New leaves sprouting out
Young birds discovering their little voices
Explosion of colours everywhere as flowers bloom
Fragile lambs bleating to their mothers
Spring is here to bid the cold winter adieu. New life burst forth from every nook & cranny as the days lengthen and weather warms up.
Autumn used to be my favourite season because of the extraordinary fall colours. But now spring is my personal best because of the freshness it brings to everything. Time for new life emerging and awakening from its winter slumber, time for new beginnings. Even people walk with a renewed vigour in their strides.
I was fortunate to spend 2 months (April & May) at Goldhill Organic Farm in Child Okeford, North Dorset. The farm is operated by a quirky couple, full of energy & enthusiasm for life. It is amazing how we can spend whole day working on the plot and yet still have the time for badminton sessions at night, sometimes twice in a week.
(Farm courtyard with Hambledon Hill in the background)
(View of open beds filled with various vegetables situated besides the polytunnels)
I have learnt heaps about growing from this farm, what with the variety of vegetables being grown on their land. Some new ones for me include asparagus, mangetout (sugar snap peas), lamb’s cress and fresh garlic. Will missed eating all the root vegetables, leeks and salad leaves grown abundantly during winter.
(Mangetout / Sugar snap peas growing happily inside polytunnel)
Another wonderful experience for me was dealing with their cows bred for their meat. The farm kept over 25 cows that we occasionally move between different grazing fields and back to farm house for vaccinations, ear tagging etc. It was amazing how their cows are relatively obedient and respond well to our human calls during all the moves. Mostly the new calves that causes more headaches, as they are still unaccustomed to the moving regimes.
During these 2 months, I have been lucky to witness the arrival of 3 calves. Magical seeing how the mothers caringly lick their calves dry and gingerly nudged them to stand up. We always breathe a sigh of relief when the calf begins to suckle its first milk, as we know it will survive on without difficulty.
(Young calf looking on with curiosity as other cows grazed on)
The other joy of spring was taking care of 2 newly born orphaned lambs. The farm owners bought the pair in as wonderful addition to the 6 chickens we are keeping as pets. The lambs have grown quite tame and fond of humans as we nursed them since young. I enjoyed watching them run and hop around with so much energy, and seeing their happy wagging tails during feeding time.
(Me feeding the adorable lamb that has grown since birth 5 1/2 weeks ago)
Personally enjoyed volunteering at this third farm the best. It was a combination of the people around me who are passionate about what they do, learning and doing a variety of jobs on the farm and opportunity to live a basic yet fulfilling lifestyle.
And not forgetting the clear blue skies, warm sunshine and long warmer days, which do wonders for the soul. Took opportunity of any free time to cycle and walk around – which was so easy and safe because of the quiet and flat surroundings. Spent hours exploring Hambledon Hill which was just 30min from the farm, and a constant backdrop behind our farm plots.
(Hambledon Hill where I spent many afternoons walking on it)