Woodhouse is a traditional small farm created in 1808 from the walled garden, cherry orchard (a seven acre field which had wild cherry trees in it) and other small scraps of land which had once been part of the grand Fisherwick Estate. Though no longer seen in comercial terms as a farm Woodhouse is home to a small herd of Irish Moiled Cattle, Gloucester Old Spot and Black Pigs and 150 chickens for eggs. Once again fruit and vegetables are grown in the 3.5 acre walled garden, produce is sold through a farm shop and people are encouraged to join the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project which has been offering vegetable shares since 2011.
CSA's allow the community to support the farmer by signing up to the season, members guarentee the farms income, help with work days and receive a weekly/fortnightly share of fresh seasonal produce. As a community interest company the farm goes about it's business producing fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and eggs while having a secondary aim to use the farm for community good.
While work on the walled garden was in it's early stages a chance meeting in the local pub opened the farm to the possibility of being a venue for care farming. January 2010 saw Woodhouse host it's first project in partnership with Staffordshire Care Farming and Development CIC a partnership that still exists and has grown to involve people not only recovering from mental health issues but also abuse, physical disability and supports to families.
As a project Woodhouse wants to encourage the use of local seasonal produce, growing and cookery as therapeutice activities and training in heritage skills. We have a selection of on going volunteer roles if you could spare a few hours a week or maybe you would like to attend one of our Saturday work parties looking at unearthing some of the features left from The Fisherwick Estate. Please give Annamarie a call on 01543 432005 or have a look at our events page for the next volunteer day.
New for 2016 we will be openning a small cafe providing tea, coffee, squash and homemade cake. The cafe's openning event is the Fair Trade Tempting Teas Afternoon Saturday 14th May hope to see you there.
Andrew is our grower and farmer, he can be seen feeding the pigs and cattle first thing in the morning and then spends most of his day looking afer the vegetable crops, harvesting and picking the vegetables shares for delivery. He can also be found in the thick of any maintenance tasks needed on the farm and helping making the sausages as and when needed.
Unlike Andrew Annamarie is not from a farming background but with training and determination has fitted into the role of butcher, administrator, keeper of chickens and hostess. She works hard to make sure nothing goes to waste with jam, chutney and pickling also in her job role along with chief cake maker and this years challenge pies.
Allan brings to the project a wealth of knowledge in the field of fruit with numerous years spent in the fruiting orchards of kent. His green fingers also support Andrew in the growing of vegetables and bedding plants which you will see in the boarders of the walled garden.
July seems to mark the start of fruit season with Raspberries, Redcurrants and even blackvberries being picked at the moment.
Woodhouse Farm and Garden CIC
Fisherwick Wood Lane
Tel: 01543 432005