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We attended the first annual Willowbrook Festival the Saturday just gone - a lovely day out for the entire family! A farm run by the Radwan family, all of the land is farmed 100% organically. Willowbrook self-sustainability is a passion that each member of the family shares. In fact, the house that you see in the picture above is built out of material the Radwan's dug from their own farm. Didn't that leave a big, gaping hole I hear you cry?! Well it did. But the Radwan's turned it into this:
A pond that houses numerous species of aquatic and plant life.
The Radwan's say:
Since we started the farm in 2002 we have diversified from producing organic eggs, to providing our customers with chicken, lamb, beef, and vegetables and other quality produce such as cheeses and honey from local producers. We have gone from two empty fields to two fields absolutely full of hundreds of varieties of trees. We dredged out pond in 2002 to create a sustainable welcoming environment for waterfowl and other riverside wildlife. We use solar panels and wind energy and we are currently building natural, sustainable cob buildings (adobe or mud brick), and there will be many more conservation and eco-projects in the future! Our products are free range, healthy animals, they're fed on quality Non-GM feed.
Our day began with a tour of the farm where we were taken around by Khalil Radwan, son of Lutfi and Ruby (the farm owners). He took us around the whole 22 acre site and explained what it's really like to farm 100% organically and how easy self-sustainability is. It was refreshing visiting Willowbrook, a farm unlike the majority - the sheep field was so large it felt as though they were in the wild!
Under no circumstance are the fields in Willowbrook tended to with pesticides and growth-enhancers. Unlike the more aesthetically pleasing fields in the area, Willowbrook do not use unnatural sources to tend to their land; their produce is 100% organic - and this means that everything the animals eat is 100% organic also.
The Willowbrook Festival also included workshops on songwriting by the incredibly talented Dawud Whamsby, African drumming workshops, Tai Chi, pony lunging, live bees talk, petting zoo and delicious food stalls using the farm's own produce (trust me - we could taste the difference!).
One of our highlights of the day included getting lost in the Willowbrook woodland (planted by the Radwan's themselves...they even have a treehouse! Doesn't the farm just sound like the embodiment of all your childhood fantasies!?
We'd like to thank the Radwan's for their great hospitality - we hope to welcome them as warmly to our Family Fiesta in September (they are confirmed speakers!!) and we leave you with two things: 1. did you know that if you have bug bites / an external wound, applying tea tree oil mixed with fresh garlic makes the perfect ointment?! (just one of the many things we learnt - it even works on animals! and 2. this thought, placed lovingly in the heart of Willowbrook: