We are registered small holders. We have 8 goats, 20 chickens and 8 ducks. We also have 3 dogs, lots of different reptiles, 5 guinea pigs and a rabbit.
Having grown up in a huge farming community in the Cotswolds, with bullocks on the field next door that swam across the shared pond into our garden to play havoc regularly on one side of our home and horses galavanting around in a field on the other side, I grew up with a love of animals. I wanted to recreate these opportunities for the children in my care. My family also kept chickens in our garden and my Grandma had cows and geese on her small farm. I love teaching all childen how to treat animals with the respect that they deserve and to value their lives, however small they may be.
I believe that children should have responsibility from a young age and helping to care for a living creature gives children the opportunity to grow into a responsible, social and confident adult.
Every day, the children are involved in the care of the animals, whether it is helping carry fresh hay into the goat pen, collecting the duck or chickens eggs or chopping up some fresh vegetables for them as a treat.
Of course, animals are there for cuddles and strokes but they also teach us that there is more to life than just ourselves.
Through animal experiences, children become more curious, respectful and appreciative of living things.
As well as animals on our small holding, we grow our own fruit and vegetables. We also use our land to pick blackberries and rosehips to make into delicious compotes or syrups or to feed to the animals. We make mint and nettle tea from our foraging and the children love to eat hawthorn leaves! There is nothing like harvesting your own food to eat raw or cook and eat it straight away. What is more natural and delicious than that?