3 Christmassy Things Must Do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

Remember last year, when I said I will be more organised when the next Christmas comes around… well… okay, I hold my hands up, I confess – I am no where near! Who’s here with me on this? (Please tell me I’m not alone on this one). Oh christ only knows I am far from that – that’s why he magically sent us to get our Christmas Tree at Church Farm, Ardeley, the same place as we got ours from last year! Hallelujah! He has truly listened and answered my pray.

 

On Saturday, we were invited not just to pick our own Christmas Tree, but also to replant another. In addition to this, we went eggs collecting; and had a trailer ride with Santa’s brother, Farmer Christmas too!

 

Unfortunately, Ethan has a big fat cold. I told him if he doesn’t feel up to it at any given time he can always stay and rest in the car with my O.H., but he was determined to stay with me and Evelyn for the full day. Bless him.

 

I remembered last year, it was Evelyn’s first time seeing Farmer Christmas and she was so scared, (bearing my mind she was only 2 yo), until F.C. gave her a present then she was finally warmed up to him. I told Evelyn the story and she immediately said: “I’m not going to cry anymore, ‘coz I’m brave!”  lol!

 

 

Eggs Collecting

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

It was a cold breezy morning, we arrived promptly at 11:30am. Tom Large, the Manger, was there to greet us all with a big warm smile, who introduced to us a lovely lady (LL) and lead us to do some eggs collecting. LL introduced us to the Chick Shed where 300 Chicks were only 2 days old! They were so cute! E&E got to held them in their hands. They were unsure at first but then plucked up the courage and held one on their hands. E&E said it was tickly.

 

LL then lead us through the farm to meet a few animals on the way to the Big Hens Field. We saw a very friendly goat, who likes human touch with petting all the time. One of the farmers, said if we open the gate. She would follow us everywhere just like dog! It was pretty adorable.

 

We also saw some rabbits, ducks, more goats, and a very pregnant pig! She was huge and is about to pop. LL hopes that she can hold it out until Christmas Day! That would a very special occasion to cerebrate.

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

We soon found ourselves walking along side an open two and half ace field where the Big Hens were allow to roam free. LL got a bucket full of bird feeds and got the kids feeding the birds as we walked in. The chicken knew we were coming and so they ran wild (no pun intended) for their lunch. Ethan was so into this. He could have easily stayed there and do this all day long! lol!

 

Entering their shed was interesting. There were four cubicle shelves where the hens make themselves at home with the available straws. They look really comfy as it was much warmer than the outdoor. At night all the hens are sheltered here under harsh weather. LL showed E&E how to collect the eggs and that you should always talk to the hens and ask for their permission first before taking her eggs where she is lying on. LL demonstrated this to E&E, and I’ve got it on tape too! Ha! Evidence of the magic under the hens hut! 😉 You’ll see that in the video soon!

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

E&E have the responsibility to carry their own collected eggs back to the farm where they will be clean and sorted for the shop. We decided it was safer for Evelyn to carry three – as she is three years old, and Ethan can carry a little bit more as he is a much bigger boy.

 

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

The Egg Shed was really fascinating. I had no idea there were so many process in sorting out eggs. First, they have to be hand clean – each and individually clean with a damp cloth. LL said this takes hours! I can imagine! I’m glad we skipped this part for the kids otherwise we could be there all day! lol!

 

LL picked up a clean tray and showed us the sorting machine. E&E got to work. Evelyn was the expert of feeding the eggs into the sorting machine. The machine picks up the eggs and slot the eggs into the correct size trough. Ethan then picks those up from the sizing trough and place them in the correct paper tray. Once finished, E&E got to stamp trademarks onto the eggs.

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

Once finished, LL placed that aside and shown us how big the extra big egg ones were. They were huge! Like you can actually feels the pain! lol! She also shown us the “rejected” ones too. These are actually nothing wrong with these eggs, they are just not aesthetically presentable for the market standard. They are “rejects” because they are not smooth and have bumps around the shells. It becomes this way as the hens gets older, they find it harder to push and the soft shell gets squashed.

