Posted on October 15th, 2016 - Fiona
I make no secret of the fact that spring is my favourite time on the farm. I adore the longer days, new life on the farm with plants bursting forth and baby animals being born. To me it is the optimum time for a holiday here to take advantage of all this. However something has changed this year and autumn is the new spring.
So what’s changed this autumn?
Autumn has been uncharacteristically mild with dry sunny days and beautiful sunrises. The spring bulbs are quite confused and showing their hand already while the animal kingdom is also upside down. Our bunnies have a real spring in their step and are finally “breading like rabbits”. All summer our boys failed us and now we have two litters. With a little muddle up from our end we have 10 gorgeous bouncing piglets born last week and Bully, our naughty nanny goat, is expecting. It is only the chickens who are not fooled, their egg production is governed by daylight hours and they know the days are shortening. There is much searching each morning but only a couple of eggs.
Best of both worlds
Our guests staying this autumn have been having the best of both worlds. Lovely autumn colours combined with spring growth, low season prices, baby animals on the farm and the warmest sea temperatures of the season! I will be sharing more on our piglets on the blog tomorrow but for now here are a few photos highlighting why for us autumn is the new spring and all the beauty it brings:
With a skyline like like waking in the morning has been a joy.
New born piglets and sunshine keep the morning feed run busy
These cuties elicit an “aw” everyday
Spring growth is bursting forth in the warm October sunshine down in our sheltered valley
Yet autumn colours and crunchy fallen leaves intermingle with the spring shoots.
We could be looking at a Halloween baby here and a sibling for Queenie
Autumn is the new spring for all bar the chickens who are not fooled into increasing their egg production for us.
I wonder if our friendly robin is confused by the gorgeous spring weather too.
Autumn is the new spring with extra value at Coombe Mill
With the seasons changing we have been adjusting our prices, we now have the same low prices in Spring as we have in Autumn so weather you fancy autumn with our piglets and crunchy falling leaves or spring with daffodils and lambs you’ll find the same great out of season value at Coombe Mill.
Posted on October 14th, 2016 - Fiona
Welcome to Country Kids from Coombe Mill
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 100 things to do before you are 11¾ along with all other ideas for family fun outside.
Farm life has been dominated by the arrival of our piglets this week. The children are a little nervous of their squeals but keen to have a good look and stroke them too. Thankfully for the piglets we have had another glorious week here in Cornwall and they have been basking with Mum in the autumn sun. More about our Piglets from me later this week. For now it’s over to you to link up your outdoor adventures.
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.
- Large 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.
- By joining in with Country Kids you’re giving me permission to email you weekly as a reminder.
- 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.
Thank you to my top commenters from last week:
1st we had a tie with Aly from Bug Bird Bee and Jenni from Odd Socks and Lollipops who both commented on 25 posts.
2nd Louise from Little Hearts Big Love with 23 comments
3rd Heidi from Him, Me, Three with 21 comments.
Fantastic work ladies, thank you so much. Do check out their posts linked above too.
My top commented post(s) will automatically qualify for a chance at the Rockfish wellies below provided other giveaway criteria are met.
‘link dump and run’ culprits remained at 3 with 2 regular culprits so please do pop back over and share some blog love.
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.
For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.
Posts from last week in with a chance of winning the October Rockfish Wellies:
Aly from bug, bird, Bee and Jenni from Odd Socks and Lollipops both go through as the Country Kids top commenters with a fab 25 post comments last week.
Karen from Let kids be kids shares 8 fun ways to enjoy family time by the stream.
Emma from The Joy of Five prepares for Halloween with a visit to a pumpkin farm
Country Kids Communities
I’d love you to join me:
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
Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.
Join the Country Kids Instagram Community with #CountryKidsFun.
I'll like and comment on all and share my favourites from the week with a tag on a Friday on Instagram and Twitter
Thank you to those joining in last week again. This community is really flying with 106 posts in just 2 weeks, please keep them coming I love to see them all.
My favourites were @topknotanddasies @jjhearduk @baby_chaos11 @are_we_nearly_there_yet_ Do pop over and follow them on Instagram.
Loading InLinkz ...
Posted on October 14th, 2016 - Fiona
Every year on our annual family holiday to France we try to give the children a mix of days out. Adventure trips usually feature high on their wish list and they have their favourites they like to repeat, but Nick and I like to introduce something new each year too and introduce a little learning. Last year we visited Avignon together with its famous bridge for the first time. This year we found the ‘Grotte de Trabuc’, a series of underground caves, with an excellent write up and despite some reluctance from the triplets, we loaded up with a picnic and hit the road.
We had no idea what to expect, although our French cousins spoke very highly of their visit years ago. For starters, the coolness of the caves gave us a welcome break from the searing mid day heat. We joined a guided tour, although thankfully we had our own English hand held translation, as the guided tour was all in French.
The steps take you down underground into a magical world created by nature and enhanced by man with some helpful lighting. Whether or not you have an interest in Geology and Chemistry, you can’t fail to be impressed by the beauty of the caves. They were first discovered by smugglers in the 1800s who would hide in there; some basic weapons have been recovered and displayed.
The original entrance is not accessible to the public, but it must have been a wonderful haven for those entering years ago.
