Monday, 29 June 2015

Farm Feast 2015

We were delighted to be asked back for our second year at Farm Feast at Claremont Farm (formerly the Wirral Food & Drink Festival) so we brought a bunch of our animals with us as well!



 Saturday #felfie

This year we had the whole of the Food & Farming tent to ourselves, so staff and students had a fair amount of planning to prepare the displays that explained what we do on the farm. Our involvement with Andrew and the Farm Feast gang came out of our locality and also our use of twitter as a way of sharing our story - so this became the theme of our display.

Sunday #felfie


During the weekend, the weather stayed fantastic and thousands of visitors passed through the marque to meet our students and our animals. We brought a selection of goats and sheep as well as our new sheepdog Leif (he was a little shy at times).

#Shattered #Carlos

By the time we were finished on the Sunday afternoon, we had spoken to lots of people and shared our message of high welfare standards, low food miles, food education and leadership to hundreds of people of all ages. Our students were a credit to their families and the school and continue toward their ambitions of being the next generation of farmers.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

My Cheshire Show - James Longstaffe-Keith

I am in Mr Fearon's Animal Care class and I was really excited to be selected to go to the Cheshire Show with the other school farmers. We took a total of 6 sheep and 2 goats to the show but most of the work started before we got there. Mr Fearon sheared the shearling ewes in April so they had grown some fleece and looked really good. We look after the sheeps hooves on a regular basis but we made sure they were in very good condition and that any of the sun-bleached bits of fleece were trimmed off. We had already done a lot of practice with the sheep to get them to walk well on the halters that we use for showing and to make sure they stood properly.

When the day finally arrived to go to the show we had to load all of the animals into the trailer which isn't as easy as it looks. At one point we actually closed Mr Fearon into the trailer with the sheep. When we arrived we had to unload the animals from the trailer and settle them down before we were able to set our tents up. After the tents were set up, we had a barbecue and ate some of the lamb that we farmed last year - it was really tasty.

The next day, Mr Fearon woke us up at 7am to start getting the sheep ready but he did make us breakfast first. My job was to show Clover, one of this years lambs. There were some people who were taking things very seriously, trimming stray bits of fleece and using shampoo on their sheep - I didn't know that you could get sheep shampoo! I cleaned Clovers legs and picked any stray bits of straw or hay out of her fleece and made sure that her hooves were ok.

I was finally called up with Clover with Ellie who was showing Connie and Jake who was showing Clarice. I had to walk the sheep around the enclosure in a circle and make sure that the sheep could stand with her four legs in a square and with her chin up. The judge came over to speak to me about Clover and I answered his questions, he was very friendly. After a bit of time, the judge came back over and awarded Clover 2nd place - I was really pleased with her and myself. Before we could leave the enclosure, I was told I had to stay in to be judge in the best in category, but sadly Clover didn't win that one.

After all of the sheep had been shown, we put them back in their stalls and had a good look around the show and helped the goat team prepare for their showing on Wednesday. One thing that I learned from the show is how much effort goes into getting the sheep there and presenting them. It was a challenging couple of days but I enjoyed every minute of it and hopefully will get to do it again next year.

My Cheshire Show - Jordan Barlow

I am studying in My Fearon's Animal Care class and I was invited to show the pygmy goats at the Cheshire Show. On the first day, some of the other students were involved in showing the sheep (I will leave them to write about that) so we spent the day supporting them and preparing our goats for showing on Wednesday.

This year it was the National Championships for the Pygmy Goat Club so the classes were very big and there was lots of competition. I was showing Phoebe in the Young Handlers category. There were nine other people in my class, including Josie from our school and Fleur and Oliver from Grove Street Primary School who were showing Sooty and Sweep (Phoebe's kids).

Before the show I had to prepare Phoebe by brushing her hair and trimming her hooves which we had already done the week before but we wanted to make sure she was in very good condition for showing. We had already been practicing walking our goats on leads before the show.

In the competition I came 5th and another lady who had lots more goats with her asked me if I would show some of her goats and I came 6th in that category which was really good because it was a national competition.

All of the people that we met from the Pygmy Goat Club were really friendly and helpful, and they showed us the best way to present our goats to the judge. It was a really fun couple of days and the weather was really warm and sunny.