It's the end of the summer holidays already and even though Farmer Casey isn't impacted by school holidays for now, I feel like we blinked and missed it all. Thank you so much to everyone who's been a part of the summer at the farm, from everyone who joined Claire at the extra Dotty Club afternoons, to the visitors, volunteers and everyone who made hay making possible. It's been fantastic to see you all enjoying the farm over the last few weeks.

It might not have been a hot end to the summer, that's before the sun arrives this week, but the weather was kind enough to let us do some hay making at the end of last week. Yes, we might have been a little later than hoped, but we finally had some machines out in the fields getting our hay barn all stocked up again ahead of winter. Myself and Farmer Casey are a little disappointed to have missed it all, epic mum fail by me with Casey very much into farm machinery, but we're both so happy to see a full hay barn.

It's really essential for us to have a good stock of straw for our animals' bedding and hay for their feed to get us through the colder months. Although it's something we could buy in, it can be expensive and if we can keep our costs down, we do. We don't have an endless supply of funds and have lots of animals to feed. So, while we're lucky enough to have the land we can use, we use it. All we're missing now is the machinery to do some of the work ourselves, but for now we have to wait on people to come in to help us. Who knows what the future might hold though, maybe we'll be lucky enough to have some more machinery ourselves.

We'll be doing some fundraising in September to support the farm through winter and potentially work towards some machinery when Chris hosts a 60's social. I can't believe it's almost here after we've been talking so much about it. It'll be held in Devizes on 11 September, so only next week, and if you are local we'd love to see you there, just get in touch for your ticket. If not, don't worry, Chris will be sharing some of the night through social media. It's been a while since Chris has been able to put his social organising skills in action, so we're super excited to have this in the calendar. If previous events are anything to go by, it'll be fun and full of surprises.

While we're talking about fundraising, now seems the perfect opportunity to say thank you to our Patreons too. Through our patreon site they donate each month to support the care of their chosen animals or even team member. The difference each of our patreons make is incredible. Thanks to their support we are able to buy in the feed we need, keep essential work going and provide the best care we can to our animals without the added worry of how to get funding to cover the costs. In return we offer exclusive content, the best farm news first, and we're looking at even more ways to say thank you which includes getting your name up on our wall. If there's anything you'd like to see, get in touch. For now though, a huge thank you for another month with us, you are all amazing.

The current challenge of taking photos

Talking of amazing, you might have noticed our amazing artist and friend has been missing from the farm and hasn't been there to magic up carrots in the mornings on live. Don't worry though, Chris hasn't shut her in the naughty pen and forgotten to let her out. She's having a little break between busily working away on some merchandise ahead of Christmas. Yes, I said Christmas, but to get you the best gift options ready for you, we get creating earlier each year. I can't wait to see Caroline comes up with, I'm sure Chris is getting a sneak preview today as he heads off to the Magpie Market in Frome. Hopefully they'll be able to meet some of you there.

While Caroline needs a studio to work on her ideas, I need photos, so it's been brilliant to be back at the farm for a few visits. It's been a lot more of a challenge to get the photos this year with two children to bring along with me, but I'm always up for a challenge when it comes to taking photos. Thankfully they both enjoy it, especially Farmer Casey who is growing up far too quick now and I can't wait to see what Dexter makes of it all as he gets bigger. For now he'll happily sleep through it all. We'll be sharing more about our 2022 calendar soon, so keep a look out and get adding it to your Christmas list. We're working with a new company this year as well, so hopefully none of you will be left disappointed.

I haven't forgotten the animals, the stars on my calendar and social media who right now are behaving really well. We've got our owls separate for now as they weren't getting along in close quarters, the females are now in the barn and come to Chris for feeding while our male is in one of our averies ready to train him a little more. They are still all happy and healthy and there might be one of them appearing in the next calendar.

They aren't the only animals getting a bit of extra freedom in the barn as our latest goslings Grin,Tickle and Chuckle are now free to roam around in the day too. I can't believe they're big enough already, but they've suddenly got so much bigger and are settling in so well. They'll be in rush hour before we know it.

We have a few more stars in the making too with two new peachicks who hatched recently. They are both being hand reared as unfortunately their eggs needed to be rescued and put in our incubator, but they'll join everyone else when they're big enough and hopefully they'll fit right in. We don't know if they are male or female yet, but either way, they're going to be beautiful. Maybe Dexter will be collecting their feathers in a few years time to take into preschool to just like his big brother did last week with some of our peacock feathers. Casey's feather drawings made with his classmates were brilliant.

Elsewhere our cows have been getting a little extra freedom in the field. I enjoyed watching Daisy go out for some grass yesterday which we tied in with a photo shoot. She was a lot calmer than she was in the sunflowers last year, but still makes a great photo. Our goats have had to be separated now that our boys are maturing and we aren't planning any more babies just yet. They still get just as many treats so they're all happy and probably enjoying the extra space. So now, with all the animals settled in different spaces our focus is turning to cleaning out the main barn and getting everything ready for them over winter.

I think that's everything for now, in fact it's quite a lot so, all that's left to say is thank you and I personally want to say a big thank you to everyone supporting us at the farm. I've really enjoyed booking in your visits (great to catch out visitors yesterday) and shout outs over the last few weeks. And for some of you lovely people to support Casey and I through the wish list has honestly made us amazingly happy and keeps us working hard on everything we do to support the farm. I wish I knew who sent the oat milk and Casey's robot cup, along with other things sent to the farm, because we really are so thankful.

Myself and the boys aren't going to be available for the next couple of blogs due to family plans, but we'll be back with you soon and will catch you up on all of the news then. 

Kara, Casey and Teddy