Staffordshire Smallholders' Association aims to improve the knowledge and skills of those interested in small scale farming and the countryside.
The committee have been busy working behind the scenes over the summer to plan the programme for the 2019/20 session and we've got a interesting selection of talks, visits and practical sessions planned for the coming months.
We've also been out and about over the summer months with our new promotional materials and hope to welcome some new members as a result. We also met some potential speakers and got ideas for visits and activities too.
Last year's programme will be hard to beat - we've been out and about lambing sheep, watching Alan Stevens make his delicious sausages and then enjoying his BBQ skills and visiting Michael Taylor's wood. At home we have woven willow baskets, grafted fruit trees (my tree is now taller than I am!), tasted preserved fruit and learnt about the reptiles in our garden and the humble bumble bee - and more.
However we've pulled out all the stops and think we've got another brilliant programme for the next 12 months:
September 2st AGM and Wine making at the Rodbaston Campus, Penkridge
November 2nd Bird Ringing and Catching - Colin McShane Venue at Belvide Reserve, Brewood
December 7th Christmas Social - join us at Rodbaston to make Christmas sweets and for festive games, food and drink.
December 11th Join in with the RBST at their annual quiz and off your knowledge in one of the Smallholders' teams.
January 18th Using bacteria instead of antibiotics - Kim Summers
February 14th Wild flowers to attract insects
March 14th Spoon carving practical with Mike Taylor
April 25th Visit to a local Pet Hotel (it even provides accommodation for chickens!) with Kate.
May 10th Countryside Show at Stafford Castle
May 16th Visit to Heavy Horse Centre
June BBQ. A joint session with members of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust at Alan & Jackie Stevens' farm near Rugeley. Date tbc.
July Visit to Hilton Green CIC with practical session
September 21st AGM and Any Questions with a local vet.
All ideas for future topics or speakers are very welcome. Contact Peter Hannant - details on Contacts page.
MEET THE TEAM
Brian has acted as Chairman of the Staffordshire Smallholders Association for more than 16 years and is a wealth of knowledge on all things countryside.
Peter excels in the role of Secretary - organising meetings, speakers and keeping everyone informed.
If you have a query about the Association, Peter is your first point of contact; his details can be found on the Contacts page.
Helen's management of the finances has meant that subs have remained at the bargain price of £15 pa for a family membership for another year.
Helen also organises a raffle at Rodbaston meetings to boost the funds. Donations of suitable items for the raffle are much appreciated.