By: Tom Kearney, Team Leader Winterdown Farm | Posted on: 07 Oct 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS: News from Winterdown Farm

News from Winterdown Farm

Since our last update, Winterdown Farm has also welcomed some more fresh faces to the team. At the end of August, we welcomed our new gardener, Sharon Ryan, to the team. Although Sharon is a newbie, she has already come up with some wonderful and interesting ideas for Winterdown Farm which we are currently reviewing and considering as part of our next steps. Sharon is a great addition to the farm - she loves digging into the mucky stuff and also happens to do so with a big smile on her face. You always know when she is around as you can hear her infectious laugh as she goes about her day with utmost positivity. So, if you are visiting us on the Farm, be sure to introduce yourself to Sharon.

Now...onto our furry friends! We can't go much further without acknowledging our guinea pig, Rebel. He is a force to be reckoned with that's for sure! Rebel keeps both the Service Users and staff on their toes throughout the day. Between feeding him, cleaning his pen, listening to his quirky noises and happy grunts (especially when we drop some lovely hay and fresh veg into the pen), Rebel is a bundle of energy and we just love having him around. Alongside Rebel, are our 'Cucks', our resident hens! The hens are busy too at the moment, all happily laying eggs and crowing with their roosters throughout the day. They also enjoy the company of our one and only duck!Now that we're finished doting over Winterdown's furry friends, it's back to the day job of gardening and maintenance.

We are in full swing here on the farm over the past few weeks, especially since everything has been growing rapidly over the summer months. Between several heat waves towards the end of Spring and the Indian summer experienced a few weeks ago, the vegetables have grown to astronomical sizes. As you can see from the photos, some of our courgettes are bigger and heavier than ever before. All this growth is fantastic...unless you're a tomato growing upwards on ties!! Our tomato plants are starting to feel the strain under the weight of their ripe fruit and are starting to pull towards the ground, so we will be picking these regularly now until the season concludes.

Our onions were also harvested two weeks ago, so we now have rows upon rows of onions drying out for storage over the Winter season in our Polytunnel 'Ted'. The smell of fresh produce is heavy in the air surrounding the different polytunnels and we have been getting a huge number of compliments from people about our organic fresh produce.

As October beckons and all things Halloween related spring to mind, we are also starting to see our pumpkins growing quite large too. These guys look perfect for this year's jack-o'-lanterns! Every spare minute we have outside of all of this goes on tackling vegetable harvesting, weeding and keeping the grounds clean and tidy. I would like to thank our hard-working Service Users and staff at Winterdown Farm for making sure we always keep everything looking and growing well. Without your efforts, we would not be able to accomplish so many great things on the farm.