On the smallholding we raise livestock but we also want to raise expectations, awareness and spirits. We grow crops but we also want to grow confidence, independence, self-esteem and abilities
The Smallholding at Stowfield is at the very heart of the Orchard Trust and it was here that the Trust was started in 1989. It's purpose was to give creative and meaningful work opportunities to the residents (and later service users) and this ethos still holds today.
The smallholding is approximately 7 acres and sits within our 17 acre site of mixed woodland, pasture and buildings at Upper Stowfield. At present we have a flock of 41 free-range hens, 12 ducks, 17 sheep, 4 goats, pigs and a range of small animals. All these animals are tame enough to give our service users the chance to work with them.
Our poultry produce around 1350 free-range eggs per month and these are all sold to staff, service users and our 6 residential homes. Periodically we have pork and hogget for sale as well. There is a small market garden where Service Users have been actively involved at all stages from planting to harvesting and helping with deliveries.
We are always looking for new service users and volunteers to enable us to expand the types of livestock, crops and activities that we have.
We feel very strongly that an accessible smallholding should be a resource for the whole community and we encourage a wide variety of outside organisation to visit. Wwe have open Farm days every Thursday and we host gentle country walks (mainly aimed at people with dementia and their carers) on the third Thursday of every month.