This is probably how it’s going to be. In autumn I’ll write about summer, in winter I will write about autumn and so on. That is, if I’m lucky enough to steal a few moments to write anything at all. I have to remind myself that this time of year always feels busy. Back to school – and for us, settling in to some form of regular life in our new neighborhood (and country!).
So, back to Cornwall. That lovely week away, before the leaves on the trees turned orange and red and the air still felt heavy and humid. We spent our last 3 nights at Boswarthen Farm, in Penzance. We booked it through Feather Down Farms. Within the first 2 weeks we lived here, two different people, on separate occasions, mentioned this company to me. (I must look like the farm-glamping-type.) Okay yes, it’s rather expensive when you think about the fact that you sleep in a canvas tent and don’t have heat or electricity. But somehow (and especially if you are the farm-glamping-type, which apparently I am) it is worth every penny for what you don’t have. I love sleeping under a heavy down comforter with the sound of the wind blowing the sides of the tent, wrapping up in a blanket in the morning with the smell of fresh cut wood burning and the joy of getting the coffee to percolate. We have read the Little House in the Big Woods series, with the girls and remarked several times about the similarities of our “tent” and life in the late 1800’s. For those 3 days, we were unplugged and by the end, completely recharged.
Being on a farm, of course the animals were a highlight. Two lambs, named Chops and Minty, provided many moment of entertainment, running around the camp, bleating for their daily bottle of milk. As their names imply, Chops and Minty were destined for a dinner plate and despite opinions on the matter, I find it extremely educational for children to realize where food comes from. (To date, neither of our animal-loving girls are vegetarians.) There were also chickens laying fresh eggs for breakfast and many (many!) cows. Boswarthen is a dairy farm and we learned a great deal about dairy cows and farming from our wonderful hosts. One of the highlights was seeing a calf that had been born the night we arrived. Most of the food we ate that week came from Boswarthen or other local farms. Next time you go on holiday, consider a farm-stay. This form of agricultural tourism is a wonderful way to improve the economic sustainability of small farms and rural communities. And as you can see from the fun, happy smiles, it’s a win-win for all.
We also made some wonderful friends that weekend. Another family with two girls, who also live in the London area. We have reunited twice already since our holiday and are already talking about when we might go back.
Worth a mention…
On our way home we stopped at The Eden Project. This is a very interesting place. The entrance fee is pricey, but it is a charity and social enterprise. They conduct environmental research while also running social and environmental projects around the world. I could create an entire post on this place – especially since it falls directly in my sustainable tourism interests, but essentially, inside the different biomes are plants from different parts of the world and the climates are carefully regulated to support them. We ate lunch in the Mediterranean biome (excellent, authentic food) and then had a walk through the tropical rainforest biome. We saw bamboo, coffee, bananas, cocoa, hemp, olives, grapes and so many other things growing that usually require a trip to another country. There was a dinosaur exhibit on while we were there and an escaped (mechanical) baby t-rex (named Jen) was making the rounds. It looked and sounded so realistic, small children were bursting in to tears and running for their mothers. Matea followed it around in fascination for a very long time.