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Blogs | Apr 2024

April update from Jamie’s Farm Hereford

April is nearly over and out! Bring on May’s warmer days and sunshine.

Heathmere Primary School blew us away with their abundant love for mud, embracing absolutely every aspect of the farm, whether that be clearing out the pig pens, rolling down hills or reflecting in their check-in meetings. This proves how much younger individuals can achieve and how independent they can be when given the chance.

We were then joined by Bridge Business School, a contrasting group to the above in terms of age, but not in terms of wholeheartedly throwing themselves into everything presented to them. These sixth formers were really able to develop their sense of self and to see how their skills can fit into the ‘real world’ beyond education, by working out what they like to do. Cooking, woodworking and walking were all very popular with this group.

Finally, we were joined by St John Bosco, in collaboration with our partners, Bertha Earth. This week consisted of storytelling, celebrating and a healthy dollop of tennis and basketball in between. They worked together to complete a big livestock move, with all thirteen young people plus their accompanying staff involved. This really demonstrated how they could work hard and then play hard!

Alicia and her dog, Bonnie, caught up with the young people from Shenley and Alderbrook. The group prepped and ate a delicious picnic and enjoyed watching their farm video back and Bonnie enjoyed getting a good pat by ten people all at once.

We are nearly finished with our lambing season, with only 10 ewes left to lamb. The sheep and cattle are co-grazing, with a move taking place each 24 hours to help care for the soil.

Our two sows are turning over what will be our new potato patch, which we will then cover with hay. This will dampen weed growth and protect the potatoes while they grow.

We have twenty new rescue hens! They have immediately started out-laying our original chicken gang, so we are thrilled to be inundated with eggs once again.

The first major mow of the lawn has taken place, but we have been sure to leave large wild patches to encourage biodiversity.

The horses are very happy in their track system, where they are co-grazing with the sheep to reduce worm burden. This track system involves a strip of grass all around their field, allowing for movement up and down the hillside, hedgerow foraging and variety in tree cover and shelter while also restricting the abundant lush grass. The grass in the centre of the track is then rested ready for winter.

This month, we say goodbye to our wonderful team member, Sophie. She has worked across many our farms over the years, but at Hereford, we have been lucky enough to have her for the majority of her time at Jamie’s Farm. Her skillset is endless, farming, horse care, cooking, crafting… you name it, Sophie can do it. All of us have learned from her natural and easy-going conversational skills. We wish you luck in the next chapter, Soph, and look forward to catching up soon!