Making the most of our community farm

This Saturday we ended up having my parents and one of the girls’ friends with us so we decided to head over to Lawrence Weston Community Farm. It’s a space we visit frequently. Our visit there this weekend reminded me of why I love city farms in general and what’s so brilliant about this one in particular.

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City farms and community gardens are community-managed projects run by volunteers for the benefit of local residents. They’re usually set up in socially deprived areas and there are often opportunities to get involved if you’re interested.

We started off by taking in a bit of the “secret garden” at the farm. There’s so much growing all about the farm and, whereas I would have bypassed it all before assuming the kids wouldn’t be that interested, now that I know a little more about gardening, we take a look and talk about what we see. I’m always surprised at how the way small details hold their attentions.

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Then, of course, we had to say “hello” to all the animals. We saw sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks and guinea pigs. My two can literally wile the hours away going around and around the animal village. We sometimes come along to an under 7s group on a Wednesday to feed the animals, collect the eggs and follow the sheep up into the fields.

Talitha always takes the opportunity to remind me that the chicken coop I bought still needs chickens. I’m still trying to get my head around that. Actually, the farm holds courses from wooden spoon making to beekeeping, so I really need to book onto one of their chicken keeping sessions as I’ve been meaning to do for ages.

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Then we took a walk into the lush woodland trail across the bridge. Lots of session for kids are held here and you can see the evidence in tree stump circles and willow dens. There are lots of places to climb and a few bug hotels dotted around.

We didn’t make it up to the orchard and the bit with the climbing frame and picnic area because we decided to try out the farm’s new cafe that’s only just opened. It’s just what Lawrence Weston Community Farm needed, really.

Then, on our way out, we bought eggs from the office. I used to buy all our meat and eggs (plus some veg) from here but without a car for the last few months we just stopped eating meat much at all and started buying eggs from chicken and duck keeping neighbours. Now that I have have a car again, I’m going to build buying from the community farm back into our routine.

This really is such a calming, free place for us to go as a family. People are often surprised when I mention there’s a community farm in Lawrence Weston because, if you know the area, it’s not something you expect to find there. But surely that means it’s exactly where it should be.

Are there any community farming or gardening projects near you? Are you involved in any? I’m always intrigued to hear what’s happening in different towns and cities.