Autumn Piglets

September 14, 2014 at 11:20 PMCoombeMill

Sally our breeding sow has done us proud delivering eleven beautiful piglets right on time.

Sally the Pig with 11 Piglets 1st Morning

I am in debt to @Jos_Nursery for the newborn photo as we were actually on our family holiday in the south of France when Jo tweeted me the news from Coombe Mill. Taking a family holiday when you run a holiday business is no easy task. For years we have taken our children away in term time for an out of season holiday, but since last year when the eldest of our children entered the serious GCSE stage we are forced to go without a holiday or find a way to cover the business in peak times. Thankfully we managed to sort the 'A team' of Amber, our first hospitality apprentice, Old Farmer Ted from the village and Farmer Gill who is new to the farm this year. Our break had to fit around their plans and this left us with the very last week of August, Sally's due date!

 

Sally heavily pregnant

 

We left a heavily pregnant Sally in the hands of our holding farmers. Ted has worked with us for years after first holidaying at Coombe Mill and has seen plenty of pigs give birth so we were confident he would be fine. Last year Sally was a teenager when she gave birth and not even fully grown herself and we were thrilled with how she took to motherhood so we were hopeful for a successful and easy labour this year.

All our guests staying the week we left were hoping they would be the lucky ones, I had updates from @SimplyHalyley and @SarahGlenister so I knew Sally was still holding on by the weekend.

It was Monday evening with new holiday makers, Ted was doing an evening check of the farm when one of the guests raised the alarm that the pig was giving birth. Sure enough there were 2 piglets out and Sally was very much in full swing. Ted kindly called round all the houses, as it was still a sociable hour, to see if anyone wanted to pop out and see. Quickly a crowd gathered to watch this magic time, just as we had done last year.

Sally managed everything all on her own and 11 healthy piglets with no stillborns was a tremendous result. I enjoyed a celebratory drink in France to toast Sally as Jo's tweet and Instagram photo came though followed by a text from Ted to say all was well.   

 

Cheers to Sally the Pig

 

Rolling into Coombe Mill in the dead of night on Thursday we collapsed into bed excited to meet our new arrivals the following morning. Nick was once again Farmer Nick and I was out with my camera to capture our magical piglets, their proud mother Sally and the joy on the faces of those staying with us as they watched and held the beautiful newborns.

 

Piglets to welcome us home from holiday

 

They grow so fast it takes my breath away each year, but thankfully they couldn't have been born into better weather and I can see already they will be plenty big enough to  survive the chilly days of autumn still to come.

 

 

We have availability again now the school summer holidays are passed if you fancy a farm break and meeting one of these adorable bundles.

Linking up our Autumn Piglets tale with Magic Moments and What's the Story

Posted in: On the Farm

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Silent Sunday / Project 52

September 13, 2014 at 10:35 PMCoombeMill

 

Toddlers on the play tractor at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall

 

 

 TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky   OneDad3Girls   

 

Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

September 12, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

Away from Coombe Mill 

We have been visiting family in the south of France for the past couple of weeks. It is a lovely end of summer treat for the children and for Nick and me too. It is a long full day travelling down that involves a very early start from England, but it is so worth it when we arrive. Beautiful as Coombe Mill is, it is still lovely to spend some time away. For us the south of France has cousins the same age as our children, a lovely big house, the delightful town of Uzes and the river and beach a short drive away. It is a complete break for us all and Nick's cousin Georgia and her husband Jean Luc are so hospitable we have returned for the second year running.  

 

A week in Uzes in France

All the children picked up where they left off. With 10 teens and tweens around the house there is always someone to 'hang out' with and always something to do. For us adults there is endless food to make, laughs to share and time to relax and enjoy the things that matter most from being with the children to enjoying late evenings over wine on the veranda. Here I am sharing just a snapshot of some of our favourite activities. 

A day at Montpellier beach was an hour's drive which is more than we are used to in Cornwall but the beaches so vast that even at the end of summer they didn't feel crowded. My dare devil children soon followed their cousins lead and spend a considerable amount of time jumping from the road bridge into the mouth of the estuary. I think I am secretly pleased this isn't an option around us!  

 

 Montpellier beach

Ping pong tournaments in the garden were enjoyed so much by the kids that we are now looking into a ping pong table for Coombe Mill.

 

Ping Pong on holiday

 

Sadly we really don't hat have the weather for an outdoor pool, but they are a garden staple in the south of France and just as my children rediscover the farm with friends around, so the cousins did with the garden pool and our children.

