News from our partners at Ambios and Lower Sharpham Farm
Our partners at Ambios and Lower Sharpham Farm have been busy with the results of their Share in a Sheep scheme.
Here's Jack Skuse giving us an update: "Having grazed our species-rich slopes (with plenty of loving care from the people ROC support), our lambs are now ready for collection. The scheme was a huge success this year, in no small part thanks to our pitch at the Totnes Local Entrepreneurs Forum." Sheepskins are available, by the way, so get in touch with Jack here if you're interested.
The Ambios/ROC/South Devon College partnership continues. The college's students built the office last year and have created a brand new hen-house, thanks to funds secured by ROC.
Says Jack: "The house, on the footprint of the old house, breathes new life into our egg production, with a new flock of hens arriving soon. Keep an eye out for our Lower Sharpham Farm organic eggs!"
"The garden has also secured a new polytunnel, so now the backbreaking work preparing the beds for growing starts now - all help gratefully received!"
"Our fundraising never ends however, and we are currently raising funds for new workshop space for our forestry and machinery maintenance groups."
"Along with our walking sticks, bat and bird boxes and wildlife themed metalwork products, the farm produce is in need of an outlet, and we are pleased to be working towards establishing a stall on the Friday Totnes market in summer this year."
"This will create a great focal point or our collective endeavours as well as providing additional work experiences for our trainees, volunteers and the people ROC support – watch this space."
"Finally our focus on farming for wildlife remains at the front of our minds, with ongoing efforts to enhance the biodiversity of the farm. With the help of a group of young Belgian visitors last year we planted up a winter seed crop including barley, quinoa and fodder raddish to help feed the birds. It's since been found stuffed full of linnets along with plenty of other wildlife.
We cut the hedgerows to encourage them to thicken up to increase bird nesting habitat, and had a great harvest of nectar-rich plants from the garden that look lovely and also support lots of pollinators including bumblebees."