Welcome back everyone, this week we have another ‘What’s on at the Farm Series’ for you. This time it is all about Huxtable Farm Bed and Breakfast located in North Devon. Huxtable Farm Bed and Breakfast is a secluded Jacob sheep farm offering award-winning, quality, en-suite bed and breakfast accommodation in its 1520 (celebrating 500 years) mediaeval farmhouse and beautifully converted stone barns. Owned by Jackie and Antony Payne it is situated on the Tarka Trail near West Buckland Village between Barnstaple, South Molton and Exmoor National Park.
What has been happening on the Farm
Although we are now into our 6th week of lockdown, there has been plenty of work to keep farmers busy and Huxtable Farm has been no different. The warmer weather has allowed many farmers to get out into the fields, sowing crops, fixing fencing and looking after livestock. Over the last few weeks, Huxtable Farm has been welcoming lots of new lambs into the world with their Jacob sheep flock. Now they are keeping a watchful eye on them all, making sure they are feeding well from their mothers and not picking up any ailments which need treating. During the wet winter, the hedges had been cut and laid, so now Jackie and Antony are out, putting up new fences and a couple of new gateways, making sure to keep their flock safe. Especially as little lambs can be quite adventurous and like to go exploring! As well as attending to their flock, Huxtable Farm sells logs for wood burners and open fires, so now is the time for them to chop seasoned tree trunks into suitably sized logs to season further and store in bags ready for delivery at the end of the year. A crackling fire is something Jackie and Antony’s guests can enjoy too as they have one lit all through the year in their medieval dining room where the breakfast is served.
What else have they been up to
As well as looking after the farm Jackie and Antony have also had a chance to get out into the garden. According to Jackie, ‘The fruit garden, which provides fresh fruit and jams for breakfast has never been so weed-free! Additionally, whilst tidying the fruit garden I found quite a few young gooseberry seedlings which will be available for guests to take home’. As well as the fruit gardens Jackie has been busy with seedlings in her greenhouse for a variety of flowers and herbs to keep the garden colourful and make it a relaxing space to enjoy. Jackie and Antony have also thought about the wildlife in their garden and have prepared a section for wildflowers in the hope to encourage more insects into the garden. Wildflowers can be a fantastic way to get more pollinators into your garden. To create a wildflower patch, you will need to allocate an area of ground and scratch the ground until some soil comes through. Wildflowers grow best on rough ground so by scratching the ground to create bare soil provides better conditions. Then sprinkle the wildflower seed mix over the ground. Make sure to keep the area watered and then simply watch as lots of little wildflowers begin to grow and blossom.
A final note from Jackie is, ‘ I am enjoying having time to spin the wool from our Jacob sheep to make wool items for visitors to purchase, listen to the birds singing and watching nature bursting back to life; young animals, wildflowers, fresh new leaves and blossoms on the trees. Please take care, stay safe and healthy and we look forward to sharing our farm and special places to visit in North Devon with you soon’.
We hope you have enjoyed our blog all about what Huxtable Farm has been doing recently. If you wanted to learn more about Huxtable Farm do make sure to take a look at our website.