Humble by Nature’s home is a working farm just outside Monmouth in the Wye Valley in South Wales. For at least four generations it was owned by the local council and tenanted to young farming families who had no farm of their own. In 2010, when the last tenant retired and handed in his notice, the council decided to sell the farm, broken up into lots.
Kate and Ludo felt it was too important an asset to the area, to farming and to the community to allow it to be sold in that way. Eventually they persuaded the council to allow them to take it on, keep it tenanted and run a business that in turn would support other rural businesses. The farm is now home to Tim and Sarah Stephens, who breed Welsh Mountain sheep and Hereford cattle.
Kate has recently published a book about Humble by Nature and the animals, people, problems and triumphs that came along with her and Ludo's determination to save the farm. Find out more about "Humble by Nature: Life, lambs and a dog called Badger" here.
Humble by Nature runs a comprehensive series of courses for the would-be smallholder or indeed anyone keen to acquire a new skill in a beautiful setting. Local and regional experts tutor small groups in a varied range of whole or half-day courses aimed at passing on techniques in craft, cookery, rural skills and animal husbandry.
Lambing season is one of the most special parts of the farming year. From February until April Tim settles into his routine of through the night checks and quick afternoon naps. The nights are long and sometimes a bit cold and windy but there's nothing that beats the magic of the lambing shed: when a ewe licks her lamb and it wobbles up to stand for the first time.
Now you can visit Kate's farm, take part in one of the lambing courses and experience that magic for yourself!
Lambing 24 is an immersive 24 hours spent on the farm, starting at 10am on Saturday morning. You'll spend time in the class room learning the theory and have plenty of time getting 'hands-on' in the lambing shed. You'll sleep in the 'lambing dormitory' and have the opportunity to get up and join us for the through the night checks. The course finishes at 10am on Sunday morning after a hearty farm breakfast.
A Day in the Lambing Shed is just that - a day in the shed from 10am until 4pm, with some class room time as well. This day might be the one for you if you want to learn the basics but don't fancy staying up for the overnight checks.
Visit the humble by nature website to find out more about courses, events and staying on the farm at: www.humblebynature.com
Charting the ups and downs of saving a small part of Britain's farming heritage, Kate's new book about her beautiful Monmouthshire arm is just out in paperback.