Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Farmhouse breakfast week

This week is national Farmhouse breakfast week and encourages the nutritional value of eating breakfast. From local bacon and sausages to local breads and cereals, there is always a fantastic choice for your first meal of the day! So start the year as you mean to go on and remember to eat breakfast!
Another great start to the year is the Uttoxeter's Farmers Market this Saturday from 9am to 1pm. This is a chance to experience local farmers, growers and producers in Uttoxeters' historic market place. Come and say 'hi' to Courier Dave on our very own Fordhall Farm stall! For more details please visit their website.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Alan Titchmarsh show - watch again

If you were busy at work yesterday afternoon and you missed the Alan Titchmarsh show then here is another chance to watch Farmer Ben Hollins in action - spot the adventurous chicken!

We were all really proud of his first lone TV appearance and we think he did fantastically well. This link will not be available for long, so please dont miss out.

Ben has also put together an 'Alan Titchmarsh' meat box on his online shop based on the selection of meats he took onto the show. See our online shop for more information. Click Here

A big thank you to Alan for inviting us on to the show and for presenting Ben with his 'National Treasure Award'. Alan has also agreed to sign some share certificates to help us with fundraising - a great birthday gift for anyone interested in outdoors.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ben on the Alan Titchmarsh show!

Remember to watch Ben Hollins on the Alan Titchmarsh show on Monday 21st January 2008. It's on ITV at 3pm. Look out for Bens award!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Trip to The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT)

Yesterday Jessica(An MA student studying sustainable development and helping us plan our sustainable buildings) and I took a trip to The Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales. If you haven't been before, it is really worth going. The ideas for environmentally friendly energy sources and recycling were endless - Even the bitter weather didn't dampen our enthusiasm! I learnt how to run a house in an ecological way that benefited both the pocket and the environment. There were also plenty of startling facts to really get you thinking about the impact we have on the environment. For example, did you know that our Co2 emissions should be 2.5 tonnes per person yet the UK average is 10 tonnes!(Meanwhile the average in China is less than 1 tonne.) It is a great place for a family day out and really provides food for thought. I will certainly be following up all that I have learnt in the next few weeks. Just make sure you pick a dry day to visit! (The photograph is of a solar powered telephone box.)


Monday, January 14, 2008

Saving Fordhall Farm on Radio 4

If you missed the documentary on 'Saving Fordhall Farm' this morning on Radio 4 then you can click on the link below.

To listen you will first need to install the latest RealNetworksRealPlayer:

We may be biased - but its a great programme, thank you Sara Parker. Please put aside 30 mins to sit down and listen to the story of Fordhall Farm. The farm that YOU saved and for which we will always be grateful.


P.S. Dont forget Ben will be on the Alan Titchmarsh Show Monday 21st January ITV 3pm.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fordhall Farm on Radio 4 and more...

A quick update to direct you all to a radio show about Fordhall on Monday 14th January. Tune in to Radio 4 at 11am and you will follow a year in life of Fordhall Farm - also recommended at 'Time Out's' Radio Show of the Week.

Sara Parker followed us and volunteers at events, through calving, through the AGM and through the bad weather and Foot and Mouth. We have no idea how she has managed to fit one year into 20minutes, but Mondays show will be the result.

More information see

Also don't miss the Alan Titchmarsh show on ITV on Monday January 21st at 3pm when you will see Ben chatting to Alan about Fordhall Farm, our livestock, the book 'The Fight for Fordhall Farm' and of course the educational work we are developing throughout 2008. It should be a fun show, but only time will tell.

Hopefully you all saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'Chicken Out' programme this week on Channel 4 and are now opting for free-range only. We have had a surge through the farm shop and had a number of schools arrange visits as a result. Keep up the good work Hugh, lets hope that it continues throughout the year.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Introducing Myself.......!

Hi! Hannah here, I’m the new Community Development Officer and have taken over from Sophie. I have recently graduated from Sheffield Hallam University where I gained an English Studies degree and I am very honoured to be part of such an exciting project here at Fordhall Farm. I hope to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to move this amazing venture forward, I was attracted to the role when I realised that I would be able to use my skills for something so worthwhile and (hopefully!) be able to make a difference to the project. My first assignment involves a trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology, which is on Monday, so be sure to come back and check the blog and see how I got on!
I’ve nearly finished my first blog now, but I just want to say that I’m very much looking forward to meeting you all, (Yes! All 8,000 of you!) at some point in the future. I hope that this first opportunity will arise at the next working weekend, which is taking place in February on the 23rd - 24th. See you there!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Fordhall Farm builds on 2007 with new horizons

Well, 2007 was certainly a year to remember. It began well with our first ever AGM in March being a huge success. This was followed by a hugely popular farmers market and 14 new board members being elected to the FCLI board.

The year had high aspirations and we moved forward with vigour, but the remaining events for 2007 were less than we had hoped. If it wasn't flooding, it was Foot and Mouth. This left our funds for the year depleted, but it did not damper our enthusiasm and the ceilidh in December was great fun.

Sophie has now left the office to move onto new challenges, and we wishe her the best of luck with whichever road she now finds herself on. So, the new year brings new energy and new enthusiasm. Hannah will join the ranks tomorrow as Sophie's replacement. After recently graduating with an English degree, she is eager to use her skills to make a difference at Fordhall. I am sure she will introduce herself properly on the blog, but we are all sure that her cheerful deposition and enthusiastic approach to Fordhall will combine for a very successful future.

However, the biggest development to date is probably the erection of Bens new farm shed. After winning the 'Young Rural Entrepreneur of the Year' Award (sponsored by Lycetts and The Field Magazine) this year, Ben is spending the money wisely on some farm investment. The shed has kept the men amused for hours, as they build, watch, build a bit more, drink coffee, watch, build, watch, drink coffee and build again. But every now and again I think the coffee goes to their head and they dont spend enough time watching and predictably they slip up! :-)

Now the shed is up, there are only the sides to go on. BUT, the progression is leaving me without a view from my office window! Hopefully there will soon be some new born lambs to keep me entertained...

The sides should go on soon, by Ben and some volunteers, and later the blocks. On behalf of Ben, can I say a big thank you for all those who donated to Ben's blocks appeal. He now has just enough money to purchase the blocks he needs to complete the shed and kepp all the baby lambs warm. We will keep you updated as it happens.

Warmest wishes to you all for 2008

Charlotte Hollins x