Mount Lodge made a great first step to the year by setting up as a registered charity and we are approaching the charities 1st Birthday!
During the Christmas period, we had our YFC presentations afternoon with George the Shetland making a mischievous appearance in his Christmas attire alongside Father Christmas, all the members were recognised for their achievements throughout the year and received medals. To round off the festive period Mount Lodge YFC held a Christmas Open Afternoon, members and users of the farm sold crafts they had made running up to the event, served refreshments and we had some reindeer’s join us for the day.
Into the New Year we went onto taking part in the Winter Competitions day which was enjoyed by all of our members who entered classes and attended the day. Before we knew it we were up to eyes with lambs and with an unwelcoming visit from the ‘Beast from the East’ this made it a difficult period for us, but we still had lots of fun and everyone got stuck in. Once the weather had improved we had a family open day during lambing, to invite all of our members family and friends to enjoy the new life the farm had to offer, the mayor of Ashford, Winston Michael, visited us on the day too. Following on from this we were invited to tea with the mayor and his wife, along with Swan YFC and awarded a ‘Certificate of Achievement’ which we are still to this day very proud of.
Summer was on the horizon, which only meant one thing, Kent Show. The endless weeks of preparation and lamb training commenced with all of our members getting involved, but the hard work was all worth it when Mount Lodge YFC had a fantastic time at the show, meeting lots of great people and everyone loving every minute! We were fortunate enough to bring some of our adults from the farm to compete in the new lamb class for adults over the competing age with disabilities, who all had a great day out at the show.
Returning to reality after a hectic few months, we were planning for Biddenden Tractorfest, a lovely country show on our doorstep where we were asked to organise a sheep show demonstration over both days. Over the weekend in August we took our show lambs, donkeys, Shetland and a stall of homemade crafts and games to the show, a great weekend of fun had by all, and amazing interest in the sheep showing and what we get up to with help from Ashford YFC and Homewood YFC.
To end a super summer, we held a ‘Summer Family BBQ and Farm Trail’, with over 70 guests invited by our farm users we all gathered to praise all of our Young Farmers’ for their hard work and enjoy a long summers afternoon in each other’s company with a BBQ and light-hearted poetry competition!
As autumn approached, we attended a stifling hot Weald of Kent Ploughing Match in September, where we replicated our Tractorfest stand, with crafts, tie dye bags, tombola and games.
In between all of this, we squeezed in lots of gardening, crafts and several trips, which included bowling, cobnut picking and more recently a tour round Hinxden Dairy. We’ve also been lucky enough to have our woodwork shed rebuilt, which will see some great carpentry projects appear from our members. The farm has also introduced some new breeds of sheep, Black Welsh Mountains and Blue Texels, to run alongside our existing flock of Purebred and crossbred Texels.
Mount Lodge YFC now have 25 members going ahead into the new year, which we are very proud of, considering when we started just 1 and a half years ago we had 12 members!
We would like to say a special thank you to Louisa and Jade from Homewood, and Amy from Ashford for their time they’ve contributed to the running of the club and their additional input and experience they’ve given.
We have had a fantastic year and are really looking forward to 2019 with our club and Kent YFC.