What an amazing day!
If you're one of our regular blog readers you may recall reading my 'From farm to fork' blog back in June. One of the things I was keen to promote with Open Farm Sunday, was the farm site itself. I wanted to connect with as many people in the local community as possible; you wouldn’t know the farm is here as we’re quietly tucked away from the main road.
Yesterday was a similar day, a day where again, I wanted to connect with the local community, because something pretty special happened at Elm Tree Farm; it was the grand opening of the new farm shop!
I’ve been working tirelessly for what feels like months, getting everything ready for the opening. The list of jobs was staggering! I’ve had many a sleepless night and stressful day in the build up, but it was all worth it; I’m beaming with pride and satisfaction right now.
Yesterday started at a frantic pace. The guys we support were all buzzing with excitement, all eager for a job or two and I was very happy to delegate. My colleagues were all busy too, making sure everything was ready. Parsnips needed pulling, balloons needed inflating, freshly pressed apple juice needed bottling, and the fridges needed stocking with freshly butchered meat, all from livestock that was running around the farm only a week or so ago.
Kerry McCarthy MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, officially opened the new shop. Kerry is a great friend and supporter of the work that goes on at Elm Tree Farm and she said she was so pleased to be able to visit again, this time to open the shop we’ve talked so much about in the past.
We were really busy. Lots of people turned up despite it being a Thursday morning in November. The sunshine even turned up (all be it briefly).
I took a few moments, just after the Kerry cut the ribbon and turned the shop sign to open, to take everything in. It was a little emotional if I’m honest. Watching the public interact and chat with the guys we support here was lovely to see. I watched a little boy and his mother feeding apples (from our orchard) to Humphrey the pony, and overhearing the comments as our visitors took a tour around the farm was heartwarming.
Those sleepless nights and stressful days paled into insignificance. It was so worth it!
Project Coordinator, Elm Tree Farm