Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fordhall Farm mourns stolen pumpkin

Sadly on Wednesday night someone has stolen our giant (and real) pumpkin from the bottom of our drive. This was meant to advertise our up and coming Halloween event on Saturday. If anyone has seen our giant pumpkin with a scary jack- O-lantern face please can they call us here in the office and let us know.

Hannah Smith
The photo is me with another giant pumpkins that luckily we hadn't yet put down the bottom of the drive.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fun & Frights - Halloween fun this Saturday!

......have you bought your tickets yet?! Our halloween event is THIS Saturday and tickets are still available. The event is at Fordhall Farm from 5pm -9pm. Call us in the office on 01630 638696 for tickets (these are cheaper in advance!) Please see a previous blog below for more information!

See you Saturday!

Hannah Smith

Monday, October 18, 2010

Big Draw and Fordhall Working Weekend

Wow! What a weekend that was! This weekend, Fordhall Farm hosted The Big Draw event (a national art event) and held one of our regular volunteer weekends. We called our event 'Dingly, Dangly Drawings' where we made hanging mobiles from natural materials with the help of an artist. This gave people an opportunity to come along to the farm and get involved with some art. This year we made mobiles from natural items found on walks around the farm and encouraged everyone to unleash their creativity!

We also hosted another great working weekend which was a success. The event was fully booked weeks in advance and people came from far and wide to enjoy some physical outdoor work. Jobs that included some fantastic new benches and storage for our human pig ark, which could not have been completed without the skilled help of Matthew Simon from Stockport. Fencing was also erected, bales moved, and tables were made. Everyone had a great time and we had lots of new volunteers (that have also promised to come back and help us again!).

Here is a selection of photographs from the weekend and the Big Draw - enjoy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fordhall Farm on Ebay!

.....well not quite! But a kind shareholder is listing an auction for us at the moment....have a look. Here's what Kelvin has to say....!

''I have recently had a clear out and have posted 2 Beatrix Potter,Beswick characters on the site and the proceeds will go to The Old Dairy Project.Perhaps others might consider doing a similar thing and selling an item on Ebay and donating the proceeds to the project. Below is the link...please make a bid if you would like in order to get things going! Keep an eye on the auction and see what happens.....!

Kind Regards

Kelvin Baines, Shareholder.''

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fun and Frights on the Farm!

Here at Fordhall we are very excited to be hosting our first ever Halloween event on Saturday 30th October. Specifically aimed at children and families this will be a great evening of spooky Halloween fun on the farm!

Suitable for families and children aged 4-14 years this event is spooky, (not scary!) so come along and hunt for the scarecrows on our treasure hunt,  carve a pumpkin to take home with you and listen to the spooky Fordhall stories with a storyteller.

Not only that but we will have a fancy dress competition at 5.30pm and face painting taking place all night. So don't be late! Hot food and drink will be served all night and there are lots of delicious local beers for the adults to try!

Tickets can be purchased in advance for £3 per child (Adults free) and for every 4 children booked on and paid for in advance you can claim a token for one free bottle of local beer (!) All children will receive a free spooky goody bag with Halloween treats on the night.

Make a real evening of it and don't forget your torch!

To purchase tickets please contact the Fordhall office on 01630 638696 or email


Friday, October 08, 2010

Good News - Funding Awarded!

After a very long wait from the grant body for the Renovation of the Old Dairy, Advantage West Midlands, we were put forward to their approval panel today and approved! Whoop whoop :-)

The last few weeks and months have involved a lot of emails back and forth, supplying more evidence and answering their questions. Obviously, with the budget cuts everyone is watching their money very carefully and we were beginning to get concerned that the funding level would be dropped considerably.

However, the team at our Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands, are very supportive of our project and are really keen for it to succeed. They see the vital benefit that Fordhall has for the local community and for tourism in the area. They want to help us involve more people in the farm and spread the wonderful message of local food, conserving our natural environment and living sustainably. A big thank you to Jo Jury at the Regional Development Agency who has held our hand through the whole process and been a fantastic support.

The funding came through the Rural Development Programme for England and will contribute 40% towards the project costs. The exciting result is that contractors will be on site early November. So, we still hope to complete the bulk of the work by Easter 2011, so you can all pop over for your tea and cake!

A lot of work has gone into this application by the team at Fordhall Farm, but special thanks must go to Sharon Jones for her many hours spent working on the application, to our board for their guidance and positive support and not least to all of YOU. Without your support during our desperate appeal in July, this funding would not have been released.

This building will be built in memory of our later father, Arthur Hollins. Without his dedication to organic farming Ben and I, and all of our shareholders, would not have the wonderful foundation that we have at Fordhall today. It is his legacy and his philosophies of life and nature that will be exemplified through the new building and through its use for the local and wider community.

This marks an important step for the Fordhall Community Land Initiative. It creates the ability to take more formal educational groups and the ability to generate our own revenue to support this educational work. The management team will now go over the budgets to check that everything is still on track and that we are achieving the highest environmental standards we can within the budget that we have for the building. All funds raised from now on will allow us to improve those credentials, exchanging more energy intensive materials for more natural and sensitive alternatives (click on the link below if you would still like to contribute AND have your name on the plaque inside the building).

Many, many thanks once again and warmest wishes to you all - now to the beginning of another important journey for Fordhall Organic Farm.

Charlotte Hollins

(FCLI Manager)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Big Draw!

A week on Sunday Fordhall not only opens it’s doors to another set of helpful volunteers but hosts 'The Big Draw', a national art event that is free to take part in.  We hold this event every year and it is always great fun. This year our event is centred around drawing and making bugs, creepy crawlies etc.... from natural materials and turning them into a fantastic dangly mobile to take home and keep! What creatures will you create?! This event runs from 11am-4pm at the farm.
You don’t need to have any previous experience to join in, all you need is the enthusiasm to get involved! So spread the word and come and get involved! Hot food and drink is available, so why not make a day of it?!

Hannah (Pictures from last years event.)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Hannah gets married

Yes, that's right, Just over three weeks ago I got married, so from now Hannah Saunders is no more and from now on Hannah Smith is writing blogs and newsletters, organising working weekends etc........ and I couldn't be happier! So don't be confused by the name - it's still me!
I'm excited to be back after my time away especially since there is so much still happening during the last part of the year. Our Halloween event is going to be fantastic - perfect for families at half term and hopefully really successful for the FCLI - have you bought your spooky ticket yet?! Also if anyone is interested in volunteering at this event then please let me know. Thank you.

Hannah Smith (!)