Sunday 29 May 2011


We had a wonderful week in Stroud with Sarah, Paul and Becky- home of the Stroud Pasty ( delicious- we had both beef and lamb hot from the oven and delivered to our tent!), and the most sheep we've met at once!
The downside- well, only the wind and the rocks under the tent pitch. We spent the weekend before getting there telling everyone how we love the belltent for being so easy to pitch- but not on rocks. We now have a selection of rock pegs, but we spent hours- literally- that first afternoon trying to get the tent to stay up. A tent in windy weather is ok, but we found the constant wind noise very tiring. We wouldn't have known it without trying it, but we're really thinking about a caravan for winter.
What we enjoyed at this farm: the sheep- we helped to immunise them and DH learned how strong they can be. How daft sheep can be- attempts to move them from one field to two fields over must have been hilarious to see, but ultimately not successful for us- we only got them into the next field, as half the lambs stayed put and could not be convinced to move to find their mothers, so we had to bring the flock back a field!
The beef cattle- we helped move one field of youngsters to get a couple of lame ones in the barn, so the girls ( safely behind a fence) and I had the exilarating job helping stop the cattle heading off into Stroud, while DH was part of the team herding them our way.
In another field on another day we were just in time to see a calf born- amazing stuff.
We helped with weeding in the market garden- 5 or 6 polytunnels of food growing- an amazing sight and we were glad to help with it, and eat the salads.
Which gets me onto the food- WOW. Sarah's ( and Becky's) cooking was fabulous. It was lovely not having to cook, and we all enjoyed the delicious food, and lots of it. Happy Us!
There was another WWOOFer who the girls adopted, calling her 'Koala'- quite close to her name, but not quite, who was really great to be around.
The girls discovered fossils while helping with the market garden, and that was a great project, with Little One also collecting snails or slugs in a more fatal way- her investigating tended to be quite squishy!
Big One loved watching the horses- she has yet to try riding and I imagine we'll have to get her to some stables when we get back if she doesn't get to try before.
We even managed to bump into a familiar face in the Market Garden- someone we met at Lower Shaw Farm also is involved there. It was lovely to see her, and be reminded again we want to revisit there.
Our journey South after Stroud even took us right past Swindon....
Our work days were long, and some of it quite tiring, especially when the girls really wanted to do the rounds of the fields but Little One not quite having the stamina. I was really grateful we had the sling, especially when immunising the lambs so she was on my back while I did the drawing up of the meds ( another new skill, I don't have anything to do with drugs at work!), and as well for trying to chase the sheep around the fields.
We all enjoyed the work, the food, the company and what we could learn- we know we like the cattle, and sheep seem to be a lot more hard work. We have so much to learn, but its been great learning a little about the animals.

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