Rural Care

Where care for land and people meet.

Craft Studio at Church Farm

The Rural Care team have been busy in the craft studio—look at some of the lovely offerings available for sale at the moment. The team recently attended a craft fair at one of the local Special Education schools which was a huge success.

Our craft enterprise is a collaborative project involving Co-Farmers, volunteers, staff and even family members of the for mentioned who want to be involved. Everyone involved has a specific skill or interest from felting and woodwork to organising and keeping track of stock. It offers our Co-Farmers different opportunities to develop skills such as following instructions, numeracy skills and motor skills. The best bit though is the sense of achievement everyone gets when we sell something.  All proceeds go back into the project. If you are visiting Church Farm. please visit our craft studio located just before the car park—you might just find that little special something for Christmas.



Facts about Alpacas

Come to Church Farm and meet our Alpacas George, Geoffrey, Bungle and Zippy!


Our Alpacas are quite quiet and shy.  They like to chat amongst themselves. Since arriving at Church Farm they have become quite nosey and curious.  They seem to have adapted to their new environment, Homefield, well and we are able to get closer to them.


They like to chat amongst themselves.

Jim interviewed Farmer Kelly about our Alpacas.  She said “They love their food and they love having a dust bath.” “They also are very interested in our Homefield resident chickens and when a chicken wanders into their pen they have a right good look and get close.”

Dust bathing is an animal behaviour characterised by rolling or moving around in dust, dry earth or sand, usually to get rid of parasites from their fur, feathers or skin. Many animals enjoy having dust baths.

Kelly also told Jim “Alpacas generally live for about 20 years.  George, Geoffrey, Bungle and Zippy are about seven – so they haven’t reached their mid-life crisis yet!”

The staff and Co-Farmers at Rural Care are working on ways to get the Alpacas more used to being around people and hopefully they will be able to take them for walks around the farm.  Farmer Kelly says “I think we have been doing a really good job taking wheel barrows into the field. What we should be doing more of is feeding them in their pen and talking to them.”



Alpacas mainly eat grass and hay.  They are also fed a special mix of food that has the right nutrients for them. Alpacas are herbivores so as well as grass and hay they can eat chopped carrots, apples, cabbage and even celery.


They are also fed a special mix of food that has the right nutrients for them.



Remembering Co-Farmer Tim

This summer Laura worked with Bee to design and paint a sign for Co-Farmer Tim’s memorial garden.  The garden on the corner of our allotment at Church Farm has a tree that was planted for him and other flowers.  He and Laura were good friends, and now everyone that walks by here will know we are remembering Co-Farmer Tim with this little garden.

Laura by her sign.  Tim using a drill.  And Laura making the sign.

Summer 2018

This will be a summer to remember!  It seems to have settled down now, but we had sunshine and high temps for many many days in a row.  Tasks change with the weather, and this summer has meant more diligent watering of our plants, creating shade for people and animals, and making sure all of the animals have a consistent supply of food and water, as the grass quickly turned brown.

Celebrating 10 Years of Rural Care

Lorraine led the team to a fabulous afternoon celebration of 10 Years of Rural Care.  We welcomed current and past Co-Farmers and their families and carers, from Church Farm and Aldenham Country Park.  Everyone enjoyed food and fun and good music, provided by Electric Umbrella, with help from many of those in attendance.  Ann and Rozelle were called forward for honours and presents, in appreciation of all they have done and continue to do.  These pictures are just a small taste of the party.  I think the smiles say it all.