We have had Mia, my cousin's daughter here working for us since lock-down as she was supposed to be helping on a farm in France which obviously didn't work out.
This is what Mia has written about working on the farm. We are really pleased it has given her the opportunity/spring board to go on into the world and learn how to produce good food.
My experience from working on this amazing farm has truly been most life changing for me.
I first came here early March to help whilst Sara and Andrew were in Scotland. With the lock down, the French Student and Danish students couldn't come over so Sara offered me work for 3 months. I wasn't sure what to expect. I had struggled for a year or two with anxiety and depression and no direction. Unaware that she had given me the key to fulfilment, working on this organic farm. It has opened my eyes to a whole new world. Working together as a team with Sara, Andrew, Phil and Nestor but also with nature itself. I believe in the work they do here. This family put their love and good energy into the plants they grow for the community. They have now inspired me to start my journey and I am now going to an Organic farming school start of August.
I now feel more content than I have ever been. This is all thanks to the Cross family and the beautiful plants and countryside I have been working with. Who needs a therapist when you can tie up tomatoes, strip spring onions and enjoy weeding? Go Organic!
Mia Tripp Foulds
I have attatched 2 photos of our epic bike ride:
1) Start/finish of route 253 in Okeford Fitzpaine 6.30am - 6.30pm
2) After 50miles resting/dozing by the Stour
I was being a bit optimistic with 68.1miles for the route, We needed 4miles to get to Okeford and back and I hadn't really thought about 'getting lost'. None of us had apps or smart phones on us, so at a guess we ended up doing 75miles. A PB for all of us by 25miles! We were so lucky with the weather. For 7 June it was exactly right for cycling, not too hot/cold/, not too windy/still or bright/cloudy. We had 4 maps and rarely used them as the signage was so good. It was like 'I spy signs' on bikes. The countryside was stunning. Going past a big old house/Chateaux, near Moor Chritcheal, with its avenue of trees we could have been in the south of France.
We went through all those villages I have only seen on signposts before, Buckhorn Weston, Farnham, All the Chritcheals, Gussages and Tarrants. There were a few Hills to remember, Motcombe to Shaftesbury, Springhead to Ashmore then Milton Abbas to Hilton/Ansty Bullbarrow. Wow, was it exiting zooming down from Ibberton. We struggled a bit coming up into Child Okeford and felt we would burst into tears if we had to go up another hill. If it wasn't for the sponsorship we would have stopped at 50miles. Thanks to everyone who supported us we raised £500.
Mel Jeans has done a fantastic job in clearing our footpath next to our vegetables. It's great seeing so many people out walking and calling a cheery hello to us. As you walk past you will see our sweet corn loving this weather. Hopefully we will have some by middle of July. We do want rain, but the plus side is we don't have many weeds.
Sheep will be grazing the other field soon, just for a few weeks, so keep a close eye on your dogs and the electric fence. These permanent pastures are a rarity nowadays, as grass is mainly grown as a 'short/long lay' made up of only a few species and mainly for silage. We have only ever cut ours for hay and graze them.. As far as we know they have never been ploughed, same as the fields above the farm, and are very species rich. Keep walking and cycling through our lovely county, there is so much to see.