Ok I am certainly guilty of not staying on top of this Blogging BUT my little life has been ram packed with stuff going on since January... I am now a new dad to a lovely little boy born in March! Urgent plans had to happen to make more space in the house which involved building some sort of outside office for me to function. It has taked for ever to build and went fiercely over budget but not only do I have a boy but I am a proud owner of an official man cave in the garden. Wow! - its great and so much space to at least feel prepared to get sorted and to plan for the next few months. So apologies to everyone but I am slowly getting back to normality again!
So we have had one of the most awful start to the year with the weather.. but finally we are starting to see some sun again albeit sporadically and the cider drinking season is now well under way. We have only been to a couple of shows but we were very lucky with the weather and there were good turnouts for both shows. No real 'new' shows this year as I have struggled a bit with formulating a proactive attack regarding the cider business, as there is only so much I can do BUT we are still sort of holding our own. We are only doing the shows that we know work well for us and of course there is only so much we can physically do.
The brown tourist signs on the road identifying we are, are working very well indeed and we are certainly seeing more visitors at the shop. The problem of people particularly relying on Tomtom sat navs... and then turning up at the neighbours has been drastically reduced. There will always be some people who utterly rely on these machines and will drive past the signs but there is only so much you can do!
Regarding the farm we are in the process of applying for the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme. This is a comprehensive environmental improvement plan that is grant funded. Until recently we have been so busy we have not seriously been able to consider it. The preparation for the scheme was originally daunting (as you would expect) . Lots of data have to be collated and firm environmental improvement plans have to be in place for longevity. What has helped is that we have had the opportunity of the original Environmental Plan being done for us as part of the project. Also it materialises that we are already doing a number of the requirements. A little bit more assistance and we would be able to implement some fairly big plans on the farm. Not confirmed yet but it has certainly got out interest!
So plenty of stuff going on!