The Best Feed Run

October 26, 2014 at 8:30 PMCoombeMill

By Guy Cambouropoulos



Recently I have been helping Dad out with a few bits and bobs around the farm and in return he teaches me how to drive the tractor.  This week for example I was helping Dad spread new bark chippings in the play areas. My driving is gradually improving and sometimes I am allowed to drive the tractor on my own and sometimes with Dad.

Helping Dad on the farm

It was Sunday and I decided as I was awake in time that I would join the feed run. The children were all very young but they usually love to help Dad drive and I thought I would not get a turn. It was no surprise when Dad asked and a little boy put his hand up to drive. They weren’t very experienced so we doughnuted around the car park to the amusement of the parents before eventually Dad steered us towards the farm.


Coombe Mill tractor going to the farm to feed the animals

Clio was busy having fun in the chickens with the guests while Dad sent me back for a large screwdriver from his shed to make the boy piglets water go into a bigger trough as they were too stupid to work it out once Sally and her daughters had moved next door.


 Chickens and boy piglets on the Coombe Mill feed run

Then it was back to the tractor and Dad asked for a new volunteer to drive, Clio and I both said yes and rushed there, Dad said “it’s rare that Clio gets to drive, so she can have a go” I was very irritated because I had been helping Dad with his errands and missing the fun while she was catching chickens.


Clio driving the tractor on the Coombe Milll Feed run

Clio looked very smug and drove the tractor all the way round the lake with Dad. I was unaware that Dad had something planned for me. I strolled off for a little doze in my favourite tree in protest.


Relaxing in a favourite Coombe Mill tree on the morning feed run

Clio carried on with the guests feeding the other animals.


Enjoying the Coombe Mill Feed Run


In my protest, I climbed down from my tree and headed over to the tractor, thinking that someone would volunteer to drive home and reserved a spot in the trailer but Dad asked if I wanted to drive. I thought this meant just on his knee as usual but he chucked me the keys, I slipped the gears into neutral, turned the engine on, moved into forward just as Dad had taught me and off I went! Mum was amazed and eager to capture me on video.

Dad asked me to stop by my bicycle so he could take over, but Clio ran ahead and took my bike home. I took this as the OK to follow with the tractor and trailer. You can just see Clio racing ahead in Mums video.




Mum was amazed at how I knew how to take the corners wide with the trailer on the back and how to start it up. I don’t think she knows how much I have been learning with Dad out on the farm.

The guests seemed very happy with my driving and came with Clio and me up to see the rabbits (I forgave Clio by now)


Clio and holiday guests at the rabbits


I hope Dad will let me drive the feed run trailer again. In fact may be one day I can run the entire feed run, though I will need to go into negotiation with Dad over my wages first!


 Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall       photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg     

Silent Sunday / Project 52

October 25, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill



Carp Catch at Coombe Mill


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Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

October 24, 2014 at 11:50 PMCoombeMill

Surfing the waves in the late autumn sun

I love the beach and our weekly visit for the children's surf lessons and feel quite sad that half term has arrived and we have now finished surf lesson until the spring. Guy and Jed have loved their surfing this year, the group is made up of all their school friends and they have a real giggle in the water as well as learning to surf. I really hand it to the Surf's Up instructors who let them all stay together in one group and have to manage their noise levels in the sea. For my boys it is the highlight of the week. For the penultimate week I had been running the coast path with Clio and Theo and came back in time to grab my camera in order to take a few shots towards the end of their lesson. It was one of those evenings where the waves were fair and the sun just falling low in a clear blue sky. The wind had dropped and it could have been midsummer rather than late October. The serious surfing had finished and the children were all having a bit of fun together in the water, even after nearly two hours in the water they were still full of energy and enjoying the mild weather and gentle waves. Watching them as the light faded made me so appreciative of our life here in Cornwall.


Surf's Up in October


Surfing and Play at the beach for Coombe Mill Kids


Watching the sun drop low in the sky


 Surfing into the sunset


Still smiling as the heavy boards are carried back up the beach


 Guy carrying surfboard back up the beach


What a difference a week makes; we returned for what should have been their last lesson this week to find the wind so strong it had been cancelled. I have been taking my children to surf's up over 6 years and this is the first time I can remember the children being offered to watch a video instead. Back at Coombe Mill in it's rich green valley I had no idea of the winds out on the coast which were the remains from hurricane Gonzalo. My boys were already suited and ready and so a long with a few others were given the option of bodyboards if they wanted to go in. After a big lecture from me about not going in deeper than their legs today I followed them towards the sea and didn't take my eye off them for a minute. It was really scary and I was delighted when they came back out after just 10 minutes claiming it was too hard to catch the waves. I'm glad I let them go and taste how dangerous the sea can be but delighted to have them towelled down and in the car. The video clips are very shaky which shows just how hard I fought to stand still against the wind to watch them.



