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From 1100 to 1600 hrs

Apple Day

A chance to see the Urban Farm Orchard and enjoy a fun family day. Attractions include: Stalls and Food, Face Painting, Apple Juicing, Family Activities, Wildlife Walk
In the event, the Apple Day went well including apple crushing and other stalls connected with fruit and orchards. Unfortunately, there were other events going on in the immediate area that day and our event, although successful was not as well supported as we would have hoped.

Six keen and fit strong men from Nielsen Holdings plc re-established a ditch which had subsidised through the attentions of our pig Daisy, who likes to roll in the wet and keep cool during the Summer, and dig for roots during the Winter. Although a short section, it was well and truly filled in, and had to be excavated through to a point where it disappears down a culvert pipe.It was a warm day, and strenuous work They also patiently put up with the close attentions of Daisy, who was determined to supervise and make a personal contribution to the work effort.

A very successful result was achieved and our one day miners seemed to enjoy the change and a few hours away from their normal more sedate activities, although it is doubtful they would want to make it a habit!
Many thanks indeed to : Kev, Mike, Mark, Paul, John, and Rory: from Daisy and all of us at the Urban Farm.

............was very successful, with dry weather all day, after a rather wet week. It was, however, tremendously windy and one gust managed to lift and destroy one of our small tents, leaving our Children's Music Entertainer somewhat exposed ! Happily it remained dry , so he was able to continue al fresco.
The advertised entertainment was excellent, with Magic Bob, our new Children's Entertainer a particularly favourite attraction. Punch and Judy , Andy's Musical Mayhem and of course The Animal Man provided all day fun for everyone together with many favourite side stalls, including tombola. The Birmingham Astronomical Society enjoyed this year's show, with plenty of sunshine which allowed visitors to look at the Sun through special telescopes.. Attractions also included Face Painting, Bouncy Castle and a new Bucking bronco ride. Our special Garden Refreshment facility, an ice cream van, bouncy castle, and buckin' bronco, completed the line-up.
It is estimated that in excess of 1500 attended during the five hours.
Thanks to all who supported us by attending, and of course all the Contributors who worked hard to ensure such a successful day.

On Thursday 25th May 2017 were pleased to welcome a team of ten employees from various Santander High Street Branches in the West Midlands for a very useful team day tidying and sprucing up the Project ready for our annual Open Day on the 11th June. One group got stuck into the copious weeds growing in the main yard and garden areas and the other tackled the job of applying wood treatment to the ferret house and several of our large animal sheds which house variously, the cattle, the sheep, the goats. After a very hard day's work, the yard looks really tidy again, and the buildings smart and looked after. Such activity is always so dependant upon good weather, and happily the rather damp day originally forecast turned out, in the event, to be dry and warm.

Thanks for all your hard work to: Sat and Sonny (Kings Heath), Paige and Peter (Harborne), Claire (Stourbridge), Donna and Andrew (Dudley), Abigale and John (Solihull) and Charlie (Union Street, Birmingham)

.....on the 17th March when a team of eleven came down to spend a full day helping us with farm maintenance. Some of the more intrepid braved the depths of our Wildlife Area and removed mountains of brambles and undergrowth to allow light in to help establish smaller ground species of plants e.g. bluebells and also carry out annual weeding of our orchard display beds.

The remainder of the Team used their skills with paintbrush and pot to apply wood-treatment to many of our store sheds, barns and poultry housing which now look as good as new, and are much better protected against the elements.

Many thanks to team leader for the-day Leyla, and the rest of the Team, namely: Richard, Lucy,Phil,Jayesh,Emma, Rachel,Lindsey, Trevor, Chris and Steven. Thanks also for the donations of goods for our June 2017 Open Day Tombola Stall

Friday October 14th 2016

A team of nearly twenty enthusiastic employees from the Royal Bank of Scotland visited us from the Birmingham Office to assist us with a Clearing up for Winter day at the Farm. They were all from the mortgage section and very much enjoyed their escape into the open air away from their computers. As always these events are very dependant upon dry weather, and the heavens were kind.

