- 3rd April 2020
- Posted by: Steve Lewis
- Category: Uncategorised
It has been a while since I last wrote and so much has happened, not just with the farm but globally too. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to move to a larger county council farm early this year, a move which we are truly grateful for. The farm is the other end of the village so the children can remain in the local school, and us a part of the close-knit community.
The move was hard work and completed as lambing was beginning, meaning no chance to rest and recover, but that is farming. Looking back now, although it was tough, we were lucky to get the move completed before the Coronavirus lock-down and schools closing. We now find ourselves home educating 5 children as well as running the farm and meat box business. It was hugely daunting at first, but it has been an opportunity to “slow down” and reconnect with our children. They have been involved with our lives and us with theirs. Living on the farm has been a blessing, the space, the fresh air and the freedom. Along with school tasks we have been clearing and reinstating a veg garden, planting trees, exploring the hill fort and discovering long overgrown paths. Cooking has also become important with each child helping make the evening meal as there is not the rush of going out to meetings, clubs etc. Don’t get me wrong, there have been fights, arguments, tears and worries too, and it hasn’t been easy, but our isolation is so much better than many. We made a Celtic feast as a part of my 9-year old’s schoolwork. She collected wood and learnt how to safely light the fire. We foraged for wild herbs to mix into her herb and nettle flat breads (which were delicious) and of course had lamb, mutton and local pork too. To finish I made marshmallows with my 11-year-old to toast at the end.
Looking at an old map we discovered there was a track down to the brook. We not only found it and cleared our way, but we were able to paddle in the cool waters on a rare sunny March day. On the climb back up the hill we found and dissected owl pellets, examined rabbit holes and so much more. Would I have had the time and patience to do this normally? Who knows, but it has made memories that will last a lifetime.
Local support for local food has been overwhelming and a lifeline. It is nice to see people turning away from larger shops and supporting local businesses in such an anxious time. Our meat box sales have improved, providing welcome relief in such turbulent times. It also gives us something to focus on too. I see local butchers, bakers, green grocers all offering local delivery. We must remember this when life returns to “normal”, but I know one thing for sure, I aim to try and keep life a little slower than it was before.