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Can't wait until I'm back here with Chris at the farm

It might have been a bit wetter and a bit colder than we wanted here this week, especially for Casey and I wanting to get out and have some quality time together, but what a week at the farm. All because this week we've seen a bit of the old farm buzz returning with more students coming back, even more volunteers and more potential placements visiting. We are of course managing all of this with CVD-19 restrictions and the safety of our team and everyone on-site is extremely important to us, but we are so thankful to be able to have some normality return.

Though of course a few things have changed since we last had some normality, there are now more animals and as you might remember, we welcomed Claire to the CaenhillCC team. She joined us back in January after the project successfully brought in some funding to temporarily help with our student support. Due to restrictions in the U.K. though, Claire is only just getting the chance to meet our students for the first time. She's of course been getting used to all of the animal care requirements up until now, but we hope she's just as excited as us that she can now start developing our student placements who join us during the week.

Our students come to us from local schools to support their ongoing education. They've often struggled with learning in the classroom, but through the farm we can offer them an alternative way to learn and engage them in developing practical skills. We're incredibly proud of what some of our placements have gone on to achieve and now we have support from Claire, we hope we can further develop this programme. We've already been able to meet potential new placements this week which would have otherwise been a struggle for us to accommodate. With that in mind we really do hope we'll be able to continue to fund the support of Claire, and who knows, maybe even more student support in the future.

We're really proud to offer the chance for other young people to visit the farm as well through the Dotty Club and our Duke of Edinburgh programme, which we're thrilled to say are fully subscribed. The uptake on our placements has honestly blown us away and even with an extremely wet evening, our Dotty Club members returned just as keen as the first session. Don't worry if you've missed the chance to get a placement or live too far away though, the Dotty Club is now online and this week saw the start of the YouTube channel. Here we'll develop and post content especially for young people, it's early days, but we hope to create something magical.

Going back to current restrictions, it does mean that our previous indoor teaching space is not possible to use with our clubs and students during bad weather. Though with a little help from some volunteers this week, we've been able to develop something new. A big thank you to Dave, who's been volunteering at the farm for a while now, for bringing a small team in to help from his work. We made great use of the team by installing an outdoor workspace in the form of a polytunnel that we can now use to shelter from the elements with our students as needed. With so much well ventilated space inside I'm sure it'll come into great use, although I really hope the summer will be kind to us. We're so thankful for businesses like Arval who allow their staff to get out and volunteer at projects like ours, it can make such a difference.

Between the students and volunteers we even managed to welcome a fashion photo shoot to the farm this week. This really isn't a typical activity for us and I'm really not sure this has happened before, but we do like to help education where we can and this particular shoot was for a university project. It was certainly a day to remember for the team who are a lot more used to wellies and raincoats around the barn. Who knows what we'll be getting involved with next.

Now, as I always say, between all of this activity, there is of course the animals. The reason we're constantly busy and Chris never really takes a break. Between everything we run at the farm, their care comes first and I'm pleased to say they've mostly been behaving this week. Maybe they were all too busy celebrating Violet's birthday as she turned one year old this week, it's gone so quickly.

Our goslings are growing at an incredible speed and Wiggle is starting to settle into barn life a little more. Chris does put Wiggle away from our other geese at night still, but is far more settled around the farm when Chris is busy in the cabin or out in the fields. Apple and Banana the goslings are getting too big to stay with Hook the duck so we've had to separate them for now. It's not bad news though as Hook has a new friend, another little duckling called Captain who hatched on Wednesday. I'm really looking forward to watching Apple, Banana, Hook and Captain grow through Chris' videos along with you.

The biggest news though, is we have a new emu who we introduced our Patreons first as a big thank you for all of their support for another month. Yes, that makes a total of four emus at the farm now. With Taz getting a bit too quick in running away, our little emu has been spending more time away from Wiggle and some of the other friends. We were keen to make sure Taz had some company though, so Chris managed to locate an emu chick of a similar age to Taz who he picked up this week. Casey has named our new little emu Chip and we're happy to say that Chip is settling into farm life well.

I think that's almost it for this week, but before I leave you I wanted to reassure you that we haven't forgotten about Caroline. Our friend, duck dancer and artist is taking a little time out to focus on her health, we of course miss her but look forward to her coming back with more energy than before, if that's possible. All while I am slowing down too with not long to go before my next little one arrives, so I can't be too sure when my next blog will be. Poor Chris, hope he's not missing us too much, but at least both Caroline and I are still there to support him remotely and our reunion will be the best. 

Until next time keep safe.

Kara, Casey and Teddy 

A Year Without A Spring

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