We have had a busy month of May with lots of young people enjoying the brighter weather on the farm. Our partnership with Bertha Earth has brought us groups from Bishopshalt School, School 21 and Reach Academy Feltham for a retreat celebrating the end of their year-long programme focused on connecting with themselves, each other and nature. This week, we are welcoming a group of year 11 students from Ark Burlington Danes who are spending their half term at the farm mixing revision with farm activities – such an impressive display of focus, engagement, maturity mixed in with lots of fun!
It has been lovely to see the young people of Esher High School again to catch up in school about everything they have achieved since their time on the farm. It is always a pleasure to be able to hear from the group but also the staff on how the support is continuing to maximise the momentum of the Jamie’s Farm experience. This has led to some young people managing their responses differently in school, looking to continue working with horses and meeting the challenge they set themselves to join clubs outside of school. Our follow-up for Holland Park took place on the Oasis Waterloo farm which has been a fantastic opportunity for the group to reconnect with farming to remind themselves of everything they are capable of!
As always, there is plenty taking place on the farm. We seeded herbal leys at the start of the month, and they are already looking great. Bulls are going out this week ready for calving next year. The lambs are looking very well out in the fields, with plenty of grass cover. All March-born lambs are now grouped together, being moved every three days on one to two-hectare blocks.
We have been fortunate enough to welcome Marguerite, a new team member in Monmouth, to the farm in Bath. She embraced the experience, showed a natural ability to connect with the young people and contributed so much to the team that we always reflect on how much it brings to each farm to have team members from other farms join us for the week. It is an extremely busy time of year in the garden and we are always grateful for the support of our regular volunteers Alison, Sue and Catherine who dedicate some of the time to helping us stay on top of the long list of gardening jobs – thank you!
There is some exciting construction work going on which has revealed a range of historic artefacts and the bonus discovery of an original pond which we plan to reinstate with the possibility of some ducks joining us! We have welcomed a new horse, Velvet, to the farm and she is settling well, having made friends with Minnie and Ginger. We have had a generous donation of two geese who have joined our solo goose, Doris, to keep her happy and we continue to wait for our Jersey cows to calve.