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Blogs | Jul 2024

June update from Jamie’s Farm Hereford

Hello from Jamie’s Farm Hereford!

This month, we were lucky enough to have another brilliant visit from the fantastic Bridge School Malvern. The visiting young people overcame challenges such as staying away from home for the first time, climbing mountains (another first), and developing newfound love for horses and other farm animals. A huge sense of achievement and pride was reverberating around the barn on Friday morning before the group went home.

The rest of our June visits have been a collaboration with our fellow charity partner, Bertha Earth. The young people of Hendon School brought with them a real sense of wonder, imagination and storytelling to the farm. A Thursday night celebration involving comedy sketches, musical performances and, of course, a huge feast made for a joyful end to a wonderful week.

Burntwood demonstrated lots of love for our local stream during their visit! We are very grateful to our neighbours who so generously allow us to use their wonderful paddling spot. We were moved during this week by how reflective the young people were. They really made the most of group meetings, check ins and supportive spaces, and appreciated the chance to listen and celebrate each other as a group.

We have now planted 21 acres of herbal leys, which replaced our winter cover crop. Herbal leys help to improve soil structure and health, providing resilience in dry period as well as mitigating flooding when it’s particularly wet. In a few weeks, we will place our sheep and cattle on this land to graze.

Speaking of our sheep and cattle, they are looking very healthy from their mob grazing from pervious herbal leys. Once this is grazed, we will re-seed this space of 30 acres.

Our 4 bottle-fed lambs are proving, as always, a real highlight for the visiting young people. The pigs are enjoying life outdoors, turning the ground over ready for planting afterwards.

Despite ‘No Mow May’ being over, there are some spaces that we are leaving to grow wild all through summer. The wild flowers and plants are providing a huge amount of variety as well as being useful and interesting spaces for the young people to explore and forage.

We’ve completed the improvement works to our new cascading ponds, to support with flood prevention. We’ve also increased our composting capacity with a new hot composter. We’re aiming for zero food waste at Jamie’s Farm Hereford! We also have a new wormery installed, alongside a large scale composting project in one of our cow sheds.

Another project is the refencing of a recently coppiced patch of woodland. This has been a 3 week stint, supported by 3 different Bertha Earth groups, who have worked as a whole team (15 young people) to clear the area, build bonfires, fences and sheds. This area will be a lovely outdoor space for the pigs!

This month, we say goodbye to Emyr, who has been farming with us since before he had his driving licence. We remember him getting to the farm on his moped! Over the years, he has increased his hours and has been covering our Farm Manager role and doing such a fantastic job at doing so. He will be missed, but we wish him all the best in his future ventures and have no doubt his skillset will be greatly valued in his next workplace.

We would like to celebrate Tom, a PGCE maths student who came to us on a week’s placement. He was a fantastic addition to our team, bringing his observant and light hearted approach to working with young people to the farm. We greatly appreciate the time and effort he put in to supporting the group during his time with us.

We look forward to updating you on our progress next month.