Coombe Mill is Back in Bunnies

August 24, 2014 at 10:30 AMCoombeMill

All year I have had regular guests asking me what has happened to all our bunny rabbits. We used to have so many that the bucks were only allowed out to play with the girls one at a time to avoid a rabbit overload. Regularly guests would go home at the end of their stay with a rabbit or two to re home and return the next year with news of how their pets were getting on and on occasion bemoaning Farmer Nick when he had incorrectly sexed his giveaways and two had become six!

One night we lost a whole load to the local fox and this was followed with a disease that spread. Since then we have sterilised the rabbit house, bought several new rabbits and new hutches inside, however we still faced disaster after disaster like this one shared by Guy.

Last week Nick decided to make a return trip to the Farmers Auction up on the Devon border. He has been a few times and come home empty handed or with something quite different from what he set out to bid on so I wasn't holding out much hope but agreed to take over the morning feed run with the children. I'm usually the one wielding a camera for this but figured driving the tractor, organising the food and taking pictures was too much and left my camera in doors. However I still managed a few snaps on my phone.


Farmer Fiona in charge of the feed run & the camera

We finished not long before Nick arrived home and opened the car boot to reveal his success.

 Success at the Farmers Auction for Farmer Nick

The children quickly took the chicks to join our latest hatched two in the chick nursery. They needed to be put under the heat lamp as quickly as possible after the 40 minute drive home.  


Coombe Mill Boys with new chicks

Time was much less pressing for the rabbits since even the babies were beyond weaning age and able to be out in normal temperatures. It was a three man job carrying them; I think it was a mix of the weight and bulk of the cage and a shared sense of ownership of the new arrivals.

Teamwork moving rabbits


The original four rabbits were thrilled to see some friends enter their house and came dashing over to investigate. The new arrivals on the other hand were shy and nervous of leaving their cage, eventually being coaxed out with a few handfuls of fresh grass.


New bunnies for Coombe Mill Holidays



Theo and Jed soon choose their favourites and couldn't resist a cuddle while Guy pondered the suitability of their sleeping arrangements with Dad.

Bunny Cuddles

It didn't take us long to realise that the original four were all boys, this might just explain why we hadn't had any babies! I know it sounds silly but rabbits are extremely hard to sex unless you catch them 'in the act'. Anyway their actions soon gave them away and after a couple of hours of chasing Mum and the babies round their new home we knew we would have to separate them. The boys now spend their nights in a separate hutch giving Mum and her lovely new bunnies some peace and quiet, I fear it may already be too late to prevent her being pregnant again, but at least we know she makes a lovely mother!

Needless to say the guests were delighted to visit the rabbit house again and discover so many fluffy little bunnies running out to greet them.


Holidays guests Meeting the new Rabbits at Coombe Mill

They are even Twitter worthy! 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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Silent Sunday / Project 52

August 23, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill



Toddler on Trampoline in Nature Crown from Activity Hour



 TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky   OneDad3Girls   



Posted in: Farm Crafts | On the Farm | Weekly Photo


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

August 22, 2014 at 11:30 PMCoombeMill

Making and Racing Natural Rafts

I've mentioned before how sometimes we have a magical week at Coombe Mill with families who gel and choose to socialise outside of the organised events here on the farm. A few weeks ago we had a week just like this, made up of families who had largely rebooked from the same week the previous year. Instantly friendships resumed and a relaxed week followed. For activity hour there were many requests for a repeat of the highly successful natural raft racing devised by The Boy and Me and myself last year and I was keen to oblige. I had forgotten how much fun it was and will now use it again into the autumn as the children love not just the building but the fun of the race that follows.

I began with an example raft and we then spent half an hour gathering materials and sitting by the river to create our masterpieces, adults enjoying the challenge every bit as much as the children. 


Raft building

There were some wonderful designs and each was convinced they had the winning idea!


Ready to race rafts on the river Camel


Guy was at the ready in the river with his surfboard to free any rafts that became tangled on the riverbank along the journey from one bridge to the next together with a few sporting parents. On a three, two , One they were off meandering their way downstream amidst homemade dams and obstacles from the children's play earlier in the week.


3,2,1 Let the race begin!



The children followed through the river or dashed along the riverbank to stand and wait on the far bridge. There was much cheering as the first rafts approached.


Natural Raft Race along the river Camel


Guy diligently counted them all through and rescued any for keepsakes while the others were ceremoniously thrown overboard to carry on towards Padstow. The beauty of all natural rafts!

What better way to finish off than with a quick play in the river.

River Boys


Our raft making and racing captured on video:

Joining in with Country Kids

I'd love you to come and share your fun times outdoors. Country Kids is all about enjoying some screen free fresh air time exercising mind and body through crafting, playing, exploring and more. There are some great places to visit that needn't put you out of pocket either; the forests, beaches and parks generally cost no more than a car parking ticket and offer a great chance for some quality family time. Whatever you have been doing please do grab the badge or link back here and remember to visit a few of the other posts. There are always so many great ideas shared which might just fuel your next adventure.

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 CountryKids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too (no need for a hash tag in 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:

The Boy and Me and Mummy Mishaps both shared matching posts last week that left me with the warmest happiest feeling as they expressed their heartfelt joy in a day we spent together here at Coombe Mill. If you have ever thought to visit us do please take a look at these two posts.

