Quality time for Helie and Chris with their little farmers

Hello, we're back, I've missed writing for you. Hope you've all had a good few weeks. While I've not been here I've been off on holiday with my boys, having some time to focus on family and working on a few things for CaenhillCC. It's been far from relaxing for many reasons, but we've been needing some time to bond as a family of four and I've needed time to focus on a few projects. So, while we're not refreshed, we at least came home from South Wales with lots of memories and probably enough sand in the car to top up Casey's sandpit. Maybe next holiday we'll be able to get our Chatty Farmer away on a break, this time though, we left him being really busy at the farm and it's been so busy that I don't even know where to begin.

I guess when you don't know where to start, the beginning is always a good place and while my holiday was just starting, Chris was partying away in 60's style. Of course you'd be totally forgiven for not recognising Chris at all with such an incredible outfit, Farmer Casey didn't, but I think in the end his dancing gave him away. He wasn't just dressed up for the fun of it this time though, instead he was ready for our first social in a long time to help raise funds for our project. Between everyone able to join us in person, raffle tickets sold on the night and some incredible online donations, following a special video from Chris and Claire, the team raised an amazing amount. All of the funds will go straight back into the project and hopefully help towards some machinery of our own too. A huge thank you to everyone who supported us, you are all amazing.

Before Chris could dust off his dancing shoes though, we've had our students returning for their placements with us now that the school summer holidays are over. It's always a difficult time with the new school year starting, no placements are guaranteed and the students are often out of routine. As we're quickly heading towards the next school break though, we are slowly seeing students return to us. All just in time to help us prepare for winter now that we are starting to get a bit of chill in the air and recently a bit too much rain.

It's not just getting a little bit cooler and wetter, it's getting so much darker as well. This means we're having to make a few changes to the farm schedule. The first change is our Dotty Club. We've had a lot of fun hosting the club for local children over the last few months, though we've now decided to take a winter break. While it's a shame, we just can't offer the work and activities we'd like through the cold, wet and dark months, especially considering we have limited indoor space at the moment. I'm sure we'll be back with the Dotty Club in no time at all, but for now a big thank you to our students for their work this summer. Plus, while on the subject of clubs, we'll be looking to move our adult volunteering session, so if you're interested in joining, keep a lookout for more updates.

The other main change to our farm schedule is rush hour. Don't worry rush hour fans, there will still be a rush hour, it's just moving later and later with the dark mornings. Our animals aren't so keen on heading out into the dark, especially with a fox around, so Chris will be reviewing his morning live sessions. However we cover the rush hour, there will of course still be plenty from the farm coming your way.

Taz was excited about the arrival of new eggs too

Talking of farm content, we are still filming exclusives for our Patreons as a thank you for their support. And now, for the first time, we've been able to offer them early access to our new store and discounts this week. We're so thrilled that so many took up the offer and are already receiving their calendars ready for next year. Don't worry if you aren't a patreon though, the store is now available for you too and you'll still get speedy service from our supplier. We'll be continuing to offer special discounts to our Patreons to say a huge thank you as well as exciting new products for everyone as the shop develops.

Yes, you've read it correctly, our 2022 calendars are out now with a version from myself and Caroline for you to choose between. Caroline worked really hard on some new illustrations which I hope you'll enjoy if you are purchasing the calendar, while I've been behind the camera. It's been the most challenging calendar for me to produce with lockdown, pregnancy and a clingy baby to deal with, but we got there thanks to some fab photos from Chris to add to the collection. I'll even have another calendar (or maybe two) coming your way as well, so keep a look out for news, especially if you love cats as much as me.

With so much going on it's hard to believe we're still finding time for tours as well, but they are still continuing (if you'd like to visit, please book ahead). We've had some fantastic visitors recently and are thrilled that we've been able to extend our tour offers to groups as well. We've recently welcomed a local scouts group and a care home where two of our placements live. Thank you so much to both of the groups, we hope they learnt a lot between the animal treats.

Talking of our animals, they've had a bit of a boost recently, and I'm not just talking about more wonderful Patreons joining us or treats from our visiting groups. They've had an extra social food delivery from Amazon. A very big thank you to the Amazon team who visited bringing along animal supplies they are no longer able to sell. Their support means a lot to us all, especially Oreo who now had a bit of a selection of food to try. Hopefully they'll return with a few of their colleagues for a full farm experience soon.

While Oreo and the cats enjoy their extra food, our lovely donkeys Coco and Eli are enjoying a bit of a treat too. We've brought them into the barn to escape the wet and windy weather along with a few of our other bigger animals. Don't worry, we are still working on a new shelter for a donkey duo thanks to Nicky, but for now the field is too wet. Hopefully though, you'll enjoy seeing more of our animals together during our videos and you'll enjoy seeing how much all of our goats have grown.

We've been really lucky with our baby animals this year, as well as our baby goats, we've had some amazing additions to our gaggle of geese, lambs, ducklings, chicks and even some very unexpected kittens. Now, it's almost time for the baby animal season to stop for the winter, but before we close that door completely, we are hoping to have our last few arrivals soon. Last week, Farmer Casey and I visited the farm and helped Chris with a very special task: we put some duck eggs in the incubator. All being well the eggs will hatch at the end of this month bringing in some new Indian Runner ducks to our barn. Casey, Dexter, Chris, Caroline and I all have an egg each and hopefully we'll have a duckling each soon.

Anyway, I think that's it, or at least you've been reading for long enough, so I will leave it there. Thank you so much everyone for your support, through donations, the wish list, visits and everything else you do, you are all amazing.

Until next time, take care.

Kara, Casey, Dexter and Teddy