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" Friends Re-united "
Milltown has roughly 3.5 hectares of land – which is about 8.5 acres. The buildings, paths, lawn and garden areas and the Day Workshop plant growing areas make up just over 1 hectare (3 acres).
The rest, which is about 2.5 hectares (5.5 acres) is the Milltown smallholding which is divided into 3 fields and a couple of paddocks.
The land at Milltown is a great resource of us as it not only provides a beautiful setting with all the flower beds and shrubs and areas to play and relax out of doors, but it also means that many people can work outside doing a variety of jobs.
For some people working outside can be a fair weather option. There are other people who prefer to be out of doors all the time rather than be in the workshop. The great thing is that there is always something that needs doing and always jobs that need various levels of skills.
There is a lot of work to be done just in looking after the grounds; mowing, strimming and weeding, but, fortunately there is somebody who really enjoys using the lawnmowers and strimmers.
There is a small area of fruit bushes which need weeding and pruning and then there is a lot of work to pick and freeze all the fruit.
We also have an area where we grow willows for use in the craft workshop and for planting willow hedges.
The rest of the area is used for the animals and for cutting hay. We have a small flock of Icelandic sheep. They need looking after, which means shearing their wool – which also goes to the craft workshop – trimming their feet, moving them from field to field for new grazing and of course, things get very busy at lambing time, with occasionally some lambs to bottle feed.
In addition to the sheep, we have a small flock of hens, which we have to feed every day and collect the eggs. Now and again we buy in a couple of small piglets and they help to dig up the ground and fertilise it so that that we can grow potatoes afterwards. All the eggs and meat end up in our freezers, except that we have more sheep that we can eat, so we sell some at the mart.We are also keepers of two rescued Shetland Ponies which are looked after by us as part of client therapy
Fortunately, we have a mini-tractor to help with the heavy work and we also have some implements so that we can make hay and grow potatoes without having to do it all by hand.
In the future we hope to start growing vegetables again, and we also plan to plant some trees around the edges of the fields, so we are never going to run out of things to do.