We take the phrase “field trip” quite literally around here. As in, we take trips to fields.
Lots of fields.
This was our last module for the course, and we spent every day traveling to farms all over England. We visited the university farms to look at various ways to handle compost, sampled yogurt and clotted cream at an organic dairy, saw more free range chickens than I’ve ever seen in my life, got a behind-the-scenes tour of the biggest box scheme in the UK, pet piggies and goats at a farm dedicated to preserving rare breeds, and wandered the peaceful paths of a biodynamic farm that doubles as a support community for adults with learning disabilities.
This is the point where my Dad would say, “You all deserve awards.”
And I would say, “Why, Dad?”
And he would say, “Because you’re all out standing in your fields.”
That’s the goal. 😉
I will know every centimeter of this field by the time August rolls around. Half of the green plants in the photo are the rye plots I’ll be monitoring during my dissertation research. The other half of the green plants are the spelt plots. I won’t be testing those, but I’ll be scribing for the girl who is.
We visited Riverford Organics, a super huge organic box scheme that serves most of England. After a tour of their facility and researching their background and ethics, I am a huge fan! Their business model will definitely influence mine when I set up my future box scheme in the States.
Leazes Park hosted a music festival on Saturday. It was full of hippies, punks, loud music, smoke machines, and families with small children. Yep. And these guys–buddies of mine from the school of agriculture. I literally run into them every time I participate in any community activities in Newcastle.
Tamworths are a rare breed of pig bred at Bill Quay Farm in Gateshead. They’re also one of my favorite pig breeds, so I loved seeing so many of them.
There is nothing in this world cuter than a calf’s nose.
This fantastic lady is one of my dear friends from the YSA group.
Friday’s visit to Botton Village was both therapeutic and inspiring. Botton is a biodynamic farm that produces seeds, dairy products, and beef. They also provide housing and work opportunities for 100 adults with learning disabilities. The few residents we met were cheerful and friendly, and spoke highly of their home at Botton. New regulations about how charities operate are causing no small stir, but hopefully, they can come to an agreement that will allow Botton to continue providing quality care for its residents.