 

We also learnt that there were so many types of chicken that can lay eggs and that they don’t need a male chicken to do any work at all. It’s a miracle! Who needs men! (Joke aside) 😉

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Must Do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

E&E were so chuffed that they were allow to take home with them half a dozen eggs each. They did the packing and the labels all but themselves. I must say I’m especially proud of Evelyn, even though, she has eggs intolerance, she has never once moan she didn’t want to do this because of her allergy. That’s my girl!

 

Note from the farm: Egg collecting is at 11:30 am daily and lasts approximately 1 hour. Each session is £9.95 per child, free for 2 supervising adults. Charge is for 1/2 dozen eggs to take home with you and a bag of chicken feed, you will accompany one of our farmers and experience the free range hens close up. Please ensure to wear suitable outdoor attire. Little Farmers love it!

 

Lunch

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

We had a bite at the farm cafe. The cafe was quiet. There was only one other table there. Mind you, it has started raining at that point. Good timing, as we were so in desire for some warmth. The cafe was so lovely decorated with soft colours and lovely pictures of the farm animals, plus a dash of Christmas decorative fusion into play.

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

Their menu were accompanied with traditional dishes, such as Full English Breakfast. They uses their own farm meat, eggs and vegetables from their garden. Teas and coffee are also Fair Trade. My O.H and I ordered Pull Pork Hot Dogs. Ethan had a sausage roll, fried egg and chips. Evelyn had some a sausage, chips and some fried mushrooms. I must admit the food wasn’t the wow factor for us for the price on the menu, but I guess if you come in the summer you can bring your own packed lunch perhaps.

 

Pick our own Christmas Tree & replanting

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

Now then, this is what we’ve been waiting for. Tom introduced us to two young lads who will be helping us out with this journey. On we went, passed the sweet goat and had a little pat again. We just couldn’t resist it.

 

On the way to pick our tree, one of the lads told us a very interesting story about the history of the farm. After the Second World War, the farm was actually a working prison camp for where they would work as farmers, so some of the equipment that they are still use today is actually from WWII period! Wow! How about that a piece a history!

 

We searched around over two areas of tree patches to find our perfect tree. The young lads were very kind and did all the tying up of the tree to make cutting easier while we watched and they get working with sawing it down. At the very last minute, Ethan wanted to have a go too and so they have made special accommodation for him to do so. I could say: Ethan has cut his own Christmas Tree! Yeay! 

 

3 Christmas Must Do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Must Do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Must Do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Must Do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

With the help of the two lads, I don’t think we could have fitted the tree into the car. Pheww!

 

The two lads then got us a small Christmas tree to replant. We walked back to the tree patch and found a hole that had already been dug up ready for replanting anew. The lads said that this little tree is about only 5 years old, but thereafter they will shoot up a foot or higher within a year span. I had no idea. It was so interesting.

 

Ethan and my O.H. grabbed the antique shovels and started filling up the hole with the new soil, beginning the replanting process. Ethan was so into this. He’ll make a good gardener any day! Once that’s done, we all said “Goodbye” to our little tree and hopefully we’ll see it next year again.

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

Note from the farm: Last Pick Your Christmas Tree will be on Saturday 23rd December 2017. Meet at the farm shop at 10.00am, 11.00am, 1.00pm or 2.00pm. Join the woodsman to cut your tree to take home for this year and help us plant another one to replace. Fun and educational for children. 5-6ft Traditional Spruce Tree £60 per tree. Bring the family. Limited 20!

 

Trailer Ride with Farmer Christmas

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

Meeting Farmer Christmas was the highlight for the kids. They were really excited and really wanted to sit and huddled up-close inside Farmer Christmas’ small hut. Farmer Christmas was ever so friendly and Evelyn did not cry this time too! Hooray! I love the decoration of the hut. I love the reindeers hurdles and Farmer Christmas’ sticky socks hanging above. (They are not really stinky by the way.) It was so lovely when all other children were there and they trying to name all of Santa’s reindeers. You can imagine how that went down. lol!

