Did you know that a million pumpkins are brought in the united kingdom each year for carving into scary Halloween faces? Did you also know that a massive 95% of these pumpkins are destined for land fill in which they will be left to rot away, whilst only 5% are made into soup or pumpkin pies?
At Sandon we took part in our second annual “Pumpkins for pigs” in which we ask children to bring in their pumpkins to give to our pigs and chickens on the farm so they can enjoy a special Halloween themed treat.
This year was better than ever with nearly twice the amount of pumpkins brought in for the farm.
Look at the pictures below of our Sandon Farmers feeding some of the pumpkins to the pigs.
This weeks blog has been written by Alfie and Lisepa.
Our trip at Ford hall farm was amazing! We met a lot of animals such as rare pigs called Gloucester old spots, sheep , cows and cute piglets and lots more. Our tour guide was a kind woman called Helen she loved the wildlife as well. We learnt that the farm was organic which meant there was no pesticides or chemicals used on the farm that would damage the bees and other animals that live on the farm. We also learnt about seasonal food which means food is only available at certain times of the year, not all time like in supermarkets.
We went a walk along the fields and I fell over and nearly landed in a giant cow pat. We played in the woods which was full of art and there a bird hide which you can sit in to watch the birds in the woods.
We had lunch in the lovely garden in a giant pig ark.
We had a lovely day and learn t all about the seasonal food and wonderful wildlife.
The summer holidays are perfect time to make improvements to the farm, and to catch up on any repair work that may need doing and this summer was no different. We had several projects in mind for over the 6 weeks which all involved taking what we already have in place and making them bigger and better.
One of the first things was to make a new enclosure for our chinchilla, Meg, which we built at the back of the food shed. She now has a huge, multi-story walk in enclosure in which the children can go inside to play with her, something her old cage couldn’t allow and will be greatly beneficial to Megs wellbeing in the long run as well as adding an exciting new part of the farm.
Sticking with improved enclosures, we have created a new ‘Rabbit town’ area at the back of the rabbit enclosure. This area allows the rabbits a safe, enriched outdoor play area that will allow them to have much more exercise and do the things rabbits like to naturally do. The area also allows the children to sit amongst the rabbits as they play, with hiding places for the rabbits to take time out if they need to.
The rabbits that will be living in Rabbit Town are four Netherland Dwarf Rabbits that arrived on the farm this weekend. Netherland’s are a rare breed of rabbit that are much smaller and calmer than the normal pet rabbit. They do need special care, especially in grooming and diet. You can see photos of the rabbits below.
In the Farm Garden, we have built to huge new vegetable beds, one shallow and one deep, so we can grow even more produce and different varieties of vegetable this school year. We are getting better and better each growing season so we are very excited for the new one.
After moving around 10 tonnes of wood chip into the pig enclosure in preparation for the new piglets, they arrived 2 weeks ago, giving them time to settle in to their new home before the new term. This term we have three saddle-back piglets that are around 10 weeks old now. They are friendly and love to have their bellies rubbed.
They will be with us until around February before moving on to have piglets of their own.
The final change on the farm is the sensory garden which was completed on the last week of term with the wet, warm summer really allowing the new plants to bed in and they are looking absolutely fantastic, by Spring next year the garden will be fully established and we will be able to see, smell and touch all the wonderful plants.
Last week was the Great Sandon Bug Week in which we celebrate all things that buzz, slither, scuttle and crawl!
Children throughout the school took part in different insect related activities with Mr Kiddle such as bug hunts, butterfly feeding station and bug hotel making, Tree shaking and meet the bugs.
We even looked at how we might be eating bugs in this for our meals in the future!
Take a look at some of the photos from the week below.
As part of our ‘Farmers Market’ cooking project, Year 4 had a go at making their own sausages. They made their own mix from pork mince, breadcrumbs, thyme, sage, garlic, ginger and seasoned with salt and paper. They then loaded the mix into the sausage maker and, after a few failed attempts, started to make the very first Sandon Sausage!
Take a look at the photos below to see how we got on…
The garden gang had a very busy morning getting ready for their growing season that is starting in March. Their first job was to chit the seed potatoes. Chitting the potatoes gives them chance to start growing before they are planted by letting them start sprouting shoots, hopefully we will be rolling in potatoes by the summer!
Next they finished preparing the deep beds and wild flower beds by digging in a final layer of compost ready for the first seeds before planning what they are going to grow this year.
Today we held our Big Schools Birdwatch, an event we take part in each year that helps the RSPB to monitor bird population in the UK. We had hoped to do it earlier, but the constant fog and drizzle made it hard to see anything.
Luckily the weather was perfect yesterday and we had a great time recording the visitors to our farm. Overall we had a good set of results, however we saw much fewer long-tailed tits this year but more great tits and dunnocks.
Have a look at our top 10 birds that we saw below.
Today we thought the chickens where looking a bit down in the dumps. All the foggy and cold weather has left them with a bit of the winter blues, so we thought we would cheers them up with some treats.
Chickens love worms and they also love pasta, so we boiled some spaghetti and hid it all around the farm for the chickens to find. It was great fun watching the chickens run around the farm with spaghetti trailing from their beaks as they tried to beat each other to the treats!