Country Kids from Coombe Mill

August 22, 2014 at 11:30 PMCoombeMill

Making and Racing Natural Rafts

I've mentioned before how sometimes we have a magical week at Coombe Mill with families who gel and choose to socialise outside of the organised events here on the farm. A few weeks ago we had a week just like this, made up of families who had largely rebooked from the same week the previous year. Instantly friendships resumed and a relaxed week followed. For activity hour there were many requests for a repeat of the highly successful natural raft racing devised by The Boy and Me and myself last year and I was keen to oblige. I had forgotten how much fun it was and will now use it again into the autumn as the children love not just the building but the fun of the race that follows.

I began with an example raft and we then spent half an hour gathering materials and sitting by the river to create our masterpieces, adults enjoying the challenge every bit as much as the children. 


Raft building

There were some wonderful designs and each was convinced they had the winning idea!


Ready to race rafts on the river Camel


Guy was at the ready in the river with his surfboard to free any rafts that became tangled on the riverbank along the journey from one bridge to the next together with a few sporting parents. On a three, two , One they were off meandering their way downstream amidst homemade dams and obstacles from the children's play earlier in the week.


3,2,1 Let the race begin!



The children followed through the river or dashed along the riverbank to stand and wait on the far bridge. There was much cheering as the first rafts approached.


Natural Raft Race along the river Camel


Guy diligently counted them all through and rescued any for keepsakes while the others were ceremoniously thrown overboard to carry on towards Padstow. The beauty of all natural rafts!

What better way to finish off than with a quick play in the river.

River Boys


Our raft making and racing captured on video:

Joining in with Country Kids

I'd love you to come and share your fun times outdoors. Country Kids is all about enjoying some screen free fresh air time exercising mind and body through crafting, playing, exploring and more. There are some great places to visit that needn't put you out of pocket either; the forests, beaches and parks generally cost no more than a car parking ticket and offer a great chance for some quality family time. Whatever you have been doing please do grab the badge or link back here and remember to visit a few of the other posts. There are always so many great ideas shared which might just fuel your next adventure.

Country Kids is around in these communities, I'd love you to join me there:

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include CountryKids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

A few of my favourites from last week:

The Boy and Me and Mummy Mishaps both shared matching posts last week that left me with the warmest happiest feeling as they expressed their heartfelt joy in a day we spent together here at Coombe Mill. If you have ever thought to visit us do please take a look at these two posts.

Diary of the Evans Crittens really know how to make the most of a woodland walk

I'm always a sucker for a Gruffalo post! This one is by Liquorice UK

This festival by Wild and Grizzly looks like the perfect place for fun loving Country Kids

Mum turned Mom has a chance to sit back and savour the moment of a lovely beach day



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Win great tasting coffee in beans or capsules

August 18, 2014 at 8:00 AMCoombeMill

For Coffee lovers everywhere

I am always on the hunt for the perfect cup of coffee. My family say I am a coffee snob as I scoff at instant and insist on a real cup every morning in life. It is my little luxury and I make my own to my own specific requirements. To be fair this is born out of necessity since the nearest Costa or Starbucks is an hour's drive from Coombe Mill! Our local town and villages have some lovely independent coffee shops ideally situated for watching the world go by which are perfect for our holiday makers. However while I am here working I still like to allow myself a 15 minute break each morning to make and enjoy my own perfect coffee here at Coombe Mill.  

Introducing CRU Kafe

I came across CRU Kafe on twitter and after chatting happily agreed to indulge my coffee love and review some of their premium 100% Organic and Fair Trade Arabica coffee. It comes in handy bags with a reseal closure in pure bean form or in recyclable capsules if you have a Nespresso machine. You can order your supplies direct from the CRU website to your door each month in quantities to suit your needs. 


Coffee beans and capsules


As a coffee purest I put the beans to the test grinding them in my special gadget for the purpose to make the fine grains needed for my coffee machine. I can tell you now the smell is divine from the freshly ground beans.


Coffee Beans to coffee

Usually I like to add frothy milk to make a cappuccino but the coffee was so smooth and rich looking as it filtered into my cup I couldn't resist a sip of the hot black liquid straight away. It was so smooth and mellow I drank the first cup black barely stopping to take a picture! For my second cup I made my regular bespoke cappuccino with frothy hot milk. With the milk added it is a milder coffee than my usual but with the entire wake up kick of a quality cup and very drinkable indeed.  


CRU Coffee served black or white


I would have no hesitation in recommending CRU Kafe beans and can only imagine the capsules are of the same high standard described as "Finer Coffee in a Kinder Capsule" by the makers and voted "Best coffee in a pod" by the Sunday Times.

A Special Offer  

If you like the sound of this quality coffee and have a Nespresso machine or a way to grind your own beans you can take advantage of the special 20% off voucher over on the CRU Kafe website for Coombe Mill Blog readers. Just click on the badge below or the one in my blog side bar and add the code to your order.

Discount with CRUKafe and Coombe Mill Holidays


Enter to Win with Coombe Mill and CRU

For your chance to win a generous 1kg bag of CRU Kafe pure Arabian beans worth £28 or 60 capsules worth £24 just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a sachet of beans and 3 capsules to try out and create this post. All opinions and thoughts on the product are my own.

