Thursday, 22 September 2011

Local Primary School Visits Farm, Australian Visitors

Last Tuesday, a grey drizzle-laden day,  a group of 5-7yr olds from our local primary school were brought to visit the farm. The school is only a mile away yet the children were brought in huge bus instead of walking down across the fields which would be so much more fun for them. However, they duly arrived fully kitted out in wellies & many of them with waterproof over-trousers which I was pleased to see. Despite the miserable weather the visit was great success with the Farmer marching them around the farm showing them everything from silage & grass to a new born calf out in the field with its mother & aunts which they were thrilled by.
 After walking up hill & down dale, which the grown-ups complain about more than the children!!,
lunch was eaten in one of the farm sheds after the obligatory hand-washing which the children find as much fun as anything else...washing in a trough of cold water after having queued up for a squirt of liquid soap and then being handed a length of paper towel seems to be quite an experience!

Again we were surprised by the fact only two children in a group of 35 from a little rural school, come from farms. When the Farmer went to the same school some 40-odd years ago the majority of the pupils were farm children. This is why is so important that we continue to have schools visit us and for the children to see livestock and machinery and feed-stuff in the proper context & to make the connection with the food that they eat..
This group took back to school with them a lovely collection of bits & pieces that they had garnered from the hedgerows; they had sloes, hawthorn berries, acorns, beech husks, fungi of various kinds & wisps of sheeps wool, real treasures that they guarded most jealously getting onto the bus for their return to school.

The following day we conducted another farm walk, this time for three adults who were holidaying in the area from Australia. They had 130 acres, (a mere garden by Australian standards of course!) which they were hoping to stock with cattle. They were amazed at how green Wales is, but then it never stops raining whereas in Oz it never rains at all! Or so we like to believe.
After a good walk round we all came into the kitchen for tea & cake and compared notes on life in Australia & Wales.
We love having visitors from around the world and as it is extremely unlikely that the Farmer & I would ever go to the Antipodes we do get an insight into a different world. We were particularly fascinated by one of our guest's experiences living out in the bush alongside an Aboriginal tribe who still lived in the traditional way with very little contact with white people.

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