Church Farm Ardeley

A Free Range Experience

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Students at Church Farm

Two North Herts College students recently wrote about their experiences as Co-Farmers at Church Farm.

Spring Jobs on the Farm

Springtime is when plant bulbs come out from the winter’s sleep.  There is lots to do on the farm preparing for this exciting time of the year.

On the allotment we are very busy of weeding out old plants, cleaning tools, fixing netting and raised beds and collecting compost.  We will be using the compost to grow our plants this year.

Some Co-Farmers have been very busy potting spring bulbs for people to buy in the farm shop—they look beautiful!


It’s a good time to make the lambing bays cosy and warm for the arrival of lambs in a few weeks time.



My Day at the Farm

This morning I arrived at 9:25am.  The first job I did was the chickens.  It was smelly.  We then got the eggs from the nest boxes and then gave them a deep clean like getting rid of the dirty straw.  We put it on the compost heap.  We then got the fresh straw down on the floor and into the nest boxes.  We then had a break about 10:20am.  I had a cup of tea.


Then in the next session, we carried on with our wood project.  I made book ends using cut out magazine pictures and then put gloss on my bookends.  Then we had lunch at 12:15pm and I had another tea.

This afternoon we did a compost run.  We did two trips there and back from the chickens.  I nearly fell over in the mud patch!



Rural Care, where care for land and people meet.  Rural Care enables people with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues to work on a farm, learn skills, and make friends.  Working on a farm is a great way to keep healthy, and build confidence and self-esteem.




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Running for Rural Care

Tony H - Rural care

Our very own Tony Hopkins is running the London Marathon this year to raise money for Rural Care. Once we had got over the fact that Tony could actually run and didn’t just stand around drinking tea all day, we thought about how we could help him train. What Tony doesn’t know is that we have a training schedule planned for him. How better to train for a marathon than helping herding sheep. We thought he could start by herding our flock of 200 ewes. Think one man and his dog, without the dog! To finish up his training we thought we could put the pressure on and let the rams do the herding and see how fast he can run! We are here to help in any way we can.

All money raised will help Rural Care in different ways to help in general but there are some specific projects and tools we have in mind.

  • We would like a few new 2-wheeled wheelbarrows, as these enable Co-Farmers with mobility problems to be more independent.
  • We would also like to make some of our animal pens more accessible for wheelchair users.
  • Finally, we have a fund for individuals who we really feel would benefit from what we do. Funding for provisions and services is diminishing year on year. It often hits hardest for those who fall between the cracks or don’t fit into the funding boxes. This fund will enable those individuals to access the farm and all it has to offer.

We are blown away by this amazing gesture and will be with Tony every step of the way through this amazing journey.

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