Learn­ing for life

Country Smallholding - - On Course -

HUM­BLE BY Na­ture is a 117-acre work­ing farm owned by broad­caster and writer Kate Hum­ble and her hus­band, Ludo Graham. Owned by the coun­cil and ten­anted for at least four gen­er­a­tions, it was due to be bro­ken up and sold in 2010 when the last ten­ants re­tired.

Kate and Ludo felt it was too im­por­tant an as­set to the area, farm­ing and the com­mu­nity to be lost. They per­suaded the coun­cil to let them take it on, keep it ten­anted and run a busi­ness that would re­con­nect peo­ple with the land and keep tra­di­tional ru­ral skills and crafts alive.

The farm is now a thriv­ing ru­ral skills cen­tre, with a wide range of cour­ses and de­light­ful hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion. It is also home to ten­ant farm­ers Tim and Sarah and their flock of sheep and herd of cows.

Cour­ses in­clude small­hold­ing and an­i­mal hus­bandry, tra­di­tional ru­ral skills and crafts and food and cook­ery. All the tu­tors are ex­perts in their fields and cour­ses have small numbers to en­sure per­sonal at­ten­tion and hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence.

The small­hold­ing and an­i­mal hus­bandry cour­ses are the place to start if you are think­ing about get­ting an­i­mals or just want to ex­pe­ri­ence a day on the farm. The be­gin­ner’s range of cour­ses will give you plenty of hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence with pigs, goats and sheep. All the es­sen­tials are cov­ered: from how much land you need, to choos­ing breeds and un­der­stand­ing the pa­per­work. Farmer Tim will guide you through the sheep-keep­ing year with overnight and day lamb­ing cour­ses in the spring and shear­ing at the start of the sum­mer.

The hands-on ru­ral skills cour­ses are great for learn­ing tra­di­tional and more mod­ern skills. Spend a day out­side on the farm and learn how to lay a hedge, build a dry stone wall, make cider or build a pizza oven.

The great food and cook­ery cour­ses will get your taste buds go­ing, whether you want to dis­cover the de­li­cious wild treats that hide in the hedgerow or im­prove your bread mak­ing skills. If you have your own pigs, or sim­ply en­joy be­ing in­ven­tive in the kitchen, then why not learn how to make sausages, cure ba­con or cre­ate South­ern Euro­pean char­cu­terie like pancetta and chorizo?

A for­ag­ing course at­tendee said af­ter­wards: “A life­time of for­ag­ing awaits. Al­ready plan­ning to come back…”

The craft cour­ses are per­fect if you like mak­ing things with your hands. There is plenty go­ing on, from floristry to print­mak­ing, weav­ing wil­low bas­kets or plant struc­tures for the gar­den, spin­ning and work­ing with wool and lots more. It is time to dis­cover your cre­ative streak.

Kate Hum­ble says: “No one leaves Hum­ble by Na­ture with­out mud un­der their fin­ger­nails. Our cour­ses are de­signed for you to get prop­erly stuck in and go home en­thused and ex­cited by what you’ve learnt.”

Find out more at www.hum­ble­by­na­ture.com; tel: 01600 714595.

One small­hold­ing course at­tendee said af­ter­wards: “Hands on ap­proach VERY help­ful. Loved it. Bril­liant way to see if it’s the life for you”

Kate Hum­ble’s Hum­ble by Na­ture farm is now a thriv­ing ru­ral skills cen­tre

Cider mak­ing: col­lect­ing ap­ple juice from the press

Small­hold­ing course: Liz Shank­land clips wings

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.