Ellie has been volunteering with us for 3 years. She started as a weekend volunteer while she was still at school. Now she attends SGS in Filton and comes to the Farm once a week for her work experience. She doing Animal Care Level 2 Diploma.
She says that the experiences she gained whilst volunteering at the Farm have definitely helped her deal with the transition from school to college and helped her get on her course. Skills such as being able to work as part of a team, time management, the ability to use her initiative and to work on her own have been vital.
Ellie has also just started a job with British Home Stores at The Mall. She says that volunteering at the Farm helped her get this job because they were impressed with her volunteering commitment and that she seemed very mature for her age. The Farm also provided Ellie with a reference, which can be hard to come by when you’re young.
Ellie still loves coming to the Farm and has always valued being treated as an adult and being given responsiblity.
The community cafe and training room is really taking shape now as the roof goes on and we can see how big it is. There will be lots of room in the wifi connected training room to run all kinds of courses. However, it won’t be just course based training taking place there, the cafe and kitchen itself will be the focus of practical, work orientated learning.
First the roof timbers went on.
Then a layer of wood panelling. The boxed holes are where the skylights will be.
Insulation was put on and then the final roof cladding.
Next trenches will be dug through the farm to connect the utilities to the building. This will be carried out in a cut-and-cover manner to cause minimum disruption to the public and to continue to allow the movements of the animals.
We are in the middle of our breeding plan for next spring at the moment. The Jacob sheep are pregnant and we have another ram with the other sheep at the farm, so we hope to have lambs being born over a few weeks from the end of February onwards.
Rufus the Gloucester Old Spot boar on loan from Bath City Farm arrived here at the weekend and is due to be introduced to Jasmine and Blossom later on this afternoon. Although it is very muddy the pigs are still able to enjoy going outdoors occasionally.
Handsome Rufus the Boar – let’s hope Jasmine and Blossom like him!
Rufus getting to know the girls
Between me, Ian and the volunteers we have managed to remember to look after the eggs in our incubator and were thrilled that 3/4s of them hatched. We now have the eight female chicks under a heat lamp in the stable block quickly turning from balls of fluff into little birds.
The goats are due to go off to visit a billy in a month or so. The goats are growing rapidly and touch wood have got their heads stuck in the fence less and less every week.
We have been doing some spinning at the weekend, especially during the wet weather. The Saturday Farm Hands have been able to have a go after the workshop and have learned to spin a little on a drop spindle.
We now have our freezers well stocked with pork joints, chops, slices, plenty of lamb including a few legs left and a new batch of sausages. Current flavours are chilli and garlic, Cumberland and traditional plain sausages.
Juley Community Farmer