The stresses of life melt away down on a farm
7:54am Saturday 9th March 2013 in News
STRESSED office workers in need of a break might not immediately think of bonding with llamas as a way to chill out — but that is the solution being offered by a new relaxation farm.
Mum Celia Gaze came up with the idea after her doctor signed her off with stress, caused by working long days and weekends as a director with the NHS while trying to juggle family life and her son, then aged one.
She has set up the Wellbeing Farm in Edgworth, a place where people can sample farm life, enjoy cookery lessons — and go walking with llamas.
Ms Gaze said: “We’ve created The Wellbeing Farm as a special venue for everyone who needs time away from the rat race. Our aim is simply for people to leave feeling they’ve experienced a special time that’s revitalised them in mind and body. And we all need that sometimes.”
She toured 185 venues, including cookery schools and places which offered corporate away days, before transforming Wheatsheaf Hill Farm and its derelict outbuildings, owned by the family of her partner, Stephen Whitehead, into The Wellbeing Farm in Plantation Road.
There is a coffee lounge with licensed bar serving homemade food using local, seasonal ingredients with indoor and outdoor seating, a craft room, lambing area, nature trails and space for children’s parties.
Ms Gaze said: “It’s deliberately un-corporate. We have tried to create a green venue — every single thing you see in here is from reclamation yards.”
Visitors can also go trekking with one of the farm’s llamas — Vincent, Humbug, Laurrie, Yasser or Ezra.
Ms Gaze said: “I needed animals that could be kept in the stable but that could survive cold weathers.
“They are very easy to look after. They are great animals, and they are very sociable.
“When you walk with a llama, their head is the same height as you. I know it sounds ridiculous but you bond with the llama.”
The farm boasts a cookery school, headed up by chef Mike Harrison, of Chef To Go, where people can complete courses based on rustic and artisan-style cookery.
Learners will be able to pick their vegetables and herbs from the garden, collect eggs from the chickens and source meat from award-winning butchers Whitehead’s.
Mr Harrison said: “I’m looking forward to getting behind the ‘field to fork’ concept at The Wellbeing Farm.
“Among future activities, we’re hoping to work with young chefs here to improve their knowledge and skills.”
There are also healthy eating courses on offer, led by Justine Forrest, champion of ITV1’s Michael Winner’s Dining Stars, who lost 14 stone thanks to changing her diet and exercise.
She said: “I love the ethos here and it’s going to be somewhere people will love coming to.”
But just in case some people might want to work, the farm has fully equipped meetings rooms with full audio-visual equipment.
Comments are closed on this article.