By Jo Gostling
Here at Small City we are huge fans of the Southton Smallholding Project which is managed by George Bosworth, and guided by team leader Norma Forbes (a recent Workdays and Weekends subject). The project allows a group of workers ranging from those with learning disabilities and mental health difficulties to work outdoors and develop important life skills. Every week around 16 adult visitors enjoy working on the farm and are joined by volunteers looking to ease themselves back into the world of work (you can read more here in this great article by Gaz).
When we heard that Southton was holding an open day and plant sale we headed down to check out their wares. We even managed to spend some quality time with a bewildering array of farm animals including sheep, alpacas and pigs. As usual, we found a warm welcome, and resident shepherd Ewan McSloy was on hand to introduce us to his new sheep, Samantha and Katie. Although they only arrived a couple of days previous he already had them tame enough to eat out of visitors hands. Well done Ewan!
Then there was just time for a tour of the rest of the animals courtesy of Norma's nephew Sam, who even managed to pose the pigs for an amazing picture by rubbing their bellies until they rolled over! He did such a good job that one of them fell fast asleep and was still snoring when we left to grab a slice of cake and a cuppa before stocking up on plants from the polytunnel. We later heard the open day raised just shy of £1800. It feels good to know we were contributing to a great cause while stuffing our faces and cuddling cute animals!
About the Photographers
Today's pictures were taken by our regular music reviewer Colin McSloy and his girlfriend Jo Gostling. They were helped out by their friend Trish Jacobs, you can see her gorgeous granddaughter Libby (a regular visitor to Southton) in some of the pics. The remaining shots were provided by the Southton Smallholding Facebook Group, where you can check out even more pics and keep up to date with goings on down on the farm.