So last month, in our first blog post, we introduced the team behind Northside Farm, but we didn’t introduce the full family. Let’s get to the know the girls!
Hester, Ava and Edie are Olivia and Ralph’s daughters. They are regular visitors to the barn, often accompanying Olivia on wedding viewings. This may sound mad to some of you, but we are most definitely a family run business here, so don’t be alarmed if you turn up for a viewing and a four year old greets you on your way in, or a seven year old is behind the bar helping herself to a glass of pop. Many of the lovely couples, who have booked in with us for their wedding, have met the girls and enjoyed their company so much that they have sent them some wedding cake following their big day.
We are far removed from a commercial/corporate business, but that doesn’t mean to say that our weddings and events aren’t professional and breath taking. Each and every event that we host here is beautiful and unique. We give that personal touch, which can sometimes be lost in larger venues, making your special day individual to you.
As with all of the team here, the girls aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty! They help Ralph clean out the wigwams, empty the rubbish bins and mop the floors. They even earn some pocket money by helping sweep the barn floor after a wedding or event. Their favourite job by far is putting out fire wood; because they get a ride in the wheel barrow and sometimes the digger too!
The girls are also Chief Hedgehog Lookerafterer’s! After finding a family of orphaned baby hedgehogs in October, Olivia and Ralph adopted them and together with the girls have looked after them all through winter. They are all doing brilliantly and are now weighing what they should, between 800g and 1kg, and will be released back into their own habitat in the Spring (I will be sharing this with you in great detail and with photos don’t worry!).
Hester is now 10 (oh how time flies), and Ralph has been teaching her how to cut the grass, which is nearly a full time job in itself in the summer months.
Ava loves using the mop and woe betide anyone who tries to take it off her (which is fine with me).
Edie is the littlest Lockey and isn’t yet at school so she is the most frequent visitor to the barn offering her ‘help’, which usually includes extremely ‘helpful’ activities such as walking across freshly laid concrete in her wellies … She likes to leave her mark!!
Ralph and Olivia are very keen to make sure that the girls are involved in the family business from a young age; teaching them the importance of having a good work ethic, and knowing the value of a pound. They want to instil a sense of responsibility into the girls, teaching them the importance of respecting and nurturing the countryside that surrounds them. Coming from a farming family, the girls have had the opportunity to see first hand how doing things such as planting trees can help the environment, how building nest boxes can support the owl population here, and how looking after the lake will see the ducks return year after year.
There is always fun and laughter to be had here at Northside Farm, which is known only too well by Olivia, who books out the farm for a couple nights every year during the summer holidays for her and the girls, along with some close friends, who are now known as the ‘Wigwam Gang’.
I hope you have enjoyed reading more about the family of Northside Farm.