Not exactly a snappy blog title. Yes a large upgrade project completed to ensure that the coach house can provide groups with their own large communal cooking, dining and lounge area. Also created a new dedicated barbecue area, but that is for another blog! This communal area can seat up to 24 guests providing ample comfy seating, two wood burners, ceiling projector for large screen movie nights. See pictures.
this provides self catering guests with four kitchens between them, three in the self catering cottages and this beauty
Totally fascinated at the moment with the ever expanding wallaby pouches. Constant wriggling then pop a Joey head appears to survey the landscape or attempt to nibble at the grass. Like a retake of aliens the movie. Trying to get some good shots but this is so far the best I can do.
What’s going on doc
This Joey aah moment was shortly shattered when Frank and I went to collect the Emu eggs and suddenly racing across this large hill field we were confronted by a determinedly hostile Emu. Never ever witnessed this behaviour in the six years of keeping Emus. Frank was this Emus target I was ignored and maybe because I am with them alot. They can rip your insides out with their razor claws. Frank kept his head and used a stick to keep the Emu claws at sufficient distance until we exited the field.
A good reminder that if you live and work with animals respecting and observing their behavior is a constant not an optional task.
The food store has as pride of place jars of golden and ruby coloured medlar produce. We now enjoy our own roasted carrots in medlar juice and garlic generously covered with freshly picked rosemary.
The medlar fudge is dark toffee coloured and comes from the flesh of the fruit with the medlar jam extracted from the juice of the fruit.
A strange and rare fruit that needs to be bletted for at least two weeks in a cold and dark room. I placed the fruit single layered on cardboard until the fruit went soft to the touch and then ready to make with.
So if you come to paddocks you must taste some.
Emus started to lay so full farmhouse breakfast choice will soon be emu, duck, chicken, goose and quail!
Wallabies well settled in and sister just shot some great photos of them so uploaded onto animal gallery.
Moved everything around so most of the animals can enter the main barn. With this awful weather most of them are deciding to stay indoors, even the Dexter cows. Given that many of these animals are deemed hardy I think it should make us reflect on how we keep stock as in the “wild” they would move until they found natural shelter and thus being in the element is thus okay. We then label them as hardy – confirm them to unnatural fields with sometimes no natural cover and say that’s fine they are outdoor animals, hardy, weather proof and so forth as we run for cover and sleep warm beneath duvets.
The least we can do for the animals we confine is to give them options and access to what they could find if wild: in/out, rest or run, eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, companion and solitary, hide or interact.
Okay will now cease my rant. Enjoy pics of Wallabies.
A question we often hear on answering our phones is “I am looking for a rural venue for a conference or meeting are you really rural” This is an easy yes.
Paddocks is a great rural venue for conferences and meetings. If a rural venue is what your seeking for your conferences and meetings then a good guess is that you’re seeking a place with far reaching views, space, peace and a get away from it all sensation. Google earth Paddocks and you can see us nestled in a private 60 acre valley.
Paddocks provides this and then tops this with food picked fresh from the farm, free range grass fed meats and daily fresh eggs from quail to emu and in between.
If your delegates are then after the genuine outdoor good life experience what better way than experiencing first hand a farm in action and even getting involved, from cider making, bringing in the hay, feeding the animals, bottle feeding the young, walking with reindeer. At the end of the day gathering around huge rustic farm tables laden with delicious food, sipping wine by wood burning stoves or a sundowner watching the Zebra frisking in the hills.
Eight albino and brown Wallabies joined Paddocks in ross on wye. The reindeer, zebra and alpaca looked totally bemused at the new way of moving and initially just stood staring then the zebra decided to have a good gallop up and down the adjoining fence line.
They have settled really well and have a cunning plan for how they can access their food without any field companions putting their face in the troughs too. A small pop hole in the side of an outbuilding that only they can jump in and out off.
Okay some people said they looked like large rats but to me they look dead cute especially when they hold an apple in their paws and nibble it.
When considering what type of venue to select for a team build event some considerations
1) Does the venue create a setting where the team will stay together in the evening or will they disperse to different bars or their bedrooms?
2) Are there competing demands on team members time in breaks and evenings such that the investment in the team build is restricted to formal workshop time?
3) Does the setting reflect the values and goals of the team build. A large cold impersonal hotel with multiple strangers and impersonal staff is not a great backdrop for an event designed to pull a team together to go after a common goal.
4) Will the team feel relaxed and happy in the environment?
5) Can the venue cater for the needs of the team?
6) Will the venue offer the team the flexibility to do what the team needs to do to accomplish its goals?
7) Does the venue get what we are trying to achieve and will they support this?
8) Does the venue offer the chance for outdoor and indoor team build challenges and experiences?
The concept of Paddocks was to be a resounding positive yes to all these criteria.
And to top it all the animal teamwork being exhibited amongst the 18 different species at Paddocks provides a constant source of insight and analogy back to the human team.
Getting ready for a predicted bad winter. The huge barn is being further divided into large internal animal enclosures so all the animals can experience great indoors whenever the weather is just too much for them. Brought all animals from across the farm to fields close to the farmhouse with access to shelters and the main barn. Setting up hay racks and food troughs indoors so food can be served in the dry and eaten. Getting scalpings and rubber mats placed by all gates again to allow human and vehicle access to fields. Mending horse rugs, trying to increase protection of water pipes but this never really works. Better sharpen axes to cut through water troughs.
Many animals put on weight in spring summer in preparation for winter shortfalls. Domestic animals if they are lucky then don’t get the seasonal shortfall and result fat animals. So the horses are on restricted grass and soaked hay and denji lite to try and manage their weight.
If a reindeer goes into winter in poor condition he will never pick up. A Reindeer stops putting on weight around October time so getting their condition score good is vital.
Better go out and carry on as the animals munch away watching me work!
Frank is bringing down wood and chopping and drying and storing
Great year for apples. The pigs who are lucky enough to be in the orchard at this period have developed a regime of waking up having their pellets taking a drink then sitting under the trees waiting for apple drop. One caught one on the head and the other in the mouth.
Have been trying to respect all our produce by drying, storing, making jam, freezing, pickling – it means so much more when you grow the stuff. I was so proud of my store until Frank pointed out that I rarely eat Jam and do I really think we will go through 20 jars of chilli and apple jam. Trust Frank to point out the obvious.
We also had the good old glut of courgette – even the animals groaned when they saw me arrive courgette, well marrow, under arm.
Medlar Jam next week. Have two over laden Medlar trees and determined not to let this fruit got to waste. Frank reckons I have spent more on buying preserving jars than I would have spent on jam and pickles for years!
Then to apple juice. Then trying to perfect cooking and preserving chestnuts. Spent three hours yesterday getting the chestnut casing out of an alpacas hair. Definitely a bad hair day.
Finding it really time consuming this growing and using your own produce enterprise but the feeling of earthy satisfaction to eat off the back of your own labour is magic.
The small and taste of freshly picked carrot, leak and onion – really does taste like food should. A simple carrot – grew black, orange, yellow and green can feel like a feast. We serve eggs no older than 3 days and now I only like to serve vegetables picked that same day and typically less than 2 hours before cooking.