Updated: May 13
My Local. Most people talk about a pub when they talk about their "local", but I'm talking about Pear Tree Farm. I have been speaking to Bex of Pear Tree again for a few weeks about returning and in viewing and following their posts over the last few months, I had also started speaking to Rebecca Owen (Vegan Pixie Warrior on Instagram & YouTube) about arranging a joint visit, so the day we managed to bring it all together had finally arrived!
Bex was out running errands when I arrived (whch admittedly was early), so I was greeted by Teresa and then I just had a walk around without my camera, meeting all of the animals again. I love doing this bit, not worrying about lighting or angles or anything like that, just letting them get to remember me and get comfortable around me. Of course, I loved meeting little Luna & Luca, the two lambs who have recently started calling Pear Tree Farm "home". As soon as I entered the orchard where the sheep spend their days, they both came running over. While I was over with the newly rescued hens and talking with Teresa (although "getting in the way" is probably more accurate), Bex returned and the time eventually came for me to stop playing around with lambs, hens and pigs and to actually do what I came for!
As I was unloading the car, Rebecca arrived with her husband. Despite the fact that we had messaged quite a lot over the last year or so, this is the first time me and Rebecca have actually had chance to meet. Rebecca is an incredible person and runs and takes part in a lot of acitivism in the Bristol area, all alongside an Instagram page and a YouTube channel as Vegan Pixie Warrior, which I strongly recommend you check out. She did an interview with Katherine, one of the founders of Pear Tree Farm, while we were there and it should be on YouTube soon.
We started off with the pigs, Stompy, Inca and Florence. They each have their individual stories, but here is Stompy's story:
"He's a sensitive, cuddly boy who loves a good belly rub and causing mischief with his stable-mate Inca.
"Stompy was just seven months old when he came to the sanctuary. He was sold to his previous owners as a 'micropig' with the promise that he would stay tiny and be the perfect, teacup-sized addition to their home.
"Before long, Stompy started to grow. He quickly tripled in size and grew to weigh 150kg. To put this in perspective, that's heavier than a baby elephant!
"His owners never expected him to grow so big. With his new size, strength and tendency to bite, Stompy had become unmanageable in their home. They were unable to keep him and turned to the sanctuary for help.
"Stompy joined our family here at Pear Tree Farm and found his forever home."
Credit: Pear Tree Farm Blog "Stompy: Our 150kg micropig"
So after making a fuss of Stompy and Inca and giving some belly rubs to Florence while she sunbathed, we moved onto the Broiler chickens who were rescued from a meat farm. These poor boys and girls suffer from the selective breeding which has led to them being far too big for what their bodies can cope with, you can see it just in the way they walk. But they are free now and happily enjoying their lives in safety and comfort.
Another of their pigs, Winnie, then decided to make an appearance. Winnie came to Pear Tree from Essex back in May 2019. She is another who was bought as a "micro pig". She was fed cream cakes and other "treats" and had become severely overweight and her family decided that they couldn't cope with her anymore. Since arriving at Pear Tree Farm, Winnie has gone on to lose a lot of weight and has become considerably more mobile than when she arrived. Like any pig, she still loves to eat and nap, bt she is much healthier and happier now and enjoys hanging out with the chickens, often sleeping together.
Back to the orchard! I fear I made a mistake in visiting the orchard earlier, as Luna, Luca and the other sheep were considerably less interested in us this time! So we spent some time with them and they eventually came to us again for some attention but the grass was apparently more interesting at the moment. By the time we had finished with the sheep, Rebecca was about to start her interview with Katherine.
It was then time for a few shots of the goats before heading over to the newly rescued hens. Pear Tree Farm have been rescuing hens for almost a year now and have found homes for thousands of girls who would have otherwise been slaughtered at just 18 months old. I, unsurprisingly, spent a lot of time with these guys, but that covered everyone and so I just did a few more rounds, hung out with some of the resident hens and grabbed a few more snaps before bringing the day to an end.
I love visiting Pear Tree and will definitely go again in the near future. The photos are now in the Gallery and Store (keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram posts) and, as usual, 50% of the profits from any print sales will be donated back to Pear Tree Farm.