This month has been filled with some lovely visits from returning schools. We have enjoyed another wonderful visit from a group of young people from Cranford Community College. Highlights included the group’s amazing ability to reflect with honesty and openness, an impressive effort supporting the shearing of 350 sheep and the bottling of our very first Jamie’s Farm honey here on the farm!
We are also very fortunate here at Bath to welcome big groups in the summer to sprinkle some Jamie’s Farm magic and reach as many young people as possible. It has been really special to have the whole site buzzing with the sounds of young people laughing and making the most of the farm! The Year 6 pupils of Reach Academy joined us for a week of new experiences to help them celebrate their achievements in the year but also prepare themselves for Year 7 with lots of newfound confidence and excitement for the future. This week we have welcomed our first big group from King Solomon Academy who have been embracing the farm and all of its animals with lots of enthusiasm. Their visit was made even more special with an Eid celebration all together to mark the event with tasty food and a warm family feel that was enjoyed by all.
Our six-week follow-ups always feel like a wonderful opportunity for us to see the young people again in their school environment. This month, we went back to Bishopshalt School who came to the farm for their Bertha Earth retreat. It felt lovely to hear of young people having done some cooking from the Jamie’s Farm cookbook, having maintained positive friendships made while on the farm, and being so open and honest in their check-in sharing their news since being on the farm. Our follow-up with Salesian School was a great opportunity to hear of young people having made new career plans for the future, having acquired a pet snail, having plans to join a football club or having maintained their confidence in all of their abilities! We are always grateful to schools welcoming us back and making the time for us to help young people reconnect with their experience on the farm.
It has been another busy month on the farm! The sheep have been sheared with some expert support from our young people and our calves are now out in the fields doing well. Our Jerseys have calved and are giving us lots of lovely milk which is being enjoyed by the young people visiting the farm. The works on the pond and paddock have now been completed and the horses (and the goats!) are enjoying this new space. A final batch of our chicks has now hatched in the incubator which we were using whilst hatching chicks for a neighbour who had generously given us the geese who joined our solo goose Doris last month. Our farmers have been at the Regenerative Agriculture Festival Groundswell enjoying the opportunity for knowledge sharing on all aspects of regenerative farming.
One of our lovely young people who visited the farm wrote some lovely words about her experience here and the impact that it had on her:
“To me, the farm trip was everything. It was an experience I had luckily been chosen for, and I don’t regret joining it. Not only have I made connections with people who I never thought I could get along with, but I also found peace in both the animals and nature… The way I put myself out there was what I call a life-changing moment for me, a memory I shall not forget… …bringing that confidence back to school is something I am very content about. The farm trip made me see I am worth more than just a human, I discovered that I am strong, brave (other than the fact I couldn’t face a daddy-long leg), gentle with animals and interesting. Being on that farm trip made me seem like a different person when really it was just me finding traits, I never thought I had, and to that I say thank you! ”
We have an exciting announcement of our yearly open day coming up and although it is in quite some time still, we thought you might like to mark the date in your calendars as we would love to welcome you to the farm on Saturday 9th September from 11am to 3pm! It is always an absolute pleasure to be able to share with you all what we do on the farm so we hope to see all of you here on that day.