Hannah here; It was a Thursday, and it had reached that awkward, in-between, small child witching hour of 3.30. There wasn’t quite enough time to do anything substantial but an intimidatingly large portion of time gaped until dinner. Frankie-Rose and her cousin Stanley were taking turns snatching toys from each others hands and walloping each other on the head; reading and the trampoline just weren’t cutting the mustard and there wasn’t any cake in the house. So, just like countless times before, we bundled ourselves in the car and drove 10 minutes to our local farm, Monkshil. Like always, being outside was the answer, and in this case the farm (and it’s wonderful cafe) solved our afternoon conundrum.
The farm’s location, in the countryside, and the space within it is a balm. We all breathe deep and stretch out here, enjoying the panoramic views over the Kent countryside. It’s a perfect summer holiday outing. The conversations that follow about animals and meat eating, cows and milk production, how vegetables are ‘growd’ and how chickens make eggs are genuinely interesting for all of us (i’m beginning to wonder if consuming dairy is more cruel than consuming meat for example) and cements my desire to buy from local farmers where possible. The slightly less lofty, still priceless conversations about chicken vagina’s, cow dancing, why poo is smelly and my daughters bizarrely heightened sense of danger when approaching baby ducks (god I love my 3 year old) are as equally entertaining. Obviously the caffeine and excellent cake in the cafe are an added extra massive bonus too.
We used to frequent Mudchute and Hackney City farm when we lived in London, and I was grateful for the little dose of rural in the middle of the city that these spaces provided too.
Perhaps some of you are feeling the 3.30pm witching hour about this middling point in the school holidays. We have something that might help with that.
In honour of our love of the local farm, we asked Emilie our resident illustrator, to come up with a farm bingo. We put a lot of thought into this and have tried to make something that works with most farms, whether big or small, something that kids of all ages would like, and something that uses all of the senses. So rather than say ‘horse’ it says ‘big animal’ and ‘hooves’. In consultation with the kids, we also added ‘animal poo’ and ‘something noisy’! As usual Emilie’s illustrations are lovely so it’s pretty easy on the eye for parents too. So, please feel free to download and print away (for personal use only, mind) and do tag @seedsandstitches if you do use it, we’d love to see it in action.
Whats your local farm like? Have you been recently?