Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blogs gone haywire - an old post published by accident...oh well, remember when....

Yes thats right, we are nearlly finished. But to meet our deadline we have all been working well into the night. Unfortunately, wonderful volunteers Alan and Gary had left by the time I took this photo, but they spent 5 dedicated hours clearing plastic from the stainless steel and unpacking the huge catering supplies order! Thank you to both of you. All we need is Andy, our sparky to power up the oven and freezer, a little repair job on the dishwasher and we are away. Compact and functional.

We are hoping to give it a test run tomorrow with our wonderful chef (and community garden coordinator), Bex. She will be backing some of our own bread and some wonderful soup and cakes.

Whilst my team were busy in the tea room, Ben, Ade and Josh were busy setting up the farm shop. They inserted shelves, fridges and freezers and ferried over all the new shop stock - very exciting.

But, it got to past midnight and we were all starting to flag a little. There are still boxes to unpack, tables and chairs to lay out, a till to programme and shelves to fill, but we will make it by the weekend.

Starting off small scale, this weekend will give us the opportunity to try the space and find out exactly what we have forgotten! Ready for our big event next weekend, when we have our annual AGM and Sunday Farmers' Market.

We hope to have a bigger official opening later in the year - possibly with a very well known visitor - fingers crossed.

Hope to see you soon,


This building is part funded by Advantage West Midlands.

Monday, July 25, 2011

So, school has finally broken up and summer is here!  We have loads of fantastic activities, events and courses running for all ages; have a look below to see what’s happening throughout the year…

Our “Love your Garden” workshops start on Tuesday 26th July, this weekly workshop is run in conjunction with The Shropshire Wildlife Trust.  These activities will be held every Tuesday throughout the summer, from 10.30am-2.30pm and they are completely FREE!
So, bring a picnic and come and join in the fun. 
Tuesday 26th July starts off with a Fordhall Farm Bioblitz! Come and help us with a giant wildlife survey on the farm,  there will be a chance to do some pond dipping, bird watching and even set up a moth trap.
Tuesday 2nd August we will be looking at Amazing Amphibians and Reptiles.  Simon Airey will lead a talk on reptiles and amphibians and show you the wonderful world of our slippy and slithery friends.  After lunch, there will be a craft session where you get the chance to make your own frog, newt or toad to take home.
Tuesday 9th August is Mega Mini-beasts; you can join a giant bug hunt and discover how to welcome these brilliant small creatures into your garden.
Tuesday 16th August is all about Brilliant Birds, you can search the skies of Fordhall for our many feathered friends and make your very own bird box and feeder to take home with you.
Tuesday 23rd August, we will be admiring Marvellous Mammals, you can find out all about the little mammals that may visit your own garden at home, learn how to look for mammal tracks and trails and help us make a home for hedgehogs at Fordhall.
Tuesday 30th August rounds all of these activities off with a Wacky Wildlife Party! Join us as we celebrate the summertime and all the wildlife in our back gardens and surrounding areas.  You can also find out how to enter the “Love your Garden” Competition and make your garden wildlife friendly – great prizes to be won!
 ALSO at Fordhall Farm this year:
An example monoprint
On Saturday 30th July, you can take part in a Print Making Workshop. Here you can create your own, unique artwork with local artist Helen Thompstone.  She will be here to teach you a simple mono-printing technique that you can put into practice on your artwork.  Think you haven’t got a creative bone in your body? This is the perfect way to start testing out your artistic talent!
This is from 10am-12pm and only £15 per person!

Friday 5th August is Family Pizza Day! Come and join Bex Syrett, our Community Garden Officer in our picnic area where you can make, bake and eat your own pizza in our outdoor clay oven! This session is from 10am-1pm and only £15 per person.  

Rag Rug by Lynne Stein
At Fordhall on Saturday 13th August Lynne Stein will be here teaching traditional rag rug techniques.  The course is suitable for total beginners as well as those with more experience.  This is a great opportunity to reuse and recycle old material that you have lying around. The course is from 10am-4pm, £50 per person and includes lunch from our local food tearoom!

On Thursday 18th August at Fordhall Farm there is the chance to learn how to get the best out of your compost heap AND enjoy a delicious hot drink and homemade cake too, come down to Coffee, Cake and Compost with Bex!From 10am-12.30pm and costs £7.50 per person. 

