Church Farm Ardeley

A Free Range Experience


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Christmas at the Farm

Christmas time is a busy time at the farm.  While the harvesting is winding down, and there is likely to be more mud around, there is still plenty to see and do at Church Farm.

Spot the Reindeer
Reindeer TrailWith a Farm Day Pass you can follow the farm trail, spot the Reindeer, see the horticulture garden, enjoy the woodland play area, see animals in Home Field and Vicarage Field, and use the indoor play room.  (£3/adult or child, or £10 for up to 5 people, for the whole day)  The Reindeer trail starts on Saturday, the 12th of November.

 

Farmer Christmas

 

Take a Trailer Ride with Farmer Christmas
Book a trailer ride with Farmer Christmas on any Saturday or Sundays in December.  Rides will be available at 10:00am and 3:00pm.  (£4.50/adult and £5.50/child, present included)

Christmas Trees
Come to the farm to choose your own Christmas tree and replant one!  Meet at the farm shop any Saturday or Sunday in December at 10am, 11am, 12pm or 2pm.  Join the woodsman to cut your tree for this year and to help us plant another one for the future.

Harvesting MedlarsMedlars
We have 30 Old English Medlar trees.  Come along to pick for yourself, perhaps to make jellies or desserts or even wine.  Small groups will be supervised by our grower.  Entry is free and you pay for what you harvest for yourself.  Gather at the farm shop at 10am or 2pm on either Saturday the 3rd December for Saturday the 10th December.

Free Range Turkeys

Christmas Produce
Behind the scenes meat and veg are being prepared for veg boxes, meat boxes and Christmas orders.  We are raising turkeys, ducks and geese.  The horticulture team has grown carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and sprouts, but that’s not all.  This year’s harvest also includes beetroot, winter squash, purple sprouting broccoli, savoy cabbage, lettuce, swede and turnips.  Come to the farm or visit our new online shop to place your order:  churchfarm.shop.

Tom and Aimee

 

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Where is Farmer Christmas This Year?

This year Farmer Christmas has turned up in Vicars Orchard, miles away from the sheep in Upany where he spent the last festive season.

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Photo by Emma Massie

Almost everyone has a Christmas Tree of some description over the festive season for a few weeks but Farmer Christmas is interested in trees the whole year round.

Especially the fruit trees in the Orchard where he has found more trees than he thought, maybe nearer 800 than 700 which means more work and hopefully more fruit in years to come.

So the children who come and visit Farmer Christmas are helping to keep him company and to help the work in the Orchard where each tree needs to be fed, protected, pruned and generally cared for through the winter months.

Some animals will hibernate and trees are very similar in that they have a rest and wait for the warmer days of Spring to get growing again.

This means that with no leaves or fruit or undergrowth in the way it is the ideal time to get on with those maintenance jobs you have been dying to do.  Stake the trees that need some extra support, repair damaged tree guards to keep the rabbits out, put cow manure around the trees to replace the nourishment that has been taken out.

That is 800 barrows of cow poo! A big pile of poo!  Luckily we have lots of cows.

Also we have lots of visitors who help support the farm and they have been finding trees and having their picture taken with Farmer Christmas and the tree that they have found.

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Photo by Tom Large

It may be Apple or Pear, Quince or Medlar, younger or older, in sickness or in health – oops I think I just slipped into a marriage ceremony!  But the idea is to nurture and cherish the tree as far as possible, so that it too will nurture and cherish us in years to come with beautiful blossom in Spring and fruit in the Summer or Autumn. With a tree hopefully living for 25 years or more it is quite an interesting comparison to a marriage after all.

—Chicken Dave