Family farm holidays in Cornwall magical for children, toddlers and babies.
Coombe Mill Blog
"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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Every year male deer shed their antlers. Our lead stag changes every few years, yet the week in which his antlers are lost is nearly always the same. It is mid May and just as Rudolph the stag is looking his most magnificent everything changes.
Farmer Nick had gone away up country leaving me in charge of the kids and the farm. It was on my two feed run mornings that each antler was seen missing. The first day poor Rudolf was looking a bit lopsided where one had fallen and one remained. By the second day both had fallen and he was looking half the man he was at the start of the week. That said it must be like the Queen removing her heavy crown as they really are quite weighty.
As I was leading the feed run I only had my phone at hand to grab a few photos. However the children were so thrilled to go on a deer hunt and track down the missing antlers with me that I still thought the photos were worth sharing, despite the sub optimal quality.
Hunting for antlers in a large Jurassic field is a little like searching for a needle in a haystack. As we walked every fallen and chewed branch looked like a possible antler. I’m not sure who was more excited, me or the kids, when on both mornings, after trekking high into the field, we found the antlers. The little ones referred to the antlers as their “trophies” as they held onto them tightly. I was somewhat worried about them poking each other in the eye in their excitement but didn’t want to take their trophies away. Thankfully everyone managed a good turn at carrying them before placing them in the tractor and trailer without any mischief coming to the children or the antlers!
Rudolf the stag at the start of the week with a full set of antlers.
The children find their first missing antler.
Another day and another antler found to make the set.
A quick snap of everyone crowding round to see
Rudolf looking less than majestic and no doubt feeling light headed without his antlers.
Did you know deer have antlers but sheep and goats have horns? Antlers are shed and re-grow annually. Horns grow just once and if they break they are missing for life.
Country Kids is the original outdoor family fun linky designed to:
“Encourage family fun outdoors, in an age where technology and screens are such a draw to a sedentary indoor life”
Welcome back if you are a regular to Country Kids and if you are new please join in. You will find plenty of inspiration for enjoying outdoor space and please do share your own adventures. We support the National Trust #50 things along with all other ideas for family fun outside.
You know summer is knocking on the door when…..
Rudolph has lost his antlers. This is one of the regular signs of early summer here on the farm. Our magnificent stag is looking somewhat less majestic without his headgear much to the delight of the children who found it! The plants, and weeds, are running away, we are through lambing and the evenings are stretching out into the night. What’s not to love about the outdoors now? Please come and join me with your adventures on the link up below.
Guidelines for Joining in:
Post must be predominantly outdoors such as in the garden, the park, the woods or the beach with crafting, learning, exploring or playing.
Despite the title, both countryside and urban outdoor adventures are welcome.
Unheated covered areas like a barn or tent count as outdoors.
Please comment on my host post and a minimum of 3 others of your choice.
If you use #CountryKids when commenting the post owner will know where your found them and hopefully come back to visit your post.
Please take my badge, without it you won’t be considered for winning the lovely Rockfish Wellies.
Linked posts should be written and made live within the last 2 months.
I understand sometimes you need to do catch up posts and write about something from a couple of months ago but the publish date should be within 2 months.
There is no restriction on the number of posts that can be linked up, however please be sensible, if you have more than 3 consider linking over a few weeks.
Thanks to all of you who joined in last week and for the comments you took time to leave, we had a week with nojust one link dumper. Please don’t do this it isn’t fair!
Rockfish kindly sponsor Country Kids
Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly
I am delighted to have Rockfish as the sponsor for Country Kids. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish quality wellingtons for all the family. We have been offering their country wellies in our borrow room here on the farm for over a year and they are always popular for their style, comfort and durability.
Each week my favourite #CountryKids posts, which include my badge or a link back here, will be considered for a free pair of Rockfish Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way. Keep your posts coming, it could be you winning next!
For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.
Favourite posts from last week added to the shortlist for winning the May Rockfish Wellies:
I love it when I have an idea that jut grows. We had such fun back in half term up in the deer field, where Farmer Nick was explaining the ice age history of the woodland there and I began to think about how we could incorporate this into an activity hour. My mind moved from the ice age landscape to the dinosaurs who would have roamed the Jurassic landscape back then. Creating a dinosaur world from the ancient parts of Coombe Mill began to take shape in my mind whilst I was cycling over Bodmin Moor. Farmer Nick was out shopping and as my plan came together in my mind I had to stop and phone him to ask him to buy me a bag of plastic dinosaurs. He is used to my strange requests and came home with just what I wanted. A little more planning and creative thought and I had our dinosaur world of discovery mapped out.
