating our birthday and new building by asking for ideas from our volunteers and visitors for what to include in a Time Capsule! It will be buried underneath the new building and opened in 2050.

Please see www.lwfarm.org.uk for full details of our free summer activities.

Incubating Eggs with Blaise Weston Court.

Volunteer April has recently carried out a great project with Blaise Weston Court, a local extra care scheme for the elderly.  She took an incubator and some eggs to the home, so they could see the chicks as they hatched. 

April described what she did – “I used an incubator to imitate a hen sitting on the eggs. It works by rocking the eggs gently over the day and monitoring the humidity which should be ideally between 40-50%. However, temperatures will fluctuate just like they would with a mother hen as she will sit for a

while then walk about, resulting in the eggs getting cooler.”

The project aimed to build a connection with the local elderly home and the farm.  “The residents loved it! They spent a lot of time looking at the eggs and checking when they were going to start to hatch.  They were very excited when it started to happen.” described April

The project also helped us to discover how fertile our cockerals are, and the new chicks will help us build up our flock.

Volunteering Stories

Natalie writes….

I began volunteering in Feb 2016 when I was doing my Animal Care course.  I was coming to the farm twice a week (Wed and Fri), in order to complete my work experience hours for college.  I completed my course in July 2016.  Having finished my course I realised how much I enjoyed working with the farm animals and people, so I decided to continue as a volunteer.

I have continued volunteering every Friday, even though I have recently got a job in WH Smith, I still want to volunteer as often as possible.  I used the farm as a reference when I applied for my job and I believe my experience at the farm has been very useful, particularly when talking to customers and working with other staff.

I really enjoyed helping out with the Farm Tots on a Wednesday which I now miss due to work.  I hope I will continue to make time for volunteering at the farm as its very beneficial to me, and I’d recommend it to anyone thinking of giving it a go…

A note from one of our Farm Hands

Hi my name is Courtney and I’m a Farm Hand at the local community farm in Lawrence Weston. I’ve been a Farm Hand for about three  months now and I love everything about it already.  We do loads of fun things such as:

  • Hold chickens.
  • Collect the yummy chicken and duck eggs.
  • Bake banana bread.
  • Go on scavenger hunts
  • Mucking out
  • Pick fresh rhubarb from the garden and baked a rhubarb crumble with it.
  • Go in all of the pens.
  • Make awesome dens
  • Outdoor art with different berries and leaves

We have done lots more things too but it would take up the whole page to write them all.

Everyone and anyone is allowed to be a farm hand as long as they are 8-11 years old no matter what shapes or sizes they are, as long as they come from the local area. Being a farm hand is the best thing that ever happened to me and I wouldn’t change a thing for the life of me. We learn new things every session and have the best time ever.

 I love being a farm hand!

 

Courtney (aged 10)

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Memories Cafe

Our Memories Cafe has been running for a few weeks now, and lots of fun has been had!  Each week features a different activity, a walk round the farm and tea and cake – yum.

People arrive on the LW Community Bus – this is available to anyone over 55 who lives in Lawrence Weston. Then there is the opportunity to walk around the farm, getting some fresh air, seeing the seasons change and interacting with the animals.  Feeding the goats is lots of fun!

The visitors have then been getting creative and learning about new things. One week the afternoon was spent listening to birdsong and seeing if they could recognise any. They learnt different bird names and talked about their favourites.

Another week everyone tried their hand at flower arranging with the special drying flowers grown on the farm.  There were some stunning results as you can see below.  Visitors have also painted using leaves and fruit.

 

We had a great day last week with our Apple Day in our Community Orchard.  A Forgotten Landscape had brought along their apple press, and lots of delicious apple juice was made.  ALS were available to give advice about energy saving.  A choir sang autumnal songs and there was some great story telling from Michael Loder.

There was an opportunity to learn about different grains and try your hand at making flour.  We soon found out how hard it was! Although fun too!  During the summer we grew crops that are used to make vegetable oils, near the chickens.  Samples were available to taste – flaxseed or linseed, rapeseed and sunflower oil.  A quick opinion poll was that the flaxseed was bitter, the rapeseed was nice, a bit like olive oil, and the sunflower didn’t really have a taste.

Brandon Trust have also been busy this Autumn, making cider vinegar, chutneys and Halloween decorations, which were available to buy from their stall.

 

Volunteer Stories

Paul has been volunteering with us for 5 months. He helps with farm maintenance such as fencing, cutting the grass, cutting weeds back and painting.  He’s recently done a great job painting our vegetable stall, guinea pig run and the front gate.

Paul says volunteering on the farm has really helped his peace of mind.  He much prefers to be out in the fresh air and he likes to have a job that he can see makes a difference. For example he loves it when he can see people enjoying Community Orchard after he’s cut the grass. It’s important to him to be able to a job that he can work of from start to finish.

Paul loves volunteering at the farm as it’s a nice place to come and visit and he can see life carryng on all around him.

paul painting

Summer Fun!

We had a lovely summer here on the farm.  The weather (for the most part) was sunny, and we had lots of fun activities. It was so great to see so many of you!

What was your favourite activity?

Volunteer Stories

Andrew has been volunteering on the farm twice a week for 8 years!  He loves coming, and turns up whatever the weather, rain or shine.

His favourite jobs are collecting the eggs, refilling the poultry drinkers and giving the chickens their corn.

Today Andrew was collecting windfalls for the pigs.  We have Gloucester Old Spot pigs – another name for them is Orchard Pigs as they used to be kept in the apple orchards that were once very common in the west country.

Andrew is also branching out and volunteering in our Community Cafe at weekends. He likes working there as it is very different from the farm – he has to dress smartly and stay nice and clean.

Andrew used the farm’s tablet to take some pictures of his favourite animals.