Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
Both Ben and I agree that the Christmas of 2006 has been one of our best ever at Fordhall. For once we could relax and really enjoying being at the farm; being at 'home'. Most of the christmas' we can remember were tinged with the dread that one day we would have our last christmas at the farm. Yet this year, we were able to celebrate the opportunity of enjoying christmas' at Fordhall forever! I can't tell you what an amazing feeling that was.
Our christmas morning began at 9.30am with Ben and his girl friend Marie-anne cooking us all Fordhall bacon sandwiches, mmmm. We then began to cook christmas dinner. There is always so much to do at Fordhall that on chirstmas day we make a special point of not rushing, we just let things happen as they will. As a result there was no real time set for dinner, apart from the fact that it would be some time in the afternoon.
This year christmas dinner was up to the 'youngsters'. So Ben and I, together with our better halves, Marie-anne and Oli, cooked christmas dinner. We had melon and then soup as starters then; pork, chicken, sprouts, parsnips, roast potatoes, mashed sweet potato and swede, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cheesy leeks, carrots, gravy and chutneys. Even without the desserts it was a locally produced feast to die for, and every family member had contributed at least one item to the meal.
Luckily before dinner we all went for a walk around the land you helped to save earlier in the year. By this time our older half-sister Marianne with husband Alan had joined us (see above, with mum behind the camera!). So we donned the wellies and our christmas hats, and even found time to feed the goats a treat on the way.
By the time we got back from the walk, the food was cooked and we were certainly ready for it.
Like most of yours, our christmas went into the evening with games and laughter in front of the roaring log fire, but not once did we forget the unforgettable year we have had and the sheer number of people who had enabled us to have such a special christmas.
I remember an email from one of our early shareholders just after the deadline in July. She said that when she had first seen the campaign on BBC Midlands Today (October 2005), she had thought that it was a great idea and very worthwhile, but that the £800,000 target was just to large to achieve. She told this to her husband and he said "well that maybe true, but if we put in £50 and enough other people think the same and just put in £50 then it may soon add up, so why dont we?". They did, and so did thousands more of you. So when you think that your one or two shares were insignificant, think again. It was the result of so many of you putting in that little bit that enabled that colossal sum of £800,000 to be raised, and thats what makes this campaign so amazing. You all did just as Ghandi said.
"Be the change you want to see in the world" Ghandi.
Thank You for Christmas 2006.
May 2007 take Fordhall to a new level.
Charlotte says “both Ben and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for us. We were completely amazed by the result when the BBC told us. Only 100 votes behind the winner is an amazing achievement. It really motivates us to know that so many people are still supporting our activities at Fordhall. We won the Schumacher Award last September for our contribution to sustainable development and now coming second as Midlander of the Year, both are great achievements, but saving Fordhall with so much support behind us has to be the biggest success of 2006”
Fordhall Farm is now owned by almost 8000 people from across the country and even the globe, with the land leased to Charlotte and Ben, but there is still a long way to go at Fordhall; bunkhouses are being planned as well as a local/organic food tea rooms, and all built sustainably and with as much community input as possible.
There are always ways to get involved with the farm. You can still buy non-profit making shares in the Initiative, visit the farm shop or you can take part in their volunteer working weekends. The next is planned for this Sunday 14th Jan when there will be a one day hedge laying training course. Anyone wanting to take part in the training day, or would like to know more about Fordhall are encouraged to call Sophie on 01630 638656 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can keep updated with progress at Fordhall by following their online diary linked from their website http://www.fordhallfarm.com/.