Dinosaur know how
As everyone assembled the children began to look through 3 lovely dinosaur books we have on the farm from Atlas of Dinosaurs and Lonely Atlas of Dinosaurs which covered the age range of the children perfectly. I was surprised how knowledgeable the children were on their dinosaurs, telling me names, habitats and even how long ago they lived on earth (180 – 65 million years ago) and theories on they became extinct.
I focused in on the Atlas of Dinosaurs and the page on the UK which depicted a beautifully illustrated landscape that could have been Coombe Mill. The children quickly identified the river and the forested deer field as looking just like the book.
By now everyone had arrived and we set about painting dinosaur rocks out of old Coombe Mill scavenged ancient chunks of rock which I had pre primed with white paint as a base.
The children painted their favourite dinosaurs and we set them on one side to dry. I later took them home and varnished them so they could be taken home with the children the following day and kept or hidden locally. My own is now hidden at Coombe Mill and added to our Coombe Mill Rocks page on Facebook.
Creating our dinosaur world
Next we arranged cereal box backing into supermarket vegetable trays as the base of our Jurassic world. When everyone was happy with the fit of the two items we took just the tray with us on a farm scavenger hunt to look for and collect evidence of where the dinosaurs might have lived and what they might have eaten at Coombe Mill. We stopped to look along the river, to collect and smell wild garlic which we all agreed dinosaurs would have enjoyed and headed up into the deer field.
A play in the trees followed, along with collecting moss as a carpet to our dinosaur world. We also searched for ferns and leaves which we had read they liked to eat.
Back at the craft table the children tipped out their scavenged items, added the backing board back and began to assemble their own mini Jurassic world replica.
There was just one thing missing, mine had a dinosaur in and no one else’s did. I had a last activity up my sleeve. Clio had laid a dinosaur trail for us while we were on our scavenger hunt. This took us from the games room up to the sand pit where 9 dinosaurs were hidden in the sand; one for each child. They raced along spotting and collecting the clues and enjoyed digging up their dinosaurs. The Play Expert diggers were very handy for the job!
Finally with dinosaurs in hand they headed back to place them in their newly made home.
It’s amazing how much fun we had with some lovely books, little dinosaur toys and 30 acres of ancient dinosaur landscape that makes Coombe Mill.
If you have a toddler just beginning to understand colours and shapes but not yet too sure, I have been looking at the perfect book to help them along. Produced by Phaidon this hardback book has everything a toddler would love from a funny fantasy story with a rhythmic text to colourful simplistic illustrations. Parents will love the fast paced page turning learning making it fun to understand shapes. This book is a winner for everyone. Read on to find out more about Circle Rolls and be in with a chance of winning a copy of your own.
Circle Rolls: The Story
In this book each shape takes on a stick man character. Circle is the lead character who rolls through along bumping into the other shapes. He knocks them, bumps them and topples them over and before exploding and causing havoc. It is left to Octagon, the sensible shape, to bring order back among the fun loving shapes. Heart then helps mend circle ready to roll another day.
What we love
The clever stick man illustrated shapes and fun rhyming adventure make this book perfect learning. We have been using it with the holiday makers here for a shape led farm activity hour and it has been very popular with the little ones.
So last week I shared the tale of our abandoned lamb and show she was thriving being brought up by us. Now she has taken on official pet status. A lamb will follow you to the ends of the earth if it thinks you are taking care of it and our little Lambo is no different. Every morning she accompanies me on the farm checks, sniffing out the other animals and tripping me up darting between my welly boots. My heart melts when she cries as I leave her in her field for the day. Knowing how obedient she had become I thought she would love a walk in the woods and I was keen to see if the bluebells were finally out with the warm weekend weather. Jed was at a loose end and happily came along. I grabbed my camera at the last moment and was glad I did, it was a perfect opportunity to capture some pretty photos of the bluebells and a few unguarded ones of lamb walking with Jed and little Lambo. They sauntered along together and whenever Jed ran Lambo kept up leaping over the bluebells to stay right on his heels. The guests this week did ask if Nick’s choice of Lambo was short for a Lamborghini he was hankering after, well she certainly warrants that version after racing through the woods. Lambo as a female version of Rambo, the little warrior, is the other interpretation. I think both are rather fitting.
Jed and Lambo looking down towards the river Camel
Lambo Racing through the woods after Jed
Time for a well deserved bottle of lambs milk
Lamb walking homeward bound
Woodland Bluebells close up
Lambo will stay bottle fed until the summer, if you are coming to see us you’ll have a turn at feeding her and can even take her out lamb walking.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.