 

Each kids were given a present each. I told E&E they can open it on Christmas Day. They now couldn’t wait until Christmas Day comes. It just couldn’t come sooner! lol! But what quality Farmer Christmas has that Santa don’t. He gave us a box of half dozen eggs to each adults too! Oh Wow! Now we have 2 dozen eggs to bring back home! Yay! Guess what we had the next morning?! That’s right eggs! & It was Yumm!

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

Back to the trailer ride then, (sorry, got caught off guard talking about food. lol!) Anyhow, we all went on the back of the tractor trailer and the trailer strolled through some lovely scenery of the field and around their farm lands. Seeing the animals had the little ones all excited and kept pointing and shouting out what they saw. We passed the Big Hen’s hut, and passed by some cows, sheep, pigs and ducks.

 

The trail stopped next to a piglets home. Farmer Christmas then offered the kids a basket full of vegetables. The kids enjoyed throwing the vegetables over the fence and the piglets seem to love the kids for doing so. We then took this opportunity to take a photo of Farmer Christmas with the kids.

 

At the end of the trailer, you’ll get a chance to go onto the tractor for some photo fun. Ethan on the other hand was feeling extremely cold by then as he refused to wear gloves! He just wanted to get into the warm. So we decided to called it a day for us. Ethan and my O.H. went ahead into the car. Evelyn and I had a quick browse inside the farm shop and bought some fresh vegetables before we went set off home.

 

3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley
3 Christmas Things you must do at Church Farm, Ardeley

 

Note from the farm: Available every Saturday and Sunday in December inclusive at 10.00am and 3.00pm. Take a trailer ride around the farm to with “Farmer Christmas”. (child present included) £4.50 adult and £5.50 per child.

 

To sum up:

 

It was very educational both for the kids and us adults too. I’ve learnt so many things from the Eggs Collecting session and the Pick Your Own Christmas Tree session too. The kids most definitely loves Farmer Christmas too! Talking to the farmers there has been most wonderful and a pleasant experience. You feel like you really know the place a little bit more. The farmers are so passionate about their work and that really show how well they have kept the farm running day after day.

 

The question is – would I go back again? Yes! We had an amazing day out. The kids just won’t stop talking about it in the car on our way back! Nope, apparently we haven’t worn them off enough yet! lol! I’m so proud to have such a wonderful local farm so near to us like this.

 

Here is our little video to sum up our day…

 

Thank you for reading and watching.

If you like our video – then please subscribe our YouTube channel – here!

 

Thank you Tom and all members of Staffs at Church Farm who took care of us on the day. It has been a pleasure.

 

Do you have local farm that offers Christmas activities like this one?

 

Pin for Later

3 Christmassy Things Must Do at Church Farm_Ardeley

 

*We were given press passes to the Egg Collecting Experience, Pick your own Christmas Tree and replanting, and Trailer Ride with Farmer Christmas. All photos, words are honest of of my own.

 

Getting our Christmas Tree from Church Farm, Ardeley & More!

Useful Information

Opening times: Monday – Sunday from 9am – 5pm

Address: Church Farm, Ardeley, Nr Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG2 7AH

Contact: +44 (0) 1438 861 447

Email: tim@churchfarmardeley.co.uk

Website: http://www.churchfarmardeley.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChurchFarmArdeley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/churchfarmAR

 

Thank you for reading.