I adore the beach and hope that without the discipline of surf club we still find the time to go. I will be selecting the calmer days only of my own accord though!   

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have a post about enjoying outdoor time with your children then please come and join the linky.  Autumn is such a lovely time of year to be exploring nature, from playing in fallen leaves to evenings at the beach there is so much to discover and enjoy as family time. A little fresh air is good for us all so don't let colder days and shorter evenings stop your fun.  Please just grab the badge or link back to this page and remember to check out some of the other posts here, there is always so many original ideas which might just inspire your next adventure.

I always comment on every post that links up with me but doing this has led to some commenting systems seeing me as spam *sobs*. If you don't see a comment from me please check your spam, I am probably lurking there!  

Country Kids is around in these communities, I'd love you to join me there:

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays's board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

A few of my favourites from last week:

To be fair I had a job choosing this week, there were so many wonderful posts from the everyday to the exotic in outdoor fun

Creative STAR shares her 50 things to do before you are 4 and 3/4 here at Cooombe Mill. An impressive list that makes me realise just how much there is to do here from what nature provides.  

From Mummy to Mum and Mum of 3 Boys share castle visits with plenty to explore

My love bumps made me smile with simple family fun in the hay fields.

 I was rather taken with the Belgian zoo The Toadstool UK visited. 

It is pumpkin season and lots of you have found pumpkin patches that make a great day out and put me on the hunt for one here. My favourite was Hayley from Home with fun wheelbarrow rides too.

This is the perfect time of year for nature hunts and woodland walks. The Princess and the Pickle braved the rain for a lovely afternoon.

Up in Sunderland there are some wonderful illuminations as North East Family Fun discovered


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill: Where learning is fun

October 19, 2014 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill


A farm holiday with us here at Coombe Mill is widely regarded as educational for children and often parents too, however the educational side of our stays are always dressed up as fun and play. With no effort what so ever a stay at Coombe Mill is guaranteed to bring new learning experiences from the moment you board the tractor and trailer ride to saying goodnight to friends at bedtime. Learning is best when it is fun to do.

Learning around the farm

There are times when as parents you may like to support and stretch the natural learning from a holiday here. For this reason we are proud to have teamed up with the on line education experts at twinkl UK to help re launch our education pages on the website.  We were lucky enough to have Heather from Twinkl to come and holiday with her family back in the spring. This experience  fully equipped Heather to understand what we do and how to extend the natural farm learning with her up to date teaching resources at twinkl.  

Together we have spent the summer developing and approving worksheets which are both supportive of the national curriculum and totally in keeping with everyday learning here on the farm.  Just like our holidays at Coombe Mill the worksheets are fun and challenging but most of all interesting and relevant. 

Coombe Mill; Where learning is fun.

The worksheets are divided into three groups: The early years from age 3 - 5, key stage 1 for our infant school visitors from age 5 - 7 and even some carefully thought out key stage 2 sheets for our juniors at age 8 - 11 years old. 

To find the worksheets simply; click on Farm Fun on the Coombe Mill Website home page header and select Education

Education Click Through

From here you can click through to any of the three key stages that best suits your child.

Pick Your Key Stage

The worksheets are all individually labelled and colour coded on each key stage page


The Three Key Stages

Click on any you like the sound of to download them to your PC or print out.

Print out or Save for later

The sheets would be perfect for helping familiarise your child with the animals we have and a little bit about farm life before your holiday, or taken around the farm whilst staying as an activity during the day, like the sensory worksheet, or even completed in quiet time reflecting on a busy day here such as the diary activity. Other sheets might be best worked on after the holiday to bring everyday learning and holiday memories together, e.g. some of the pen control or math sheets. The resources are here for you to use them as works for your children. Please use as many or as few as your children enjoy.

Already we have been putting the worksheets to good use here at coombe Mill by combining them into our activity hour. The children happily engage in completing a worksheet as part of their craft activity and we select them by age and theme to fit our focus for the session. I hope you will find them useful too.


Resources in use

We are committed to maintaining and updating these worksheets to keep them relevant to changes on the farm and the national curriculum over time. I am thrilled to have twinkl as our education partners in this and hope you will find the new worksheets as exciting and engaging for children as I do.

I'm linking up with Magic Moments and What's the Story with my new education pages.

Silent Sunday / Project 52

October 18, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill


Guy Surfing at Polzeath 


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Posted in: Weekly Photo


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"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all. 

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