The Team completely re-creosoted the farm administrative and storage buildings in the Farmyard area as well as weeding the yard itself; tackled the perennial weeds and refurbished the garden beds in the Orchard,and made a successful foray into the depths of the Wildlife Area where they cleared pathways and cut down overgrowth, with one keen member creating several yards of border fencing from available coppiced branch growth.
A good day was had by all, and our Charitable project enjoyed some essential maintenance. Many thanks to: Steve (Team Leader) and all the Team!

The special visit from The Animal Man was quite remarkable with an estimated 750 or more adults and children flooding through the gates in a frantic three hour period. Before we opened, the queue was along the path right into the car park. Unusual livestock on display included exotic mammals, spiders, and reptiles.
In addition we were pleased to enjoy the support of the Trekking Centre, with the afternoon enhanced by the provision of supervised Pony Rides which were very well received by the visitors.
Overall the income generated assisted greatly in making up for the lack of income on our Open Day.
Next year's Open Day is on Sunday 11th June, when The Animal Man is also next due to appear.

Sunday 5th June was dry, hot and sunny. However all the finger crossing in the world did not work for this to continue because our Open Day on the 12th was far from dry. It rained on and off all day, although it stopped for about 90 minutes around midday. The effect on visitors was understandably quite dramatic and the total was in the region of 400 adults and children. On a sunny day we have recorded as many as 2,250 so quite a difference. However many thanks indeed for the support given by those who attended, braved the elements, and enjoyed the full programme of events ,stalls and activities which went ahead as planned - a little damp- but enthusiastically. One example was The Birmingham Astronomical Society Stall members who all showed great enthusiasm and fortitude with their special telescopes brought for visitors to study the Sun, which showed itself for just about three minutes all day ! (One of the pictures below captures those precious seconds) Many thanks to each and every one of our supporters, volunteers and stallholders for their good humour and hard work.

Financially, we were concerned that an event which is staged for the local community but which also aims to raise funds to feed our animals and assist in keeping the Charity solvent, was going to actually show a loss - which is not quite the idea ! However, at the end of the day the balance sheet showed that the cost of staging the Day (tentage, entertainers,refreshments etc) was £1,000.00 whilst the takings amounted to £1077.76 (i.e. just £77.76 in the black). If we had been able to find a Sponsor then the figure would have looked a lot better and we will look hard for someone to Sponsor the Open Day next year to cover the costs elements (Our Treasurer just whispered to me...."any offers ?") We would especially like to thank a number of people who assisted us to keep on the right side of financial loss by offering some reduction on their usual charges or making a 'wet weather' donation.

e took charge of our new flock of eight sheep at the end of November. Given the ground conditions this was an accomplishment in itself because it was impossible to drive a vehicle across the waterlogged ground to the sheep paddock at the far side of the Farm. Anyone watching would have been greatly entertained by the sight of the sheep being transported one at a time on a small pull truck, held down to stop them jumping off. Halfway through the process a wheel literally came of the truck and we all collapsed into the mud ! Having got them successfully into their new field and safely tucked up in their sheep shed, we all retired to relieve our aching muscles. As any City farmer will know, manhandling a sheep who does not wish to cooperate , is not for the faint-hearted. Given that early trauma, however, the sheep very quickly settled into their new home, and are now calm and happy and tucking away at their hay rations.
The sheep are a mixture of pure breed and hybrid. There are two pure breed Badger Faced, two Badger Faced x Manx Loughtan, two pure breed Wiltshire Horn, two Black Welsh Mountain X and two Badger Faced X Herdwick X Manx double crossed. This is quite a mixture, but gives a lovely colour range and effect when viewed . They were purchased from a smallholder in Inkberrow in Worcestershire.
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