Su x

This post is linked with: #CountryKids

 


 

Su {Ethan & Evelyn}

Su blogs at Ethan & Evelyn. Ethan (7) & Evelyn (4) are her children. Her blog was originally an online diary but quickly transformed. She blogs about their life adventures of her experiences of motherhood, lifestyle, food, crafts, and travel. Her blog was awarded the Coupon Machine Travel Blog Top100 (#37) in 2016. The #MadBlogAwards 2016 Nominated for Best Craft Blog, Best Family Travel Blog, and Best Preschool Blog. She is a now a Freelance Writer, a Photographer, Co-creator of #ExplorerKids IG community. Host of #FabFridayPost and #ExplorerKids Linkys. And a Kids Yoga Teacher too! Connect with her on Twitter & Instagram @ethannevelyn

Find me on: Twitter | Facebook

40 Comments

  1. MARGARET GALLAGHER
    18/12/2017 / 12:27 pm

    What fun haven’t collected eggs for years certaintly something we would all enjoy

  2. Leila Benhamida
    18/12/2017 / 1:38 pm

    What a great experience. My children loves animals and absolutely will love the egg collecting. I will have to look around for such experience. It will be a memorable family day out.

    • 22/12/2017 / 7:49 pm

      Yes, it was such a great experience. E&E loved eggs collecting and are so very proud of themselves. 🙂 x

  3. Caroline Hunter
    18/12/2017 / 9:37 pm

    Looks like you had great fun together! Such a lovely thing to do 🙂

    • 22/12/2017 / 7:51 pm

      We had such a wonderful day as a family which is a rare occasions. We’d definitely do it again. 🙂

  4. Kim Neville
    18/12/2017 / 10:06 pm

    Looks a lovely day out. We have Willows Farm and Aldenham Country farm nearby which do some similar activities

    • 22/12/2017 / 7:52 pm

      It was such a fantastic day out as a family. I’ve heard many good things about Willow Farms, but has never been. I must check out Aldenham Country farm too. I’m intrigued. 🙂 x

  5. MANDY DOHERTY
    18/12/2017 / 10:39 pm

    My grandchildren always love visits to the farm and this one certainly has plenty to do

    • 22/12/2017 / 7:54 pm

      It was a wonderful family day out which doesn’t happen very often enough. 🙂 x

  6. Tee Simpson
    18/12/2017 / 11:13 pm

    Great fun. Mine love going to the farm

  7. Kirsteen Mackay
    18/12/2017 / 11:56 pm

    This is a great experience for children. The egg collecting sounds fun. I love those reindeer tags with rope in the photos.

    • 22/12/2017 / 7:57 pm

      The reindeer tags were such a pretty touch isn’t it. I love it! 🙂

  8. 19/12/2017 / 4:33 pm

    So fun and so educational too! My mother in law used to raise a few chickens and the boys loved collecting eggs. We have yet to chop down a real tree yet though we have planted a few.

    • 22/12/2017 / 8:03 pm

      I remembered when I was little, my next door neighbour raise ducks and so whenever they go on holidays during the Summer we went to collect the ducks eggs for them. They were really smelly because of the heat. lol! But at Church Farm, it wasn’t smelly at all as I guess its Winter now. Did they boys get to eat the eggs too?

      This is my first time of cutting and replanting one. It was good to know that I can replant one when I chop one down. x

  9. ashleigh allan
    20/12/2017 / 2:12 pm

    This looks such a great place!

    • 22/12/2017 / 8:04 pm

      Church Farm is full of hard working farmers. I am so proud of them.

  10. 20/12/2017 / 10:43 pm

    This looks so much fun Su and we love our local farm that does something very similar it’s really educational for you and the kids so a great family day out! We had our own allotment for quite a few years with our own little hens who laid the best eggs ever so we love fresh eggs. Looks such a great farm to visit. Mandy xxx #explorerkids

    • 22/12/2017 / 8:10 pm

      Oh Wow! That’s Amazing! I wish we have our own allotment too. Space for gardening here is so precious. That was my dream too of having a nice little house with enough space to home grown our own food, be self-sufficient if you like. With a little hen hunt, but then Evelyn has allergy to eggs. lol! It can never be so simple can it. lol! 🙂 xx

  11. Natalie Gillham
    21/12/2017 / 6:57 am

    Looks like you all had a great time, there’s so much to learn from nature!

