People often ask us what happens between October and May when Lotmead is closed to the public – well except for the busy few weeks in November and December for Christmas trees of course!
The answer we tell them is LOTS! Lotmead is a working dairy farm and so over winter we still have over 250 cows to look after and milk every day.
As soon as we close for winter, we need to start getting ready for the next year. All the strawberry plants are taken off the picking tables and laid on the ground to protect them from the cold weather.
Strawberry plants wintering on the ground!
The strawberries are currently being looked after by Denzel the donkey and his best friend Flash the Shetland pony!
We also need to spend time to make sure that the enclosures and trees are in the best possible condition for the coming year, and so we’ve recently been replacing any fencing that needs it, creosoting the animals’ sheds and cutting back the willow trees around the duck pond ready for this year’s growth.
The ducks and geese enjoying their refurb!
Mid-way through work at the pond
Lotmead is now beginning to burst with new life – and not just the strawberry and raspberry shoots that are emerging. We’re expecting over 100 calves to be born over the next couple of months and in June we’ll be welcoming baby pygmy goats too – awww!
Our first calf of the season
We’re also busy behind the scenes organising great weekend events for the summer here at Lotmead.
There’s a jam packed (sorry!) schedule starting with Open Farm Weekend on 7 June, quickly followed the next weekend, 13th and 14th June with Horses and Hawks – a great weekend of shire horses and birds of prey.
On 20th and 21st June it will be our Summer Fayre weekend. A smaller version of the infamous Strawberries and Steam, with steam tractors, engines, rides and of course, strawberries, but this year entry is FREE.
The 27th and 28th June will see us welcome a very special guest – Little Grey Fergie! Little Grey Fergie is a living tractor with lots of stories to tell and is a perfect new friend for young children. Find out more about Little Grey Fergie at www.littlegreyfergie.com.
Our Strawberry Rally will take place on 4th and 5th July. An extravaganza of classic cars and vintage automobile lovers, with the added benefit of a discount on your strawberries if you bring a classic vehicle with you!
Our Mid-Summer Fayre, 11th and 12th July, will gently round off the activities with a display of old tractors and agricultural implements, as well as side shows and local products and crafts.
Phew, it’s always full throttle at Lotmead…