Despite the worryingly mild temperatures, we feel winter has truly arrived in the forest. We can see further through the leafless trees than ever before and our boots are now permanently covered in mud!
New neighbours have arrived on three sides of St George’s Farm. Beautiful black Dexter cattle grazing in the top field, with their young calves Jasmine, Josephine and Juniper. Beyond the orchard, Amy and Ricky moved into the bungalow a month or so ago and are expecting their first baby in April. And in a caravan next to one of the barns lives another Amy who with three more young women makes up the amazing team that manage the farm and woodland here.
During the last few weeks our many visitors, old colleagues, friends, family and volunteers have been up helping to plant the orchard. We’re halfway there with over trees 80 are now in place and almost 70 to go! Planting is not as straightforward as it sounds: each tree takes about an hour including fencing to protect them from deer and rabbits, and stakes to support them in the wind.
The last meeting this year of the Wyre Community Land Trust was held earlier this week. Lots of exciting plans were discussed for the New Year and the good news shared of some funding which will support the development of the project.
This will be our first Christmas at St George’s Farm. We’ve been to the wonderful mistletoe festival at Tenbury Wells, wrapped presents at Bewdley Museum for Santa to give out to local children, and attended the Christmas lunch for Community Land Trust volunteers, as well as a wreath making workshop in the Ruskin Studio. We now look forward to our family arriving on Christmas Eve to help us celebrate.
Two seasons have passed since we arrived in Ruskin Land. Although winter will be around for a while longer, like many of you thinking of the coming New Year we are looking forward to our first spring here, the first blossom on the apple trees and the wild flowers in the fields and forest paths.
Best wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year from Ruskin Land!