  12. 21/12/2017 / 12:13 pm

    This looks like such fun. I admit I am nowhere near ready this year. Those chicks are adorable. I hope you are all starting to feel better. Sarah #ExplorerKids

    • 22/12/2017 / 8:14 pm

      Those 2 days old chicks were so cute! Thank you Sarah. I am still far off – plus being ill – really doesn’t help at all. I need a personal assistance! lol! 😉 xx

  13. 23/12/2017 / 1:08 am

    This looks super cute and so good you got to plant a new tree too. I’ve made the same promise with myself to be more organised next year! Watch this space! #explorerkids

    • 25/12/2017 / 5:07 pm

      Oh yes! I feel rather awful chopping one down, but as long as we can replant another – I hope that will balance my guilt! lol! Have a wonderful Christmas Emma! xx

  14. 04/01/2018 / 11:00 pm

    What a day! So many great activities for the kids, I’d love to do something similar with my little one. We have educational farms too, but I am not aware of any special Christmas activity. Good to know to better check next year. Happy 2018!

    • 06/01/2018 / 9:33 am

      Yes! Do check them out. I think many farmer would love to show you and the kids around their farm. Happy New Year to you too! 🙂 x

  15. 06/01/2018 / 11:35 am

    I love the look of this, it is like a real farm made Christmassy. Actually it reminds me of Coombe Mill and the Farmer of Farmer Nick on Christmas day in his Christmas outfit, however we don’t have 300 baby chicks! In fact if we have 6 at any one time we think we are doing well. This does look like a wonderful educational experience for all the family and a great idea to get involved with planting a Christmas tree too. I’d love to visit this farm.

    Thank you for sharing such a lovely interesting post at #CoutnryKids

    • 09/01/2018 / 9:10 am

      Its a wonderful farm. We’ve learnt so much from the day. I love it when they go all Christmassy. It really does put the Christmas spirit up and made it such a wonderful way to end the year. The chicks were soo cute! Do come and visit the farm if you can. Thanks for hosting. xx

  16. 06/01/2018 / 8:07 pm

    Oh wow what a lot of exciting experiences. I’m pretty sure the egg collecting would be my favourite but yes in the eyes of the kiddies farmer Christmas is the best!! #countrykids

    • 09/01/2018 / 9:15 am

      The eggs collecting was my favourite too! The kid’s highlight was the Farmer Christmas. lol! Thanks for popping by. x

    • 09/01/2018 / 9:19 am

      Oh yes, I feel ever so guilty for chopping a tree down, but I don’t feel so bad when we can replant another. There are so many other activities there to choose. I think we need to back and experience some more! 🙂

  17. 10/01/2018 / 4:01 pm

    That sounds like a brilliant day out. Love the sound of the egg collecting – how lovely to be able to take some of those eggs home with you. I never realised that older hens are more likely to produce eggs which are aesthetically unappealing – I just assumed that all eggs had smooth shells and just differed in size. Glad Ethan and Evelyn enjoyed meeting Farmer Christmas too and that Ethan was able to help cut down the Christmas tree. Such a lovely idea to replant one at the same time. #countrykids

    • 12/01/2018 / 11:39 am

      It was such a fun day! I know. We loves eggs, except our Evelyn can’t eat them as she has allergy to it. Hopefully, she will grown out of it soon. I know! We’ve learnt so much on the day. It was really interesting. I do feel better with replanting a tree, after cutting one down. Ethan & Evelyn was just over the moon to see Farmer Christmas again. 🙂 x

  18. 10/01/2018 / 9:02 pm

    What amazing photos. I love them. Your little ones are beautiful too!
    #CountryKids

    • 12/01/2018 / 11:41 am

      Aww… Thank you so much. I do try to put lots of effort into my photography. I love this kind of work. You are too kind. 🙂 x

  19. 12/01/2018 / 11:20 am

    Looks like a really lovely way to get your Christmas tree, lots of fun x

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