A day in the life of Farmer Nick

Posted on September 17th, 2012 -

Shadowing the Farmer 

I thought it might be fun to take a peep at a typical day on our holiday farm for Farmer Nick, my husband and Daddy to our six children. This I did on Monday following Nick around with a camera for the day!


Farmer Nick

Daily Checks

With six children and two schools in different directions, Nick and I share the school run. Once back from that he is straight into his morning farm safety checks. At Coombe Mill we have our own spring water, together with a water treatment plant, which is checked daily by Nick to ensure any bugs are filtered from the water supply before it is stored in our giant tanks and pumped to the properties on demand. It does make me smile when our holiday maker’s use bottled water all week, yet we have the same flowing out of our taps!


Water Treatment Plant


Other checks include the Reception freezer and fridge temperatures and the delights of the septic tanks for the sewage levels – ummm, it’s an exciting life! 

Morning Tractor rides to feed the animals 

This is when things become fun. An hour and a half of feeding the animals with our little holiday helpers. A turn at driving the tractor is always a treat and the animals know just what to expect as the tractor and trailer draws close. Often there are extra chores too like moving animals to different pastures.


Tractor Driving HelpStoking baby chicksFeeding  the goats


Once the guests have disembarked from the tractor and trailer, and headed back to their cottages and lodges to make their plans for the day, Farmer Nick is free to work on some of his many farm projects.

A new Farm Toy in use

On Saturday Nick returned from the agricultural auction wielding a Mulcher. Like a child with a new toy he couldn’t wait to put it to good use. At this time of year the farm is beautiful, but all the hedges need chopping back creating more off cuts than the goats can munch though. This new farm toy gives a great recycling opportunity as mulching the branches generates fresh chippings for the play areas. All day he chopped, mulched, transported and tipped, stopping only for the afternoon school run.

Farmer Nick at work mulching to make chippings for the play area

Our “Little helpers” returned to Coombe Mill, from a busy day exploring Cornwall with their families, to delight of new soft landings as they zoomed down the slides!


 Enjoying the new soft landing


Family Time

Evenings for Farmer Nick and I are often spent taxing our six children around from club to club with meals in 2 shifts, but on Mondays we have a quiet evening and enjoy a family meal together. This week we headed out to our indoor BBQ house to share some quality family time and exchanged stories and banter of the day’s events. There is one hut by the lodges for our holiday makers to do the same. New this summer, I am fast discovering they are best way to warm up on a chilly autumn evening! Farmer Nick is of cause the BBQ King while I prepare the food.

Coombemill BBQ houseInside the BBQ houseEnjoying the warmth on a family BBQ

Finally, with the children heading to bed and me settling down to blog, Farmer Nick relaxes to watch the news, only he never actually manages to stay awake. “Just dozing” he claims!  

 Farmer Nick relaxing / snoozing!

Country Wellies for all seasons

Posted on September 17th, 2012 -

Ready for Autumn

I love this time of year on the farm, the leaves are beginning to turn, the sun still has real warmth and out on the farm with the children is beauty, fresh air and a sense of freedom. Our river and its tributaries run through our 30 acre holiday farm and make owning a good pair of wellington boots essential. Having said that, I am easily taken in by the latest trendy design and known to compromise on quality, the down side of this being that every 3 months my boots spring a leak and I am hunting out some new ones. When the super quality outdoor clothing company Joules offered me the chance to review some children’s and adults wellies I knew I was in for a treat.

Joules Wellies for Mummy and daughter

Joules wellies come in an amazing array of country fun designs with prices for ladies boots from £36.95; I must confess to dithering on which to try, they all look stunning. In the end I settled on an understated stylish deep purple pair for me and bright floral print for Clio.


The real test is in the wearing.

It was all I could do to persuade Clio to wear socks “but they are so soft Mummy, I don’t need socks”! Mine came in a wide fitting, but I have slim calves so my heart sank when I opened them, however they adjust at the top so I could draw them in and actually that worked perfectly as they didn’t slide at all at the ankle despite being very roomy. I ordered a size 6 even though I am a shoe size 5 and am glad I did as they will be perfect with extra boot socks on frosty winter mornings, yet still felt comfortable in the autumn sun with just one pair.  

Joules Wellies out on Coombe Mill Farm

We really put them through their paces on a mummy and daughter farm tour…..


We watched for wild trout and salmon which pass through Coombe Mill on their way back up stream at this time of year,


Watching for trout and Salmon in the river Camel


then continued through our woodland path towards the ford.

Coombe Woodland paths


Splashing through the ford together with not a care in the world and lovely dry feet!


Splashing through the Ford


Good grip on the bottom of the boots are perfect for climbing trees and balancing on logs


Climbing trees at CoombemillBalancing on a log

Across the fields we strolled to visit the animals on our farm. Rolo the donkey is a favourite with everyone, while our new Billy goat is settling in perfectly on the farm and already has one of our lady goats as his friend. We are hopeful for some pretty kids by spring next year!

 Hello goatsRolo the Donkey

Sitting on Daddy’s Tractor together!

Farm Tractor

The verdict

They are without doubt the most comfortable and stylish boots I have ever owned and Clio has worn hers nonstop since they arrived. If they pass the 3 month leak test, then my love of bargain cheap fashion boots may have just come to an end!



I was sent the boots to review for this post. All opinions voiced here are my own and honest.

