Spring 2018 news from Huxhams Cross Farm

34-acres of land was secured by the Biodynamic Land Trust on a 999-year lease from Dartington Hall Trust in September 2015. Address: Huxhams Cross Farm, Rattery Road, Dartington, Totnes, Devon TQ96AA

Click for spring 2018 news:
Nature as co-therapist – Sensory Wonderland
Huxhams Cross Farm beer
Farm apprenticeship
Every Thursday is volunteer day
Apricot Centre is being built
Courses in pipeline

Please donate and/or invest in not-for-profit community shares for Huxhams Cross Farm.

Nature as co-therapist – sensory wonderland

The Apricot Centre is creating an outdoor nature activity space for children with sensory processing difficulties to immerse themselves in sensory play.

“We have found that for most children simply being-in nature has a positive effect on their mood and nervous system,” says Mark O’Connell, director of the Apricot Centre Wellbeing Service. “Also, specific exercises and activities can help to stimulate or down-regulate particular senses helping the young person become more fluid in their responses in their everyday life.”

The Apricot Centre recently ran a Crowdfunder appeal for the Apricot Centre Sensory Wonderland. “It raised £250 of our £1,000 target as well as much community goodwill,” says Education and Wellbeing Coordinator for the Apricot Centre at Huxhams Cross Farm, Devon, Rachel Phillips:

“We received donations of willow from a local farmer as well as from Peach and Pippin, the new owners of our previous Apricot Centre site in Essex, and we now have specialist voluntary working parties donating professional skills.”

The donation and start -up money means that a basket swing will be constructed week beginning the 26 March.  If you’d like to volunteer to help make the swing, please contact rachelphillips@ apricotcentre. co.uk

The Apricot Centre has been working with a team of local volunteers to create the sensory wonderland, and have cleared land, dammed streams and woven fences to create the bare outline of the area.

The sensory gymnasium will be a sensory wonderland of rope paths, stepping logs obstacle courses, maize trails, sensory swings, water play areas, quiet areas of open seating with a fire pit and The Cow Shed – a craft area with relaxing, indoor therapeutic space.

The next task is to create a musical grove of hanging instruments with tubular bells that will be forged from big fires on land.

Huxhams Cross Farm Beer

The first bags of flour farm-grown from Population Wheat have been milled, and 50kg of the wheat is currently fermenting in casks of the New Lion Brewery in Totnes to make Huxhams Cross Farm beer. “We are hoping for a delicious and quaffable beverage that we can add to our veg bags and market stall produce,” says Rachel Phillips.

Farm apprenticeships

The Apricot Centre is now working with Bicton College in East Devon to run an NVQ training in horticulture and  provide three-days of paid apprenticeship on the farm.

“After working as a volunteer for over a year, Casper will become our first paid apprentice,” says Rachel Phillips, “and, we anticipate, the first of many apprentices so that young adults can be trained in countryside management and land-based skills.”

Every Thursday is volunteer day

Volunteer farm work days run every Thursday from 10:30 to 16:00. Feel free to pop in for any part of the day. Check latest messages on the Apricot Centre on Facebook or contact Rachel Phillips, and do let her know you are coming: rachelphillips @apricotcentre. co. uk

The Apricot Centre building

Trenches have been dug and electricity and water pipes laid all the way from the top field with barn all the way down through the farm, through orchards, soft fruit areas, down past the Forest School through the ancient long meadow. The foundations for the low-carbon centre are next to be laid.

Apricot Centre courses in pipeline

Once the centre is up-and-running, it will offer all-year-round land-based workshops including in

  • Forging musical instruments
  • Digging and delving children’s workshops
  • Biodynamic cookery with Wendy Cook
  • Natural dyeing, weaving, spinning, whittling, cob building, and agroforestry
  • Land-based Permaculture Design Course for farms/smallholdings/community orchards and small-scale gardens.

Apricot Centre dairy dates
Venue: Huxhams Cross Farm, Rattery Road, Dartington, Totnes, Devon TQ96AA

W/c 26 March
Volunteers to help construct basket swing for Sensory Wonderland, contact rachelphillips@ apricotcentre. co.uk

Farm School make their way across a beautiful green field at Huxhams Cross Farm
20 April
Farm club new term starts

Farm walk at Huxhams Cross Farm
10 June 11am-5pm Open Farm Sunday

Flow form by Simon Charter at Ruskin Mill
Friday 4 pm 13 July – Sunday 12.30 pm 15 July Water in the farm organism with Kai Lange
Cost £120 including simple healthy lunches and suppers
Limited number of concessions available. For a booking form or more information contact either:
Sean Murphy dracosean@ yahoo. co.uk
Simon Charter simon.charter@ live. co.uk

September 2018 – February 2019
Land-based Permaculture Design Course over 12 weekends. Non-residential course suitable for people with work/family commitments. Please contact rachelphillips @ apricotcentre .co.uk for more information and bookings.

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