Monday, July 17, 2006

The aftermath, By Charlotte

Well, finally I think saving Fordhall has sunk in for us all. The celebration dinner on Saturday was a fantastic evening.

We raised in excess of £4,000, but more importantly everyone enjoyed themselves. I think it was when I saw everyone dancing at the end of the evening in the ceilidh that did it for me. Just seeing everyone care free and happy after so many months of campaigning and fighting was a great feeling. We know that all our hard work was worth it because you too really appreciate it and support it.

For many reasons this is just the beginning and it is certainly yet another learning experience for both Ben and I. We can finally start to plan for the future. Only this week Ben bought a new family of Gloucester Old Spot pigs to add to his group of breeding sows (see pic above with volunteer Jon on the right), and they are absolutely gorgeous. They are also next door to the farm shop, so make sure you take a look next time you visit.

Other things on the agenda aside from the farm business is the educational aspects of the Fordhall Community Land Initiative. There are many things to think about including staffing, priority of phases and sources of funding. With the security of the farm firmly under our belts there are many more grants we can apply for, but they take time. The important thing is that the funds we are still receiving from shares will contribute towards the match funding.

Our board will meet tonight to discuss these plans in more detail, but more news on the future plans will appear in our newsletter and ask for your comments. Please do keep your eye on this site for immediate developments.

Although we still have an enormous back log of shares in the office, there is a new feeling of calmess in the office. Sophie has just left to do her youth work in Market Drayton and Ben is just gone outside to feed the pigs, whilst I prepare for this evenings board meeting.

It is a very exciting time for Fordhall and the sun streaming in through the window envokes a new energy in us all...... but lets hope its not too long before the rain comes as our grass is beginning to look a little parched.


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