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Latest Progress Report from Pathways Care Farm

28 September 2018

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Please see below the latest progress update from Pathways Care Farm on the wonderful work they have been completing for the community:

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Pathways Progress – 19 September 2018

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Let me tell you a story

Life can be highly stressful and there are never enough hours in a day to achieve everything on my 'to do' list...
Sound familiar? Have you ever slowed down sufficiently to ask yourself why am I working like this? Am I making time to do some of the things I really enjoy, to live rather than just making a living?
One of the greatest things about being on the care farm is that we go at a pace that is rather slower than the old 'corporate world' I used to cherish. I recently saw the notice above and it made me think about what we do on a typical farm day... we have created an environment and a community where 'moments' happen. Many moments each day... magic moments. We are involved with each others' lives and we all therefore share in this creative and very satisfying process.
Just today, one of the people we see each week controlled his temper! That may not sound like much of a moment but believe me it was. This person likes getting his own way and likes his routine. He can get quite loud and uncooperative if things don't go according to plan. Today, through nobody’s fault, plans had to be changed at the last mingute and he couldn't do a job he enjoys and wanted to do. The situation was explained to him and he simply moved on to the next job... No big deal to most people but a massive stride forward for him (and us). Those kind of moments are more precious than jewels.

 
 
 

Hidden treasure

Talking about Jewels (see top story)... the latest path in the sensory garden is littered with them. They say that the paths in heaven are paved with gold, well, this is our little bit of heaven on earth. Come and see it sometime – you will be richer for the experience.

 
 

New arrivals

We were recently blessed to be given some lovely new animals to look after and enjoy... I'm very pleased to introduce you to Basil (white) and Dexter the pigmy goats, who have created quite a stir. Not only are they lovely to be with and very good to walk on the lead but they are also escape artists and spent the first three days looking for (and finding) any gap big enough to squeeze through.
When they did get out of their own pen they didn't roam far... they just wanted to get closer to the other goats who were nearby.
We have also now started our 'small animal' menagerie. Just over a week ago we got Jumper (white) and Thumper. These are Lion Headed rabits and they have settled in so well. They love the attention they receive and are highly inquisitive as we realised when working around them to build a rather large and special run. They were constantly close by and checking out the workmanship. The run is big enough for them (and others yet to arrive) to tear around and also allow a few of us to be in with them and share their fun first hand.

 
 
 

Beware or bee wear?

The artichokes are just starting to open and their flowers are stunning. As I was looking at them last week this lovely bee arrived and busied himself just asking to be photographed. 
We have become more aware of bees since we colonised the first of our hives (well done David) and we love seeing them around the farm.
Of course, when a hive needs attention or something needs to be done nearby its always good to be dressed appropriately (see our two models below wearing this year's latest bee wear).

 
 
 

Animals, minerals and now vegetables 

I've mentioned our newest animals and the jewelled path, now to give a plug to the vegetables.
A few weeks ago we erected a small stall outside the farm gate. We put out fresh veg each day and we have a small 'honesty' box there for donations. The stall has proved to be a huge hit with some of the neighbours but we have also had people come to us from various other parts of town and even from Great Yarmouth! Such is the quality of the produce.
I was stopped one morning as I was opening up and asked 'Where is the beetroot?'. 'Is there none on show?' I asked. 'No' he said, 'Can you get me some? My wife has sent me over as we have run out and the last few were so good!'
We also supplied a batch to a local Care Home to sell at their fete (see below). 
Given the state of the soils a couple of years ago this is no mean achievement and Steve deserves all the praise he gets for his diligence and the way he has inspired others to work with him. We’re looking to some of our farm workers to become as skilful in time and even take up a career out of horticulture.

 
 
 

The proof of the watermelon is in the eating

Growing fruit and veg and having others enjoy it is wonderful but, of course, there is no better taste than to bite into something that you have helped grow (and have the juice run down your chin).
The three above didn't even stop to offer me some as they tucked into one of the first watermelons to be harvested in the polytunnel. Wow, it was good... not sure how many of these will end up on the stall – they may disappear before they get that far.
Talking of enjoying the taste... we were very pleased to host a gathering from Lowestoft Community Church who thoroughly enjoyed a hog roast (no, not one of ours) and a few tours around the farm. It was quite something to see so many people tucking in on a beautiful, sunny, September afternoon. We are blessed to have such a great facility and to be able to share it with so many friends.

 
 
 
 

...and finally 

The next workparty will be on Saturday 29 September at 10am – the last Saturday of the month this time... don't ask! (just in case Steve hasn't left for Wales by then!)
A few weeks ago we started to renovate one of the courtyard roofs. We had a wonderful group of people from Altro in Lowestoft come to help which gave us extra hands on the roof, in the sensory garden and building an extra pen for the piglets. Thank you all, your help and support means so much. 
As ever there are lots of jobs to do this month but there are also lots of things to just see and enjoy. 
Please come we would love to see you.
Geoff