News from the farm gate – August 2018

Pellier-0240aWe could really do with some rain right now. It has been glorious. Long, hot Summer days (and sticky nights) but the garden could do with a drop of rain now. I know we shouldn’t complain, however the crops are starting to look a bit sorry for themselves and all this watering in the garden is starting to get a bit onerous.

Andrew has been making plenty of hay and silage to see the cattle and sheep through the winter months. I don’t think that any farmer can complain about the weather from a hay making perspective. It is true what they say, ‘make hay while the sun shines!’

Some more Gloucester Old Spot piglets arrived at Orchard Farm a few weeks ago. They settled in well and have been growing fast. It won’t be long before our next batch of pork meat boxes and sausages will be ready to go out and satisfy our regular customers.

Our egg honesty box has been doing a roaring trade. I was reliably informed that all the cakes on the cake stall at the village fete were made using our eggs. You can’t get better feedback than that! I could really do with getting some more chickens as the girls can’t keep up with demand. Everybody says how delicious the eggs are. Lovely yellow yolks, which make any sponge cake look like a Mary Berry replica. Part of the novelty is also the fact that some of the eggs are blue, some are brown with speckles and then your average brown chicken egg. The gamble is to decide how many blue eggs to include in each box!

In other news, I have decided not to go back to work after maternity leave. Having Angus has really changed my perspective on life and what my priorities are. The thought of leaving him in full time care whilst I went to work made me realise just how much I would be missing out on him growing up. Andrew would never get to see him either and so the decision was a really easy one. We are fortunate to be able to make such a choice as I realise that not everyone has the luxury to be able to give up work. I do feel however that as a mother, there has been a real pressure from society asking me ‘when are you going back to work?’. In the past, it was rare that ‘Mum’ went back to work. Now attitudes have changed, and it seems like a race to have children and be back in work before you know it.

Of course, I am not really ‘giving up’ work. I am taking a change in direction, as from September I will be running my own business as a childminder, based from the farm. Whilst being on maternity leave, it has given me time to think and decide what I could do at home whilst bringing Angus up. I have been going through the various training with the local county council, have attended a paediatric first aid course and have been preparing the house / garden to ensure it is suitable for children to be safe and secure.

Now all that is left to do is await my Ofsted inspection which is imminent. I am a little anxious, as I want to get everything right, however I am looking forward to picking the brains of the inspector as it will be the only professional help and support I will receive. I am lucky in the fact that there are no other childminders already set up in our village, so I have no direct competition and I can provide a much-needed service to the local community. I already have a few families who would like to come to me from September. So please keep your fingers crossed for me that everything goes to plan. Watch this space as Orchard Farm Childminding takes shape!

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