Firstly a huge thank you to everyone for your continued support and please come and visit to see the effects of your trust and support. We have grown considerably as a social entity and it is allowing us to have a further reaching beneficial effect on the nature here within the site, a huge impact on our young people both kids and teens, adults are also finding ways for more integrative health and connection through new available workshops, our farm project has made leaps and bounds and generally our social impact both locally and regionally, even nationally is creating a concentric ring that is the beacon we hope to become for the future generations.
Over the last 6 months we have seen a steady trickle of development, on the social front we have increased our relationship with Farm Buddies, working with various young people with learning challenges like ADHD and Autism, this has been some of my favourite work seeing these young adults connect with the natural world, our farm animals and creating a relationship with themselves, us and the surrounding environment. The highlight of my experience was the day we sank our feet into the cool waters of the lake on a sunny day and had them cleaned and nibbled by hundreds of tadpoles, somewhat strange and unbearably ticklish.
We have hosted various successful workshops with flint knapping, herbal days and deepening nature through the art of bird language, plus community events with Spring Equinox and the Sacred Fire Quest week and our general volunteer work days.
Our young trainee, Charlie Butler has impressed us with his willingness to learn all aspects of farm care, general land management and stewardship and also supports us as camp support for our teen ESA programme. Over the next 6 months he will be trained in the biochar kiln, compost processing and product development. Emile has been mentoring Charlie with various skills like animal feeding and cleaning, care and management, while he has been working with myself on all aspects of woodland management, tree and soil care and earth stewardship.
Upcoming is the family and friends camp, over-subscribed once again, the ESA teen programme is in mid flow with 17 young adults journeying with us this year (both first and second year students) and our ESA junior is at full capacity with 16 young ones journeying with us for part of the year.
Look out in Autumn/Winter for courses and events in the Village Builders Seminar (11th/12th Nov), Cultural Emergence weekend, Tracking Intensive (8th to 11th) and the long awaited Tracking and Awareness Club (Jan 2018). Also for all those interested in live role play, living history and western martial arts Mark Gilbert and Phil Greenwood will be hosting “ Dark Age Events “ in various locations around East Sussex.
Overall we are moving our social, economic and environmental aims steadily along, there is still much to do and accomplish and as ever it is not always easy and good learning has taken place for both team and individual projects. The biochar sales season starts in earnest this Autumn and we will be able to assess if it is viable in the long term once we have carried out the various aims and objectives of that part of our project.
Generally I feel we have placed ourselves in a good position to create health and happiness for many, especially the young ones and the next couple of years look increasing promising for us as an social entity. Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you on the land sometime soon.