What a year it has been. After receiving such incredible support from you to help us fund and build our new Learning Area, we're happy and excited to announce that the next stage of the plan is well underway!
Since our initial campaign the design has been tweaked and finessed by volunteers, partner organisations and staff, and we’re very excited for what the new Learning Area will bring to The Farm: an oasis of togetherness, learning and plentiful opportunities to increase wellbeing at an individual and collective level.
Although our fields have slowed their growth as the days shorten, activity around the site of the Learning Area, overlooking the lake, has steadily increased. Our charming yellow roundhouse recently enjoyed the addition of extensive, wheelchair-accessible decking and paths, and just last weekend we broke ground on the dipping pond. This match made in summer heaven – a place to bask in the sun and a place to cool down, to watch and engage with our beautiful surrounds and abundant wildlife – is just the first step towards completing the design of The Farm’s Learning Area in time for its inauguration before the next growing season.
Various other elements will fall into place soon enough, from forest garden planting to the installation of wheelchair-accessible raised beds for productive growing. We’ll also get our birch copse started so as to accommodate the first part of our woodland and wild crafts initiative. Indeed, what an exciting time for us, and how fantastic that others are starting to take notice!
Last summer, for instance, The Farm enjoyed a visit from BBC’s Countryfile. The Countryfile team documented both the beginnings of the design of the Learning Area and its implementation, all the while talking in depth with volunteers, staff and partners about what The Farm means to them, and how the programs we run and host have left a positive imprint on their lives and in the local area. Presenter Steve Brown seemed thoroughly impressed. The programme has not yet aired, but we’re told to expect it to be shown on Sunday December 29th, so mark your calendars! We’ll share the time of broadcast across all of our media channels as soon as we find out from the producers.
As a follow-up, Countryfile came back to The Farm in late November to record a podcast. This time they dug a bit deeper into our social and wellbeing programs, while also getting to meet people like our intrepid drivers and tireless warehouse team. We’re told that this episode will go live in mid-January. It should be accessible via all podcatchers, or via the Countryfile website at https://www.countryfile.com/podcast/.
So, not only is this month’s News From The Farm an update on the Learning Area and how organisations like the BBC are starting to pay more attention to our efforts, but it’s also a chance for us to say a huge THANK YOU! To think that this all began with a dream and a field with a single tap less than a decade ago! Without your support we would not be where we are today. From the very beginning we have worked tirelessly to bring our vision of a nature and people-friendly farm to life. Our recent “Winter Works” volunteer meeting was testament to this success, with enormous enthusiasm and excitement voiced by all, particularly when the final plans for the Learning Area were unveiled.
From all of us here at The Farm, we wish you a very merry (organic) Christmas and the happiest of (local) New Years. See you in 2020!