The roof goes on!

The roof goes on!
Weathertight for winter

Friday, 2 November 2012

It's been a long time but we're nearly there! The roof is finally going on and we have the Dolton Ladies Phoenix group to thank for the money to put the lid on this project. We have managed really well with a tarpaulin and some roofing felt very kindly donated by Mark Hedges and have been able to shelter from the wet weather during our Forest School sessions.  Soon it will be totally weathertight and will look very authentic....and hopefully Stuart can sort out the smokey fire!
This autumn has been a disappointment for us, although a lot of the rain has fallen in the night and we have enjoyed all or our schools' visits.  The ground is sodden, providing a lot of mud to suck our boots in and slip us up!

Winter is coming!

Friday, 30 March 2012

The arrival of Spring!

Here at Nethercott we have just waved goodbye to our final school of this term (St. Swithuns R.C. Primary in Southsea) after a wonderful week of sunshine, hard work and laughter. At the same time our goslings have started to hatch out...just in time for the children to see it happening before they went home.
The rhubarb is bursting forth and is already being brought into the kitchen to make delicious puddings. Stuart is getting ready to plant our potatoes on Davids' field and it will be a busy Easter holiday in the garden as well as at The South West Food Fair in Exeter where we have a stand. Come and visit if you're in the area on Friday 13th, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th April in Northernhay Gardens. There will be opportunities to work with our cooks making flavoured breads, oaty flapjacks, butter and apple juice.
During our Forest School sessions on Tuesdays there have been several willow hurdles made and taken back to school to beautify outdoor spaces. Our willowbed has been harvested to provide us with more materials for making all sorts of wonderful woven things, such as plates, headdresses and dreamcatchers.
We wish all our friends and 'Old Farmers' a very happy Easter and look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Friday, 3 June 2011

After a pretty cold May and a cloudy and chilly half-term, the weather has now come good for our first school of the summer proper! There are loads of chicks hatching out and a couple of young goslings in the cob shed with their parents. The vegetable garden is visibly changing every day and things are growing so fast. In the house we are eating new potatoes, rhubarb, salad leaves, parsley, strawberries and radishes. Our last 4 pigs are providing us with delicious sausages and pork and we have loads of eggs every day. Things will only get more abundant as the growing season progresses and we are planning to get more weaners in September to supplement our pork stocks.
On Saturday 23rd July we will be at The Mid-Devon Show in Tiverton as the charity of the show, so come and see us there if you can. We are also running a Grand Draw to coincide with the show and tickets are available from Nethercott from this week.
Our family of Bluetits fledged last week and now the nestbox is very empty. We had a lot of pleasure out of watching the laying and hatching of eggs and seeing the parents coming again and again with food for their chicks. Sadly, one of them died before it was fully-grown but hopefully the rest of them are living independently and successfully around Nethercott.
Joseph, Chriss and Bluebell are in the yard waiting for the farrier to come and trim their feet today. They don't enjoy that much but it needs doing!
Roll on another enjoyable half term and long may this weather last.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Spring turns cool and cloudy.

April has been so warm, dry and sunny and we have all enjoyed it very much, but......the farmers need rain to make the grass grow so that they can make a lot of sileage. We need it to help our potato crop as well and the River Okement is low enough for us to walk through it from one side to the other (stopping to skim stones on the way!)
Our pigs went to the slaughterhouse during the Easter holidays and we are now eating delicious sausages and roast pork. The pig shed seems very empty and won't be welcoming more weaners until September. We have more eggs than we can eat as the hens are laying so well. There are turkeys and geese sitting on eggs as well as loads in the incubators.
Death Hill is covered in buttercups and thistles, which makes rolling down it quite painful on the stock check....but we still do it! Now the smell of cooking pizza is wafting up the stairs to my office as I write after the children from Curledge Street Primary in Paington have spent today cooking their tea.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Spring is definitely on its' way in!

We've been enjoying a wonderfully mild and sunny period which has pleased our two most recent schools. It was coats off and draped over the cob oven during our Forest School session on Tuesday and we were all sorry to have to go indoors....even for lunch! Our pigs are fattening up fast and are due to go to the abbattoir on April 12th which means that we need another chest freezer to store them in. Graham and Jonathon have finished lambing and David has started his so there are plenty of lambs in the fields enjoying the sunshine, some needing bottle-feeding. The dairy herd at Parsonage Farm are going out into the fields during the day which means that the electric fence is back....a favourite job for most children! Two goslings hatched out on Thursday and there are plenty more eggs in the incubators so everything is moving forward in a very seasonal way. We welcome the light mornings particularly and the evenings are drawing out too.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Winter at Nethercott

It's been a long time since my last post and winter is well and truly under much so, in fact, that it is the middle of January and Christmas is well and truly in the oast! We were very snowed out over the holidays so it was difficult to get in and care for the poultry and donkeys. Barry took the tractor home so that at least he could come and go every day while those of us with only cars couldn't get very far at all.
Now we are in 2011 and are 2 schools into the term. We are pleased to be welcoming 3 new schools to start the year with Lark Hall Primary from Stockwell, London here at the moment. The weather has been damp and mild and is now cold and clear and sunny. Lots of cold fingers and toes first thing in the morning! We have established cooking as a regular activity on Tuesdays, when the children make their own tea (pizza, salads and puddings). Next week we will start to operate a three-way division so that we can run Forest School, Toms Talk and cooking every week.
I am posting a selection of pictures taken over the winter and depicting the wonderful bonfire Sunnyhill Primary from Streatham, London enjoyed, as well as some of our pigs which went to the slaughterhouse last week and Lark Hall children cooking.
A Happy New Year to all our friends and farmers!