A day on the farm, willow weaving and lambs

A day on the farm, willow weaving and lambs!

I spent the day at my friends farm in Dolphinholme and we played with willow, willow is amazing for building structures, we used Osier willow to make lanterns and I made an oblix for my ivy to grow up.

There is a local custom in Chediston, Suffolk, known as a ‘willow stripping’ ceremony. This is usually held at the first full moon in May. A Green George figure is dressed in willow strippings, dances around and is then ceremoniously thrown into the local pond.

Osier withies (strong, flexible willow stems) are traditionally used for basket-making and weaving, and are becoming increasingly popular for use as willow screens and sculptures.

Osier, like all willows, is also grown for its ability to absorb heavy metals, and is often planted to ‘clean up’ contaminated waste ground. (thank you Woodland Trust for this info)

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The rest of the willow has been planted around the old hay bale barn, which still has a roof but no sides, so this will give some protection from the wind and will keep on growing.

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There is a fire pit in the middle of the barn where stories are told and friends gather round.

Spring is such a wonderful time of year.

Kenny the farmer works tirelessly through the night when it’s lambing time, he has about an hour of sleep a day and is so wonderful to his sheep.They lamb inside where its warm and dry and these ones that are nearly ready to give birth have the radio on!

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I also saw the first-born lamb of the season, only minutes old. He had to be put under the heat lamp as he was premature bless him.

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Even though we don’t eat meat, I like to be educated on the different types of rearing and being here has taught me a lot and helped me view things from a different perspective.

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