It’s June, where did May go !!

We are very happy to announce that our website is finally Live. If you haven’t already seen it, have a peek. Some of you are starring in it! Many thanks for that. Kate’s Country School.

Well, I did go to the Jubilee celebration in a local church with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh (and lots of other people!) It was amazing. No cameras were allowed in the church but had a picture taken of my hat beforehand.

No wellies or overalls today!

You have to admire that lady, 86 years old and still working so hard. Hope Phillip is feeling better very soon. Our sheds and barn have been cleaned out and the muck spread to fertilise the fields ready for our greencrop which will be planted in June. (Circle of life, this will be eaten by our pregnant ewes during the winter months). We also planted spring barley at the beginning of April. The barn was used this weekend for our village Jubilee party. It’s a wonderful, multifunctional barn.

Our beautiful old barn, day after our village party.

Our pigs are outside enjoying their new enclosure.

Happy to stay in bed when the weather is grim.

Piglets arrived in time for our Introduction to Livestock course where students also had hands on experience with sheep, chickens and calves. Jim decided that our lambing shed was looking too empty after lambing so we now have 34 calves we are bucket rearing. He has also decided that we need 20 bronze turkeys to rear for Christmas. Life is never dull here!

There was a familiar sheepy aroma around the kitchen table at the end of our Sheep Husbandry Course. It was very hands on. Well done to the students for remembering to bring waterproofs! We have sold 200 lambs so far this year.

Our cattle have been very confused this year. In April they left their winter accommodation and returned to the fields.

Hurrah, out into the sunny fields

They then had to return indoors when the weather turned extremely wet. They ran eagerly inside for shelter!

Yuk! Not staying out in this!

They are all back outside again enjoying the grass. we have had 29 calves born so far this year with two pregnant cows left. Watch this space …….

We began shearing on May 28th and it is still ongoing. It was lovely to see our son learning this valuable traditional skill from his Dad.

An traditional skill being passed down to the next generation.

Monday 21st May was an interesting day spent sailing down the Thames on a farm themed boat to launch a new NFU farming campaign, Farming Delivers.

Wildlife is abundant on the farm this time of year. Our otters have been seen frolicking with their young on the river. Nesting birds can be heard in the hedgerows and buildings and our meadows are looking spectacular. You can see for yourself on our Wildlife Course on June 29th.

Abundant with biodiversity.


Unfortunately our bees swarmed earlier this year. It wasn’t unexpected as the queen was three years old. I have a new top bar hive arriving this week with a new batch of bees. Less intervention required and we can let the bees get on with things as nature intended.

If you’re ever stuck for gift ideas, don’t forget we can supply gift vouchers. Hand made and posted or e-mailed directly to you. The perfect present!

Hope the weather improves. have a good rummage through the website and see what you think.

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Our first blog! March 2012

Welcome to our first blog. Kate’s Country School is based here, on our family run, 300 acre, traditional mixed farm in beautiful Monmouthshire, South Wales. A farmstead has been here since the 12th century and we have many lovely, historic, listed buildings.

We have just finished our lambing courses of 2012. Lambing began for us in January and is now coming to an end having had over 1000 lambs born here this year. Sleepless nights but we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s not a job, it really is a very special way of life. Our next courses are on sheep husbandry and a basic introduction to livestock in May.

We have also had calves born and due to the lovely mild weather they are outside frolicking in the fields with their Mums. We house our cattle over the winter months but all are now enjoying the green grass again. I did however hear a whisper of the possibility of snow over Easter?

Noisy fieldfares gathering, Red Kites circling above, otters in the brook and meadow saffron in our wildflower meadows. we are blessed with wildlife here. Bees have been extremely busy in this sunny weather. We have our own hives but also numerous wild bees on the farm. Solitary bees love our stone walls! Although we have been enjoying the glorious weather, we (and the wildlife) really could do with a spot of rain. Having no mains and relying on spring water.

Being completely new to this, I will keep this first blog short. I will however endeavor to learn more and continue with our blogs. Will be back soon.

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