Nature hibernates, but work on the farm continues

As the cold weather has hit Britain hard, we have all been busy keeping warm and ensuring the livestock have enough shelter. The snow and ice is beautiful, allowing every corner of Fordhall Farm to glisten and shine.
But as beautiful as it is, winter on the farm just means shorter daylight hours to do the same amount of work, especially in the run up to Christmas. This weekend alone Ben was at two farmers’ markets (Rode Hall left and Attingham Park), then it is back to organising christmas orders on the farm, and defrosting water pipes so that the pigs and livestock always have access to fresh drinking water.
Meanwhile work on the renovation of our Old Dairy building continues.
Above right: the corner of the building that you see as you get to the top of the farm drive – this will be where our new toilets will go!

Until now, the builders have had enough work dismantling parts of the building – the roof has come off and internal walls have disappeared, with all the bricks being carefully cleaned and stored ready to be reused in other areas of the building.

Above right: This will be our new tearoom – the walls here have been removed as they were not structurally safe to leave. They will be rebuilt using the original bricks and here will be our new tearoom – fancy a cup of tea? (click on the photo to see a larger image).
They are now at the point of laying foundations and rebuilding but the cold temperatures are just too low to allow even the concrete to go off. This could delay our Easter opening and so we have our fingers and toes crossed that the weather warms up soon. We really need to have stable temperatures of at least 5 degrees for the concrete to set properly and ideally we would be regularly reaching temperatures of 10 degrees for the lime mortar. It is the lime mortar that will be used to rebuild our external walls and so this could prove to be a serious delay for the project.
As always at Fordhall, we feeling positive and hoping that the winter cold spell has come early, and the coming months will remain mild….

Normally I long for a white Christmas, but this year lets all hope for a sunny christmas!