Chris and Oreo bonding

With October shaping up to be a busy month we've been using the end of September to get all of our ducks in a row. It turns out we've got too many ducks to line up, so we decided to concentrate on getting ready for winter instead. The weather will be against us before we know it, we've already had a lot of rain, so we need our animals ready in their winter homes to help us look after them through the colder and wetter months.

The biggest job this week has been clearing out the barn. Normally this would be done regularly with the help of our volunteers and students, but the pandemic has really reduced the amount of help that we can bring in. With such a backlog we needed some machinery to help us out, a huge thank you to John for making it possible and getting the bulk of the work done. We can't do it all by machine though and there's always plenty of clearing up that needs doing by hand as well, and a big thank you to our new volunteer Amelia for getting stuck in. She not only brings a wealth of animal care knowledge to the project, but a fantastic work ethic too.

It's not just time for the annual winter preparations, it's time for the CaenhillCC calendar preparations too. This is an additional calendar to Caroline's beautiful illustrated version and utilises mine and Chris' photos of the animals. We had a last minute addition with Marlene and Trigger posing perfectly together, they must have heard Chris and I discussing the final pictures and were worried they weren't going to make the cut, but we're now ready. Keep a lookout for more news on how to get your hands on the photo calendar and an extra special weekly planner.

If calendars aren't the top of your Christmas shopping list, don't forget there's still Caroline's shop and hopefully I'll be bringing you some extra CaenhillCC items soon. Plus Chris is developing a very special Christmas shoutout for you all too and I can't wait to bring you more news on that, it's going to be amazing. You can of course keep requesting your Birthday, and any other occasion shoutouts through our form as well.

Before we get to Christmas we still have a very special Birthday though, with our very own Chatty farmer becoming another year older on 13 October (don't tell him I hold you). We've got a day of celebrations planned on 10 October (weather permitting), so that's only next week. Across the day we'll be bringing live feeds and as much fun as we possibly can, there'll be more information closer to the day, but we hope you can join us for some of it at least. I'm really hoping we'll have some cake there too, it's just a shame we can't send you all a slice as well, but hopefully we can send you smiles instead.

Casey enjoying time with Nanny

I know some of you would love to send Chris something for his Birthday as well, but take it from me, he's near impossible to buy for. If we think of anything, we'll be sure to add it to the wish list, but you've all been so generous that we've got a limited wish list for now. Instead Chris is fundraising on Facebook for the lovely Oreo and our other animals, as well as simply wanting to share the day with you all.

To be honest, now Chris has a dog, there's very little that he wants other than the security of CaenhillCC and Cuthbert up and strong on his feet again. But, while Cuthbert is still working hard to build up his muscle (he's doing well) at least Chris has a new sidekick in Oreo. It's been so much fun to watch them settling into life together and hopefully with a bit of training, Oreo will be helping with more videos. Thank you so much to everyone for welcoming Oreo and sending things to help him settle in.

That's not all, we've had a new evening chat on Dive which we hope to bring you more often now the evening light is disappearing, hopefully the footage will be saved soon. We've got some fantastic guest blogs from Sarah and Rosemary, get in touch if you fancy writing something for us. I've got over 1,000 followers on my renamed CaenhillCC_xtra instagram account, I'm bringing it in line with my Twitter account. But it's now time to say thank you.

This week it's a very big thank you to the Social Enterprise Support Fund which is distributed by the School for Social Entrepreneurs. It's been a tough year with our funding from school placements disappearing along with the students themselves, but we've been lucky enough to be awarded funding to help recover our project. This is going to make such a difference as we continue to make the farm a safe place to share with young people and our community again.

Until next time, keep safe,

Kara, Casey and Teddy