Diary of the Evans Crittens really know how to make the most of a woodland walk

I'm always a sucker for a Gruffalo post! This one is by Liquorice UK

This festival by Wild and Grizzly looks like the perfect place for fun loving Country Kids

Mum turned Mom has a chance to sit back and savour the moment of a lovely beach day



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Win great tasting coffee in beans or capsules

August 18, 2014 at 8:00 AMCoombeMill

For Coffee lovers everywhere

I am always on the hunt for the perfect cup of coffee. My family say I am a coffee snob as I scoff at instant and insist on a real cup every morning in life. It is my little luxury and I make my own to my own specific requirements. To be fair this is born out of necessity since the nearest Costa or Starbucks is an hour's drive from Coombe Mill! Our local town and villages have some lovely independent coffee shops ideally situated for watching the world go by which are perfect for our holiday makers. However while I am here working I still like to allow myself a 15 minute break each morning to make and enjoy my own perfect coffee here at Coombe Mill.  

Introducing CRU Kafe

I came across CRU Kafe on twitter and after chatting happily agreed to indulge my coffee love and review some of their premium 100% Organic and Fair Trade Arabica coffee. It comes in handy bags with a reseal closure in pure bean form or in recyclable capsules if you have a Nespresso machine. You can order your supplies direct from the CRU website to your door each month in quantities to suit your needs. 


Coffee beans and capsules


As a coffee purest I put the beans to the test grinding them in my special gadget for the purpose to make the fine grains needed for my coffee machine. I can tell you now the smell is divine from the freshly ground beans.


Coffee Beans to coffee

Usually I like to add frothy milk to make a cappuccino but the coffee was so smooth and rich looking as it filtered into my cup I couldn't resist a sip of the hot black liquid straight away. It was so smooth and mellow I drank the first cup black barely stopping to take a picture! For my second cup I made my regular bespoke cappuccino with frothy hot milk. With the milk added it is a milder coffee than my usual but with the entire wake up kick of a quality cup and very drinkable indeed.  


CRU Coffee served black or white


I would have no hesitation in recommending CRU Kafe beans and can only imagine the capsules are of the same high standard described as "Finer Coffee in a Kinder Capsule" by the makers and voted "Best coffee in a pod" by the Sunday Times.

A Special Offer  

If you like the sound of this quality coffee and have a Nespresso machine or a way to grind your own beans you can take advantage of the special 20% off voucher over on the CRU Kafe website for Coombe Mill Blog readers. Just click on the badge below or the one in my blog side bar and add the code to your order.

Discount with CRUKafe and Coombe Mill Holidays


Enter to Win with Coombe Mill and CRU

For your chance to win a generous 1kg bag of CRU Kafe pure Arabian beans worth £28 or 60 capsules worth £24 just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a sachet of beans and 3 capsules to try out and create this post. All opinions and thoughts on the product are my own.

Good Riddance Winter Coat

August 17, 2014 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill

A heath check for the alpaca

All summer we have been trying to get the alpaca sheerer to come. Our date back in early July had to be cancelled as it rained overnight making their fleeces wet by morning. Since the machinery is all electric this was a non starter and our ready cornered alpacas had to be freed again. It was August before we could organise a return as there are so few specialists available to do the job, in fact our sheerer claims to be one of just three in England. This time we were taking no chances and Nick set about moving the three wise men of Coffee, Toffee and Caramel indoors after the feed run the day before to ensure the forecast rain or any morning dew would not hinder proceedings again.


herding alpaca into a trailer


The alpaca can be quite strong willed and throw a nasty spit when asked to do something they don't fancy, although when they feel they are not in charge they can be quite gentle. I remember only too well how surprised we were last year when they were sheered seeing how competently the sheerer handled them; not a spit in sight. With this in mind Farmer Nick was going for the no nonsense approach to moving them to his shed and it paid off.


 Alpaca on the move


They seemed instantly content in their overnight home delving into the ample supply of fresh hay, which had just been delivered ready for the winter ahead, and chatting away to us with their baby like cooing.


Alpaca in Nick's shed


It was an early start at 7.30am the following morning for the shearer but non-the-less a few of our guests came down to watch the expert at work.

One by one Coffee, Toffee and Caramel were brought out and laid down without so much as a murmur or hint of a struggle. To be safe they had their legs strapped and a bean bag laid across their necks. Alpaca are rather like a giraffe in their movement and swing their necks round to stand up; take this facility away and they have no balance. Rest assured the animals are not hurt at all in doing this, however it does provide a rare opportunity to stroke them close up which the children delighted in doing.


Shearing alpaca


It takes no more than 5 minutes per animal to remove their thick soft fleeces, file their teeth and trim their nails. Any beautician would be proud of his speed!

Afterwards the alpaca looked a shadow of their former selves and acted accordingly as their manner softened visibly with losing their protective layer; either that or the light airy feel improved their temper!  

With all three loaded into the stock trailer, Farmer Nick fed them a delicious necessary worming mix and drove them back to their field. It rained overnight with Hurricane Bertha passing through Cornwall but by morning all had cleared and they were happy to come down and greet us all on the feed run. there after the sun shone and they flourished in the warmth without their winter coats.


 Alpaca enjoying the summer without their winter fleeces


If anyone wants a bag of alpaca wool I have three beautiful coats bagged up free to a good home. I really wish I knew a local spinner who could take it on.  


Linking my farm news up with What's the Story and Magic Moments. Pop over to see what other's have been doing

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Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill

"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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