Pippestrelle Bat
On Thursday 1st September we are having a Brilliant Bat Bonanza.  Come for walk around Fordhall Farm with our very own Batman, Dan Merrett, from The Bat Conservation Trust.  He will be here to help us to identify the bats that we see and show us how they feed and where they roost.  It starts at 7.45pm and it’s FREE!

Saturday 3rd September is Fordhall’s Beer and Music Festival, with great local beer, great local food and great local music!!  From 11am-11pm we will be enjoying the sounds of Buffalo Riot, Raw Lemon, Pre Sleep Monologue, Heidi and the Brownies, Alfie Chevans plus many more great bands!  Tickets £10 in advance/ £15 on the door.  Camping is also available for £5.  Keep an ear to the ground for more information coming soon.
Weasel Diesel at 2010 Beer Festival

Fancy having a go at Basket Weaving?  Why not come down on Saturday 17th September  and learn the traditional art of willow weaving with experienced weavers Helen and Kevin Stanley and take home your very own basket.  This creative session is from 10am-4pm and costs £45 per person.

For those of you who have artistic talent The Big Draw event will be held here at Fordhall on Sunday 16th October.  Get your creative fingers at the ready… 

And finally, come and celebrate Halloween with us on Saturday 29th October with Fordhall Fun and Frights.  This Spooktacular event is full of treats for all the family! 

To book on any of the courses, events or activities please get in touch with Beth or Becca in the office on 01630 638696 or email project@fordhallfarm.com

Friday, July 08, 2011

Summer Fair and 5th Birthday Party!

The Summer Fair held at Fordhall Farm on 26th June was a brilliant celebration of 5 years in community ownership! Over 600 people came out to join in the fun and spend the day at Fordhall.

The day started with a slow, but steady trickle of people, 10am on a Sunday morning must have been a bit early! However by the time Sharon Males arrived in her RAF Squirrel Helicopter the crowds had arrived too.
Meanwhile, the Farmers’ Market was bustling and the queues had begun to form in front of Ben’s hog roast.
Whilst parents were munching on good local food and some supping on good local ale, the kids were having a fantastic time.

If they weren’t riding donkeys up and down the field, Jonno from The Good Tree Company was showing them how to climb up the big oak tree behind the picnic area.

Sharon Jones was giving them an opportunity to delve into a Giant Dressing Up Box and revamp some recycled clothes, ready for their afternoon fashion parade.

Inside the Giant Pig Arc, you could paint a bird box, make a clay animal, identify some wildlife and pet some caid (orphan) lambs, all under the watchful eye of Beth Kennet, our Wildlife Officer. Also in the Pig-nic area was Bex Syrett, slaving over a hot Pizza Oven – you could make your own pizza and have it cooked for you in minutes in our beautifully crafted clay oven.

Of course, the renowned Welly Wanging competition was in full flow, well done to winners, Jamie Russell and Tom Lowry who wanged their wellies 13 metres and 26.1 metres respectively! Littlies could collect an array of stickers from five activities around the fair, including finding Scarecrow Ben in the centre of the post maze and taking part in egg and spoon, and sack races!

A.R Richards brought their tractor and were trundling people around the farm, with Denise onboard pointing out Fordhall’s main assets and Edwin Jones had brought his lovely vintage tractor too for people to admire.
The Emergency Services all turned up to join in the fun and kids had a chance to nose around the vehicles and the police even put their sirens on!

If that all got too much, Geoff Turner and co. were entertaining the crowds with folk tunes, so you could settle down in the sun and have a doze whilst others were enjoying a wide selection of ice creams to keep themselves cool in the summer sun.

The fashion parade paraded around the fair at 2.30pm, followed by the raffle, and then by the departure of the helicopter. Sharon Males took off with our camera and snapped some aerial shots of the farm (Everyone Wave!).

Before the end of the day, Chris Eldon Lee, who had been our MC for the fair started up a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ and Charlotte and Ben cut the fantastic birthday cake.

It had been a very long and hot, but fun and successful day.... everyone trailed off just after 4 in search of some shade, with smiles on their faces.
Once again, none of this would have worked with out the generous time and effort given by our fantastic team of volunteers. They carried, set up and ran stalls and activities all day, and were still there at the end to help us to pack up. A very big thank you from all of us!