Category Archives: Volunteers

Farm Hands Stories

This week Sunday Farm Hands got really experimental with the herbs growing on the farm.  Here on of them tells us all about it in their own words……

First we went to the garden to try some herbs. We smelt them and tasted them. I really liked the sage, it was hard and chewy with a flavour I really liked. The herbs we tried were (clockwise from the top) parsley, rosemary, fennel, sage, marjoram and chives. After that we washed them and put them in cups  with some beaten egg and popped them in the microwave for about 30 seconds to make mini omelettes . We then put them in two bowls and ate them all up! Sage was still a favourite, but I also really liked the marjoram.  Then we took some cuttings from the herbs and took them to the polytunnel  and put them in plant pots, to make new plants. We also took some plants home for cooking . After that I filled up some watering cans and watered some plants near the polytunnel. At the end we went to put the guinea pigs and chickens away. I carried a chicken and a guinea pig into the barn.

Volunteer Stories

Katie has been volunteering with us for over 3 years.  She first came for work experience whilst studying for her Level 3 in Animal Management.  She is now in her final year of a Foundation Degree in Animal Management at Weston College.  She also works as an Animal Care Assistant at Animal Farm in Brean.

Katie says that volunteering at the farm helped her get on her Foundation Degree course and helped her get her job, for two reasons.  Firstly the farm was able to provide her with a reference, and secondly the experience and confidence she’d gained through coming here really impressed the college and her employers.

She loves volunteering at the farm and especially likes new experiences and making friends, and says there are no worst parts for her.  She really loves every day!  A few weeks ago, Katie was lucky enough to see Snowy give birth to her kids. She says that was the best birthday present ever!

Volunteer Stories

Paul has been volunteering with us for over 2 years.  He was interested in the farm as he wanted to learn how to look after farm animals.  He was very pleased to find somewhere to do this, that was local to him.

His favourite part of the farm is the pigs – he loves looking after them.

He also enjoys the fact that every day is different – there are always a few surprises!

His least favourite job is unloading deliveries – particularly the hay and straw deliveries that we get for animal bedding and fodder – he ends up covered in bits of straw.

As a result of his volunteering at the farm, Paul had an apprentiship with ALS Energy Group, learning how to do energy audits of people’s homes, with a view to reducing energy bills.

In the future Paul would like to work on a commercial farm – preferably one with pigs!

 

 

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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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

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.

 

More Gardening Fun!

All of the work that Michelle and Scott have put in during late winter and early spring is already paying off.  As the soil warms up, they have been sowing radish and beetroot seeds directly into the ground. These are fast growing plants, and the radish are ready to harvest already!  If you’d like some, simply as a member of staff.

They’ve also been raising lots of plants in the poly tunnel.  Some of these, such as cosmos, sunflowers, lambs tails, tomato and squash plants are for sale. Some of them have been planted in the beds.

We are really looking forward to eating some delicous vegetables in the summer!

 

A Day in the Life of a Farm Hand (Chick Time!)

Below is an interview with one of our Farm Hand volunteers Seth…

Question: What do you do at Farm Hands?

Answer: Hold chicks, have fun with pigs, play in the woods, do mucking out, goats – we collect leaves for them, play games and cuddle the Jacob lambs (but the adults sometimes get very scared of us).

Question: How do you feel about Farm Hands?

Answer: I feel GREAT!!!

Question: What’s your favourite job on the Farm?

Answer: Holding CHICKS!!

Question: Have you made friends at farm??

Answer: YES EVERYONE….Barbara, Jake, TJ, Aimee-Claire, Dom, Ruben, Libby, Lottie, Olivia, Luke, Tia & Tobias (Group, Leaders & Volunteers)

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