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Teambuilding is the most important investment you’ll make

We’ve all seen it; the very mention of ‘teambuilding’ initially encourages an eye roll across the office. Managers LOVE the concept of teambuilding – studies say it encourages communication, increases collaboration and results in engaged, more productive employees. Preventing the office-eye-roll and getting staff on board with the activity just requires a little original thinking…

If you are starting to notice droopy shoulders around the office, the question is how do you create an experience that your team won’t hate?

The most successful and memorable team-building events are the ones that are a complete contrast from a day at the office. That’s why becoming a farmer for a day (and eating like a king) at Hexhamshire Organics was the perfect organic bonding experience for us.

After rising with the dawn chorus, the team of intrepid explorers ‘Team BHE’ donned their wellies and travelled to Hexham, to Hexhamshire Organics. We were to spend an exclusive day with Bob, Ann, the ducks, the chicks and the Tamworth pigs!

Upon arrival we were greeted with a hearty farmhouse breakfast including organic, homegrown Tamworth bacon and sausages. It’s no wonder the Tamworth pork is sought after by the top chefs in the region. Cue a quick health and safety briefing and the story of the farm from Bob and we were stomping around the farm, taking in the sights.

Starting at the seven poly tunnels, housing an array of organically grown fruit and veg we were able to learn more about the procedure from seed to harvest, and the special organic methods to keep the pests at bay. Sampling fresh produce along the way, our particular favourites were the mustardy ‘Red Frill’ and lemony ‘French Sorrel’, which also magically appeared at the lunch table.

Ann had prepared a beautiful spread for lunch, a Tamworth gammon joint, herby roasted potatoes, some beautiful side salads, beetroot, roasted peppers, and the star of the show was a garden frittata made from the farm’s own hen eggs and freshly picked summer vegetables.

After one, two or three plates of lunch we were fueled up ready to herd the pigs! We had to work together to get the Tamworth’s from the field into the enclosure. After a few laps of the field, and a fair few trips into the undergrowth for one shy pig, we finally got the last pigs into the enclosure. Our communication skills, patience and determination were put to the test, and we have the photo evidence to prove it. The Tamworths are very intelligent creatures but alas not hugely compliant.

Next up we split into teams to take our pig to ‘show’. Bringing our chosen pig into the enclosure, we made sure she was content with a little snack and got to work on the full salon experience, washing every inch of the Tamworth, enquiring where she was planning on going on holiday, and then drying the fine specimens. It was now time to parade the pigs in their glistening finery show coats. Katie in her pristine white show coat and ‘Penelope’ pig were clear winners. It was great to have hands-on involvement in caring for the Tamworths, it certainly was a change of scenery from fielding delegate calls in the office.

After that physical exhaustion, we were treated to more of Ann’s delicious cooking, with a beautiful pavlova and chilled glass of rose. Although the work was not yet done! It was time to take a ride round the scenic orchard on the tractor to keep the grass trim. A fine method of transport, but back onto foot to round up the ducks and get the chickens to bed so we could collect their fresh eggs.

We ended the experience crowning the person who was most welcome to join Bob and Ann and work on the farm – well done Katie, and the person who should really stay in the city – commiserations Sarah! The experience comes highly recommended for teams wanting a day away from the office filled with fun, nature and learning.

What did we learn after a refreshing day in Hexhamshire?

Life truly is better at the farm.