Good Riddance Winter Coat

August 17, 2014 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill

A heath check for the alpaca

All summer we have been trying to get the alpaca sheerer to come. Our date back in early July had to be cancelled as it rained overnight making their fleeces wet by morning. Since the machinery is all electric this was a non starter and our ready cornered alpacas had to be freed again. It was August before we could organise a return as there are so few specialists available to do the job, in fact our sheerer claims to be one of just three in England. This time we were taking no chances and Nick set about moving the three wise men of Coffee, Toffee and Caramel indoors after the feed run the day before to ensure the forecast rain or any morning dew would not hinder proceedings again.


herding alpaca into a trailer


The alpaca can be quite strong willed and throw a nasty spit when asked to do something they don't fancy, although when they feel they are not in charge they can be quite gentle. I remember only too well how surprised we were last year when they were sheered seeing how competently the sheerer handled them; not a spit in sight. With this in mind Farmer Nick was going for the no nonsense approach to moving them to his shed and it paid off.


 Alpaca on the move


They seemed instantly content in their overnight home delving into the ample supply of fresh hay, which had just been delivered ready for the winter ahead, and chatting away to us with their baby like cooing.


Alpaca in Nick's shed


It was an early start at 7.30am the following morning for the shearer but non-the-less a few of our guests came down to watch the expert at work.

One by one Coffee, Toffee and Caramel were brought out and laid down without so much as a murmur or hint of a struggle. To be safe they had their legs strapped and a bean bag laid across their necks. Alpaca are rather like a giraffe in their movement and swing their necks round to stand up; take this facility away and they have no balance. Rest assured the animals are not hurt at all in doing this, however it does provide a rare opportunity to stroke them close up which the children delighted in doing.


Shearing alpaca


It takes no more than 5 minutes per animal to remove their thick soft fleeces, file their teeth and trim their nails. Any beautician would be proud of his speed!

Afterwards the alpaca looked a shadow of their former selves and acted accordingly as their manner softened visibly with losing their protective layer; either that or the light airy feel improved their temper!  

With all three loaded into the stock trailer, Farmer Nick fed them a delicious necessary worming mix and drove them back to their field. It rained overnight with Hurricane Bertha passing through Cornwall but by morning all had cleared and they were happy to come down and greet us all on the feed run. there after the sun shone and they flourished in the warmth without their winter coats.


 Alpaca enjoying the summer without their winter fleeces


If anyone wants a bag of alpaca wool I have three beautiful coats bagged up free to a good home. I really wish I knew a local spinner who could take it on.  


Linking my farm news up with What's the Story and Magic Moments. Pop over to see what other's have been doing

Posted in: On the Farm

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Silent Sunday / Project 52

August 16, 2014 at 10:44 PMCoombeMill



Tractor and Trailer farm Ride feeding the animals


 TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky   OneDad3Girls   

Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

August 15, 2014 at 11:30 PMCoombeMill

A perfect afternoon on the farm

We had arranged the date in advance not knowing what a beautiful day it would become. The Boy and Me was staying on holiday with us and Jenny Paulin from Mummy Mishaps and Iona of Redpeffer were due to visit for the day. I had made sure my day was as clear as possible and we agreed to meet for the morning feed run. 


Feed Run Summer 2014


By the time we headed back on the tractor it was already turning into a summer scorcher and the river became the natural draw for the children post drinks and cake.

They began by building a dam.

Dam busters


When the task was deemed complete they set about testing the rope swings over the river. The older children and adults helped the younger ones who were determined not to be left out of the fun, having tried it once  their followed repeated calls of "my turn next".


Rope swing over the river


Even us bigger kids couldn't resist a turn much to the amusement of the children. It is actually harder than it looks to hang on and I'm sure the children's arms must have ached the following day!


Adults at play on the river


Meanwhile Guy took the younger ones surfing along the river relishing in the pure delight on their faces as they sailed by their parents pretended not to shiver from the chill of the water.


Surf rides along the river Camel

Of course a full on drenching followed for the older ones as they surfed the deeper stretches and fell overboard but then that is all part of the fun.

Surfing  fun on the river Camel

The sound of the children's laughter and babble of the river made my heart swell. Even the damselflies darted to and fro between us with dappled sunlight peeping through the trees making the water glisten. I know our guests talk of the "magic of Coombe Mill" but that afternoon out playing with them all as if I were on holiday myself I felt that magic too. I think it is a combination of the most beautiful surroundings with seeing your own children having the time of their lives that makes Coombe Mill a special place to our family and to so many who stay.


A relaxing day on the river

Joining in with Country Kids  

Country Kids is all about encouraging children away from screens and the ease of indoors into some outdoor fun. All activities including crafting, learning, exploring or playing are welcome here on the linky. Outdoors can be anywhere from the garden to the beach, a play park, a forest walk or even a trip to the city so long as it is outside. With the beautiful summer weather this year being outdoors has never been so easy so do come and share your fun times. It helps if you can please grab the badge or link back to this page and do remember to check on a few of the other posts here, it might just be the inspiration for your next adventure.

Country Kids is around in these communities, I'd love you to join me there:

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include CountryKids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

A few of my favourites from last week:

This is my ultimate bug hotel from Catch a single thought

Chelsea Mamma shares more Camp Bestival Fun. I am totally taken with the fairy garden inspiration and will be using some of these ideas 

Becoming a stay at home Mum makes a family day out of a film festival

I'm was impressed by the organisations laying on park fun for families as discovered by The Laughing Owls and A Day in this Dad's Life 


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all. 

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