The end of 2012 proved to be difficult times for the farm and we keenly felt the loss of our Farm Manager. She took up an appointment closer to home that allowed her to develop her bee-keeping passion more than we were able at the school. We advertised for a new Farm Manager and had two candidates apply, both of whom would have been suitable for the position- sadly both declined the job offer, claiming that the distance from their home to the school was too great! A local man offered us his services in a caretaking role in January. Whilst not an expert on either farming or growing, he was able to supervise our Farm Apprentice allowing her to keep the farm ticking over throughout December and January and we owe him a debt of gratitude.
Undaunted, we advertised again in January and, this time, were extremely fortunate to secure the services of Malcolm Firth. Malcolm has a great pedigree- he has worked for Remploy so has great experience with working with people with special needs and disabilities. He also worked at a local urban farm called ‘Ponderosa’ so has enormous experience with working with young people, animals and plants. Malcolm started work at the school in February 2013 and is already making an impact, passing on his expertise to our Apprentice and looking at improved crop rotation and animal husbandry techniques. Malcolm has raised considerable amounts of funds in his career and is very entrepreneurial and is turning his attention to getting the farm shop up and running. He will be writing the next update and will be outlining his plans for the farm and the shop.