Welcome to the SRT blog No. 31

27th November 2020 – Welcome to our blog post No. 31


  • The largest ever Christmas cracker was 63.1m (207ft) long and 4m (13ft) in diameter and was made by the parents of children at Ley Hill School and Pre-School, Chesham, Bucks in 2001. The joke was rubbish.

  •  32.56 metres – The length of the longest ever Christmas Stocking. It was         also 14.97 metres wide.
  • Tinsel also originated from Germany in the early 1600s. The first real tinsel was made from real silver and cut into very thin strips. There is a factory in Wales making tinsel for many of our retailers.
  • In 1880 Edison first displayed a string of lights outside his workplace. This idea was then applied to Christmas trees, wrapped with 80 hand wire coloured lights
  • Wreaths could have come from the ceremonial wreaths of ancient Greece and Rome OR they developed from the “advent wreaths of mediaeval German Christians” who would adorn the wreaths with four candles to indicate the four weeks before Christmas.

  • Shaking snow globes are synonymous with Christmas time, but they came about by accident. The first snow globe company, Original Vienna Snow Globes, was created in 1905 & is still in business today!
  • Poinsettias were introduced to Americans in 1828 by the Mexican ambassador.
  • Nutcracker doll soldiers have been made in Germany from before 1800 & are symbols of good luck


Northchurch have been working on the new wildlife pond this week. The blue tarp, held down by those rather big posts, is there to cover the ground to stop weeds coming through and will be the new decking by the pond.









Graham and Maggie have been busy cleaning the mud off the latest potato harvest. Your supermarket potatoes don’t get this love….

New fencing has been put in for the pigs

The goats had lots of visitors as the green team were brush clearing in their field. The goats joined in of course!














The craft team have been busy making ideas from the pallet wood left over from the sites new fencing.

Check out the wooden Christmas tree….

A moonlit Northchurch


The story from the ‘elves’ in the woodshed this week at the Activity Center – Aisha Lilley, Hanna Bryant, Noreen Shazadee and Rose Groves-Raines all helping to make our wooden reindeer to sell in the shops.













Mark Kissane and Noreen Shazadee with the finished items. They will trot off to the farmshops to be bought for a new home.

Noreen and Annette Timms helping to gather willow from our coppice area. Once harvested and bundled, this will also be sold.


Rebecca has been making bone shaped biscuits to sell in the shop for doggie Christmas presents 100g = £1.99










Eno was official taster & model – and approves!

Egg Florentine pizza was the latest topping to be tried when the pizza oven was lit last week

How yummy…. the Christmas cakes are being made at HFG.













Wet newspaper is wrapped around the tin before baking, to help protect the cake from burning, as it takes at least 2 hours in a low temperature oven!

They then need a couple of weeks of feeding with brandy. Then it’s the decoration. Keep your eyes ‘peeled’ for the decorated cakes soon. The 2 smaller cakes will go on sale in the Sunnyside Up Farm Shop and the large one will be sampled by trainees during Christmas week.

Check out Dacorum’s very own recipe book! with recipes from around the borough, including 3 from Sunnyside. Rhubarb cake, vegan courgette brownies & egg fried rice – made with our very own Sunnyside eggs of course.

Now available from our farm shops or click on the below link to have delivered. All proceeds are being donated to Sunnyside Rural Trust and the Food Bank.


Something decided it loved the taste of brussels sprouts in the allotment at Hemel. So the team had to harvest them a bit early, before it came back to finish them off.







Looks like a stranded octopus……


Stay warm as it’s been a tad cold the last couple of days!

Only 28 sleeps to Christmas – but whose counting ?