 

Pool side in Uzes

 The joy of a large group and older children is that not everyone has to join in everything. Nick and I took Clio and Guy to Nimes for the morning; we enjoyed an alfresco breakfast in the town square before a trip around the ancient Roman coliseum.

 

Coliseum in Nimes

Ally, Felix and I took our bicycles along and spent many an afternoon cycling through the local villages and countryside. We checked on the vineyards, witnessed a wedding and teased each other when someone was slacking on the hills. These bike rides were one of the highlights for me along with eating figs and grapes straight from the garden. 

Evenings eating out on the veranda were the perfect way to end each day and catch up on the day's highlights. The views as the sun set were awesome and the fun and laughter from us all infectious. 

 

Fun on holiday in France

 

It was a long journey back to Cornwall but so worth it for the family time we enjoyed away from the business together. My only regret was missing the birth of our piglets. Thanks to Jo of Jo's Nursery who was staying at Coombe Mill I had a running commentary and a lovely photos from instagram to keep me going till I could see them for myself. 

piglets at Coombe Mill Sept 14

 

Highlights from our week in the South of France:

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been enjoying some time with the kids outdoors this summer please come and join me here on the linky. Country Kids is all about family time away from screens and sofas anywhere from the garden to a family holiday like us this week. Just grab the badge or link back here and remember to check out some of the other posts, there are always some lovely activities to inspire your next family adventure in the great outdoors.

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)

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:

Blackberries are amazing this year Dairy of the Evans Crittens share a great day picking them and baking.

Check out this for a wonderful VIP trip by Maybush Studio to the famous River Cottage. 

The joy of a UK holiday with young children is beautifully told by Life as our little family.

Fun as a Gran makes the most of nature with some impromptu river fun. 

Let Kids be Kids watches her children play Mummy with delightful photos out in the garden. 

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Posted in: Country Kids

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How to Build Natural Mini Rafts

September 7, 2014 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill

Coombe Mill ‘How to make’ Series

How to Make Crafts for Children from Coombe Mill

Every Friday afternoon we run an activity craft hour on the farm for the children staying here with us on holiday. The fun from these sessions I often share on my Saturday Country Kids linky in-between our own family adventures, but as these sessions build I am creating a post focusing simply on instructions to make the ideas we use. You can find more crafts in the series under the Farm Crafts Category. This week's craft is inspired from an activity back in 2013 on the farm which was such a success we repeated it with the same group of guests a year on for Activity Hour.  There is also a lovely post from The Boy and Me covering making these rafts from our original race last year.

How to Make A Natural Mini Raft 

For all the fun of raft building and sailing in action here at Coombe Mill please see my Country Kids post from this year and last year

 

How to Make a Natural Mini Raft perfect for sailing on a river pond or lake

 

What you will need

  • Three or more sticks of a similar length
  • Long grass or reed with some give in it for bending and binding
  • feather or leaves

 

Things to Make a Natural Mini Raft

Method

  1. Lay the sticks out in a triangle shape overlapping at the edges
  2. Take a strand of reed or thick long grass and bind the corner of your triangle by weaving the reed in and out of the stick ends.
  3. Lay a 4th stick across the centre of your triangle with the end again overlapping the edge of the triangle and bind into place with reed
  4. Add a Feather or stick with a leaf at the top and middle of the raft binding into place with reed. Allow the end of the stick or feather to hang below the triangle shape of the raft, this will help with securing it and give weight to your raft to help it float the right way up.
  5. Float your raft

 

Steps to make a natural mini raft

 

A few fun additions you might like

  • Go colourful and add a flower with a thick stem instead of a stick or feather
  • Weave a leaf onto the stick and add a personalised message in felt tip pen or paint
  • Make a few rafts and race them in a river as we did at Coombe Mill
  • Try the activity in different seasons and create a raft for every season noticing now nature changes the colours and textures at different times of the year.

 

Embellishing natural mini rafts

 

Go have some fun, it's all natural so if they float away downstream it doesn't matter! This activity is such fun here on the farm. All the children are quite competitive cheering on their homemade raft on its journey downstream along the river Camel. It is a joy to be a part of their excitement. 

I'm linking my natural mini raft tutorial up with the following great linky's. 

Creative Monday & Parenting Pin It Party Tuesday Tutorials

Silent Sunday / Project 52

September 6, 2014 at 11:50 PMCoombeMill

 

Girl and a Piglet

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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