Silent Sunday / Project 52

Posted on September 16th, 2012 -

Sunday Photo from the Farm


 Mummy and Daughter crossing Coombe Ford


TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky  Love All Blogs    

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on September 15th, 2012 -

River Play

Last Saturday saw the end of a wonderful burst of summer weather. Like most children mine are not good in the heat and tend to head for the water guns, stand pipe for car washing or just a dip in the river. It was Saturday and Farmer Nick was busy on a leaking dishwasher fix it while I was supervising cleaning the properties ready to welcome our new holiday makers. Theo had finished feeding the animals and Guy had finished stripping the beds in the properties and so they were free to play. I think they had been inspired by an old rope swing they play on in the neighbours’ woods and their fun earlier in the year at the Lostwithiel festival. As I crossed the car park I could hear the children’s voices down by the river. I detoured over to check what they were up to and just had to run back for the camera. Ten out of ten to the pair of them for rigging this one up with no help at all, only Daddy to check they had chosen suitable branches and secured their claimed bailer twine safely! 



I had my daily Mummy panic moment when I thought Guy was going in on the 2nd swing, but thankfully all was well and I didn’t need to dampen their afternoon fun.

Crafty Rafting

Having cooled off the boy’s continued with their creative flow and raided the recycling bins to make floating rafts. Theo was a little unfair on Guy and failed to fill him in on the science of weighting the raft. He secured a stone from the base of his raft to act as a keel and then had no trouble out racing Guy. I was delighted he had obviously paid attention in science at school and decided to put his learning to the test, even if it was at the expense of his younger brother!

 Raft building with weighted keelRaft without a keelWinning raft!

Joining In

I love to be inspired by others, so please join in and share your outdoor fun. Country Kids is all about leaving the telly, the computer and other indoor attractions and motivating children with being active or creative outdoors anywhere from the garden to the beach. Simply grab the badge and share the outdoors.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

50 Shades of Bread ‘n’ Butter Pud

Posted on September 14th, 2012 -

Pudding with a wow factor

Is Vanilla Dull?Wow pudding  in 50 shades!

Vanilla Bread and Butter Pudding, a classic pudding I was brought up on. I make it regularly here on the farm as part of my Coombe Cuisine range for our guests. It freezes well which is a vital factor in my pudding choices as it is all self service from my large shop freezer. Classic vanilla is not be labelled as ‘boring’, made well it is divine, however I have been experimenting with more exciting combinations and am rather pleased with the results.


Marmalade Bread ‘n’ Butter Pudding

This is a simple twist to the basic recipe that adds a citrus burst for a more refreshing taste.


Sliced white loaf, crusts removedBread 'n' Butter ingredients

Butter, softened

Caster or granulated sugar

Tin of evaporated milk

Whole milk

2 eggs

Jar of good quality marmalade


Vanilla essence

Dash of (Grand Marnier) The over 18s only version!


Butter up triangles of bread being lavish with the butter

Place butter side down in a buttered dish

Plop blobs of butter onto the triangles

Bread 'n' butter basics 

Add liberal blobs of marmalade and a good scattering of raisins

Sprinkle over sugar coating evenly

Repeat these layers of bread and filling finishing on a filling layer

Marmalade layering

Whisk together the eggs, a good teaspoon of vanilla essence, half a 410g tin of evaporated milk and about 150ml of whole milk and a tablespoon of Grand Marnier if liked.

Pour over the layered pudding soaking each slice of bread.

Leave to stand for a few minutes to soak up the bread before placing in an oven at 180degrees for about 1/2 hour.


Finishing stages of Marmalade bread'n'butter pudding  

To Serve

Serve warm with cream or ice cream or make 2 at a time and freeze one for another time.  They can be defrosted and then heated in an oven or microwave, though I would cover loosely with foil in the oven when reheating to ensure the top doesn’t burn.

For dinner parties I like to use little individual pots just because they present so well like this and there is no danger of losing the finished effect when dishing up!


Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding

50 shades of Bread ‘n’ butter fillings………..

OK no prizes for guessing what I am in the middle of reading, but the title did fit rather well.

Blackberry and Kirsch

A simple change that results in a totally different tasting pudding! Substitute raisins for blackberries and Kirsch for Grand Marnier. This is one of my favourite uses of our ample blackberry store yet! To serve I used by Blackberry ice cream with clotted cream and raspberry coulis (watered down raspberry jam)


Blackberry bread'n'butter pudding


Banana and Pecan

For this I simply replaced the raisins with sliced banana and chopped peacan nuts and used brown sugar in place of white. This is for those with a really sweet tooth!


banana and Pecan bread'n'butter pudding

Indulgent Chocolate 

Here chocolate chunks replace the raisins and the buttered bread is spread with hazelnut chocolate spread too. I then add a couple of spoonfuls of cocoa to the egg and milk mix.

This one I have made before and it always receives an mmm, when I serve it. There is only one thing to remember: throw caution to the wind and be generous with the chocolate! 

To serve, I drizzle chocolate sauce and cream onto the plate with vanilla ice cream balls. The chololate sauce is just chocolate hazelnut spread with a little hot water!

Chocolate bread'n'butter pudding

Caramel (Baileys) Latte

Make as regular vanilla adding fudge pieces and cookie chunks in place of the raisins and a small espresso measure of coffee to the egg and milk mix. If you are feeling indulgent then a good tablespoon of Baileys in the sauce is delicious too!

The preparation:

Caramel Latte Bread'n'butter pudding preparation

  Ready to enjoy!

Caramel Latte Bread'n'butter pudding


OK so I tried 5 not 50, can anyone help me with some other wicked combinations?

I am linking to Helen over at The Crazy Kitchen for her Friday photo linky. Why not pop over and see what others have been cooking.


The Crazy Kitchen

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