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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udolf our stag lost his antlers for the summer season. Antlers are shed each year unlike horns which grow once for life. The kids n holiday ... Read More
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I’ve been tagged by the lovely Clare over at http://www.emmysmummy.com/ in this simple meme to share with you the five things which make me happy:
Taking a different view
I am going to bypass the obvious and most important that we all want most in life:
Love from our nearest and dearest
Health and strength for ourselves and those we love
Enough money to get by without serious hardship and heartache
Respect and trust of friends and family
Instead I am going for the little extra things that really make my day:
1. My children coming in from the farm with a bunch of flowers they have picked for me
2. Coming home from the evening kids activities and finding Farmer Nick (my husband) cooking dinner and pouring me a glass of wine. This is a rare occurrence but such a treat. So rare I sadly have no picture, except this one doing what all men love – the BBQ!
3. Family holidays, this may sound mad when we life on an idyllic holiday farm, but much as I love what I do I love a few days away, which believe me is very hard to organise!
4. Spring on the farm and the joy of our new born animals, for the pleasure they give me, our children and our guests
5. A day on the beach. We have the best beaches in the country (OK I am bias) and I feel like I am on holiday every time we go. Picnic, wet suits buckets and spades and the hours just fly by.
Now I would love to see what makes these people happy:
Our daily tractor rides to feed the animals are the highlight of a holiday at Coombe Mill for the children. It makes my day when our own children come along and help out too. I love to see them demonstrating to the younger children how to feed and handle the animals. This builds the confidence for our younger visitors and as the week goes by everyone is keen to have a go from stroking to feeding and even driving the tractor!
The morning feed fun is a great way for the children on holiday to make friends and learn from each other
After an hour and a half on the farm everyone is keen to get back for a rest and a clean up and plan the rest of the day.
What have you been up to out and about recently with the kids? Whether the garden, the park or an outing in the country, please take a camera and join me here to support fresh air and healthy outdoor fun for children.
Wednesday the 29th February was a beautiful morning, the sun had the first spring warmth, and there in the field were 2 healthy looking twin lambs emerging. After the sad loss of Pancake, https://www.coombemill.com/blog/post/2012/02/23/A-lamb-in-my-kitchen!.aspx we were taking no chances with these two. Mum and twins were straight into Farmer Nick’s Stock trailer, angled purposefully into the morning sun.
As the 1st hour ticked by and Mum didn’t appear to be feeding her new family we became a little concerned. Farmer Nick lent a helping hand, introducing Mum and twins to the basics needed in life!
The idea dawned and they were away to go, except it soon became apparent that Mum just didn’t have enough milk for her hungry pair. Out came the bottles again as the children and I gave a helping hand.
By day they played in the sun and by night we gated the trailer to keep them safe from any passing foxes and wet weather. I bravely announced them on facebook and twitter and they were soon named Leap (the girl) and Year (the boy)
In real trouble
Then the alarm bells began to ring. On two consecutive mornings as Theo and I had ventured out early to check on them with a bottle we had found Leap with Mum in the trailer and Year hiding underneath, apparently having fallen through the bars. The first time I thought it was a mistake but on the second occasion the shivering Year was clearly in trouble and had most likely been pushed out by mother. I was now cursing my decision to announce their safe arrival to the world as we took him indoors. The poor little lamb had chronic diarrhea, and I spent a day cleaning him up like a baby in the utility, watching him reject the bottle out right, lose strength and generally display all the signs of giving up on life.
Our now smitten children were desperate to save him and not lose another lamb. They wrapped him up with my heated welly warmer and a cover by the radiator. I stayed up to comfort him half the night after warning the children that he was unlikely to make it through to morning.
Theo was first to wake, running into our bedroom thrilled to announce that Year was still alive. I was surprised but still not hopeful on seeing the frail bundle in my kitchen. Theo on the other hand was convinced he was looking better. After the school run I cleaned up the pathetically weak little chap and forced a little milk into him. All day I did this, just a few sips every half hour. By the end of the day he really was beginning to pick up, drink a little and not lose it straight out the other end! We had turned a corner!
Step by step
Slowly he has moved from his small box in the kitchen, to the greenhouse during the day and progressive visits back to see Mum and sister in the field! Mum has now rejected him and won’t let him feed, but Leap seams happy to let him come close. It is so rewarding to watch them together again and know that we have most certainly saved his life.
Year will need bottle feeding through the spring and summer, which I am sure will delight our visitors but to have him back with the other sheep too is the best of all worlds.
Nick has even bought a new shelter for their specially fenced nursery field; well he did need the stock trailer back. Turned out to be perfect timing as yesterday we had another new arrival; Mum and baby boy are doing really well with no intervention needed from us.
I am linking this post to the blog hop “Reasons to be cheerful” see what has made others cheerful this week”
It has always been something that Nick and I have been totally in agreement over. Pocket money is not for free to our children, it is earned. Weather it is washing the car or feeding the animals, showing in the guests or stripping the beds, there are plenty of jobs here with a family business and increasingly as our children grow up, we expect them to help out and encourage this in every way. https://www.coombemill.com/family-team
Making it easy
Help is always more forthcoming when it a job that interests them! Let’s face it, as jobs go, stripping beds in 19 properties is a chore that has to be done while roaring round the farm on a quad bike is somewhat more appealing to my boys! Farmer Nick is always keen to encourage them by making their chores more fun; he is a tools and gadgets boy himself! His latest lash up is a homemade trailer for the quad to assist in carrying everything from hay for the animals to logs for the log stores. The boys are only too keen to help out now!
Things don’t always go to plan!
Felix and Theo were really working well together at the weekend. Inspired by Daddy’s trailer they even forgot to ask how much they would earn, instead happily loading logs and distributing them round the properties!
Having finished the logs they set off for a fun ride on the farm. No one is prepared to admit how this happened!
Sheepishly Theo came to ask for help; thankfully he has a very practical Daddy who was able to save the day:
A helping hand?
Would it have been quicker to have done the logs ourselves? Most definitely, however that is not the point. Children have so much to learn: the value of money, that dull jobs need doing as well as exciting ones, that machinery if mishandled can be dangerous and lapses in concentration has consequences! I would rather they learned those lessons here with us than on their own when they are grown up, so Nick and I will continue to invest time and money into encouraging their young help.
Not deterred here they are back out on the farm the following day moving hay and animals with Daddy.
What do you expect from your children?
Are we on our own in our thinking? How far do you go in asking or paying your children to help? Do you allow them to help with difficult or potentially dangerous things too? It is a difficult one to get right as a parent, but we all do our best to prepare our children for adulthood as best we can.
“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.