We sat on bales of hay in the sunshine, eating a feast of roast lamb and freshly picked salads from the nearby vegetable garden.
“I don’t think it will …But if it does, you’ll hear it” said Lee, one of the farmers at Christmas Farm.
Looking behind us at the rolling hills of Northumberland it was clear that one of the beautiful Dexter cows in the field was moving considerably more slowly – and looking a lot more rotund – than her friends. A new calf was expected on the farm at any moment.
“They’re very sensible,” said the other farmer, Beth. “They usually wait until it’s all calm and quiet just before dawn and then the action starts.”
“If it happens, can we watch?” the kids at the table asked eagerly. Lee laughed, “You can! You never know. I might need you to pull!”
G&S Organics at Christmas Farm in Longframlington hold monthly Farm Focus Dinners and, for the price of your dinner ticket, you can also camp out beneath the stars.
After devouring puddings of home baked ginger cake and fresh cream, we decamped to the other side of the fence and started to pitch our tent. The campsite has a compost loo – which is more fun than it sounds – a fresh water standpipe and apart from that it was just us, a few other guests from the dinner and the occasional swallow, diving out of the great big beautiful skies overhead.
As the only campsite in Northumberland that allows you to build a real fire you can watch as your kids turn completely and happily wild, like the heroes and heroines of a Famous Five story. With hair scented with the delicate scent of wood smoke and armed with a large stick each, we didn’t see either of our two for hours as they sat at the bottom of the field and played with Billy and George, the boys who are lucky enough to live on the farm all year round.
Towards evening we heard a chorus of squeaks from the bottom of the field as the latest litter of kittens appeared near the children to play in the long grasses, followed by a parade of ducklings obediently following their mother back to their pen for the night.
The sun sank behind the hills and we put out our fire and crept into our tent, falling fast asleep after a day filled with delicious food, laughter and fresh air. All was silent until a little eight-year-old voice whispered in my ear “Mummy – you will listen for the two whistles won’t you? I don’t want to miss it!”
by Katherine Wildman © 2012
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