Grotte de Trabuc holds a scientific secret
There are some scientific conundrums in the caves. Every calcium deposit dripping from the ceiling forms a stalactite and corresponding stalagmite below, however there is a section in the caves known as ‘the room of 1000 solders’. Here there are stalagmites growing which resemble solders on a battle field but with no corresponding Stalactite above them. No one knows how they were formed, they are the only ones of their type known to exist in the world.
Perhaps the most spectacular areas of all are the crystal clear pools of water. They are in various shades of turquoise, depending on the sulphur and mineral content of the rock, and simply breathtaking.
One such pool at the deepest point is large enough for a kayak to travel across. A waterfall cascades from the river Gardon, this feeds the water supply through the caves.
Back out in daylight we found a quite picnic table overlooking the stunning mountains to enjoy our lunch. Here we ate and chatted over our favourite aspects of the tour. Nick did his degree in Geography was very helpful filling in any follow up questions from the kids.
Even the triplets who were a little reluctant to visit couldn’t help but be mesmerised by all they saw at the Grotte de Trabuc. Hopefully it added to their geography and chemistry knowledge base.
Tips for visiting the Grotte de Trabuc
Most suitable for older children who can appreciate the explanations of the cave formation and features.
Not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs or elderly unsure of their footing.
Wear sensible footwear as it is damp with puddles in the lowest sections.
€10 for adults and €6 for children, but watch out over 12 counts as adult.
If you have an interest in geology this is a must, with just a passing interest I still thoroughly enjoyed the visit.
The cafe is very basic and there are no other restaurants close by so a picnic is a good idea.
Take a jumper, it is much cooler inside the caves even in midsummer.
Posted on October 10th, 2016 - Fiona
Everyone loves a little Disney magic. Now you can bring Disney to your child’s bedroom with this colourful Mickey Mouse room sticker from the gift specialists Prezzybox. It would make a perfect birthday or Christmas gift for a bedroom or playroom and the bright colours and smiling face will add Disney wonder to play time for both boys and girls.
Mickey Mouse Room Sticker Need to Know
Available from Prezzybox
High quality and easy to apply
Self-adhesive and removable
Creates the ultimate wow factor!
3 sheets making up 1 large 4 ft Mickey Mouse sticker
1 light switch sticker,
1 personalisable door sticker
Additional themed stickers
What we thought of our Mickey Mouse Room Sticker
I was keen to use our sticker in the spacious new Coombe Mill Games Room. So far we have made a blackboard for one wall, hung collages the children have made on another and added shelving for books and games to a third, but there were still plenty of magnolia walls waiting to be jazzed up. We chose the plain wall adjacent to the blackboard and had no trouble pealing the stickers and fixing them into place, though I recommend two people as even in 3 sections the pieces are quite large and irregular in shape and an extra set of hands is useful in lining up each piece. You can peel a piece back and re-stick if you go wrong, but this is best avoided too often as it will reduce the stickiness in time.
Once your Mickey Mouse Room sticker is in place you can accessorise him with numbers, a rainbow and more from the set to create your own look.
Don’t forget the carefully shaped light switch sticker and to customise your room with the door sticker.
The children staying at Coombe Mill were quick to spot the new addition in the Games Room and gave Mickey a big thumbs up.
Win your Mickey Mouse Room Sticker
If you have a room that could benefit from a little Disney magic why not enter to win a Mickey Mouse wall sticker pack. Just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
Mickey Mouse Wall Sticker
We were sent our Mickey Mouse wall sticker for the purpose of this review; however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Posted on October 8th, 2016 - Fiona
Earlier this week in the gorgeous morning sunlight we embarked on our last deer hunt of the season. Throughout the summer the guests have loved taking the well trodden path up through the bracken and granite outcrops to our ancient woodland in the hope of flushing out the deer. In June and July there is the excitement of finding a fawn hiding in the bracken; while in August the fawns create an “Aw” when they are spotted out running with the adults. By autumn their field and woods are full of natures treats and the deer are looking at their best ready for the mating season, called the rut, and preparing for the harsh winter ahead.
Going on a deer hunt
As October arrives we know our deer hunt days are coming to an end. Rudolph our dominant stag, whilst looking magnificent, becomes very protective of his ladies. Deer are naturally shy animals and rarely approach us; however we wouldn’t want to chance upsetting them in their mating season and so when Rudolph begins to ‘strut his stuff’ we know it is time to watch from behind the fence. I captured these photos last week on the last deer hunt of the season. The grace with which they move and speed they can take off at make it very hard to catch a good photo. I let the deer hunt enthusiasts go head and waited behind to photograph the deer as they flushed them out of hiding.
As those on a deer hunt approach, Rudolph and his ladies turn and run.
Just enough time to stop and pose for a photo and check if we had left some cornflakes for his breakfast.
Bringing up the rear on their charge past is Ginger, one of this seasons fawns
A Second Stag.
For the first time this year we have allowed one of our younger male stags to stay in the herd. He is one of our London four who joined us in the spring. While he is growing into a fine stag, and less shy than Rudolph, he will be no competition for the ladies and stays well out of Rudolph’s way when Rudolph summons his girls.
Next year could be different and we may need to think about retiring Rudolph to avoid a challenge by the time the rut returns. We also have a concern with inbreeding having had Rudolph for 3 years. If you know anywhere looking for a new stag next year please let me know.
If you are out in any of the parks with wild deer this month please give them a wide birth and admire them from afar for your own safety.