Rural Care

Where care for land and people meet.

Working in the Café with a Co-Farmer

Coming from a career as a chef, I (Chris) recently joined the Church Farm Rural Care team in hope to help young adults with learning difficulties gain valuable life skills, not only on the farm but to incorporate cooking into the programme.

For a few weeks in November and December, once a week on Thursdays, I have been running the farm café kitchen, working alongside a co-farmer. I spent four weeks having Thomas as my helping hand. He has been learning various culinary skills from prepping veg for salads, peeling, prepping and part cooking chips, to making soup and baking cakes and scones to sell at the café.


Tom has really enjoyed his time in the kitchen and even got the chance to make his own creative lunch whilst on duty! I feel this is a great opportunity for the Co-Farmers to learn new skills and experience a kitchen in action with day to day customers.  Not only does this provide great confidence and communication skill, but also enables the Co-Farmers the ability to gain skills that can be widely used in the future.



Me and George the Goat

The first time I (Jill) met George I thought he was smelly.  It was a warm summers day andjill-and-george he was standing in his new, spacious pen with his mate, Gilbert.  George is a beautiful red-haired Golden Guernsey goat.

He came to Church Farm from Aldenham Country Park in August and seemed to settle quite well in his new home.  Together with Gilbert, George enjoyed getting to know the Co-Farmers, students and staff that looked after him on a daily basis.  The mere sound of a wheelbarrow made him aware that food was on its way and hopefully LOTS of hay too!

One autumn day, I went into the pen to top up the goats hay.  George and Gilbert had already eaten their lunch so were in a relaxed mood.  As I tucked the hay into various spots for them to find, George sauntered over to have a peak at what I was doing.  I saw this lovely moment  as an opportunity to take a selfie with George as he was just over my shoulder.  George seemed willing so I went for it.  After the photo was taken things got a little crazy.  George decided to nibble my coat and head butt me in my behind!  I tried to laugh it off and walk away but George had other ideas.

You see, George is in season and once he smells something he likes – well, he’s ALL OVER IT!  I found myself the target of his affections as up onto his hind legs he went….his front hooves over my shoulders.  I think you get the picture!

It took some assistance from another member of staff to distract George so I could get out safely – and with my dignity in tact.

George and I now share a “special bond” – from afar.  He’s a lovely goat who will, no doubt, find the right one for him soon enough.