Harry Lovett's Work Experience at Gorgie Farm

Posted: 26/06/2014 | Education

When most 15 year old school pupils are asked what they would like to do as a work experience placement, most of them opt for comfortable indoor work with no heavy lifting. But not Harry Lovett!

He has always been determined to follow in the footsteps of other family Harry Lovett with pigletsmembers and become a farmer, so he asked to help out at Gorgie City Farm during his work placement week to gain valuable experience in farm maintenance and animal care.  

Gorgie Farm is a free-entry community owned farm in the heart of Gorgie, Edinburgh. Despite its relatively small size, the farm is home to a wide range of animals including sheep, pigs, goats, chickens and a jersey cow and her calves. 

Harry said:

“There’s always a lot to be done and they threw us in at the deep end. When I arrived at 9am on Monday we were immediately put to work helping with a fruit and veg delivery. Shops donate out of date fruit and veg to the farm to feed to the animals. I helped unload the trucks and sort through the donations. Some of it was quite stinky and needed to be put on the compost heap, but the pigs got about half of it and they were happy. They really liked the watermelons. You throw them into the pen and they burst open: it’s really fun!”

Harry’s support worker, Classroom Assistant Mina Anderson, agrees. She said:

“It’s been very labour intensive but we’ve had very good weather so personally I can’t complain! I’ve been with Harry all week and joined in with all of the tasks. I’m happy to be here as it’s nice to be able to give our pupils opportunities to try new things.”

When asked what new skills he’s learned while at the farm, Harry immediately responds with:

“How to move pigs! That was one of the first things we did. I had to use a wooden board to steer them out of the pen and encouraged them along with whistles and shouts, then after that it was the messiest job: mucking them out! It took us all morning, but I didn’t mind. I like to get stuck in and do whatever needs to be done.”

Farm manager Dennis Rankin agrees. “Harry has been a big help and always likes to be doing something. He gets on well with the animals and he’s quick to get started in the morning. We’re all very pleased with him and we’d be happy to have him back any time. He’s a hard worker.”

What makes Harry’s hard work at the farm even more remarkable is the fact that when he was born, his mother was told that Harry would never walk, talk or sit up on his own after suffering a stroke in the womb. It’s certainly hard to believe that now, especially while watching Harry hard at work around the farm lifting heavy pallets, wheeling a barrow full of soil and using a pitchfork to clean out a cow’s pen! The stroke also left Harry with visual and hearing impairments, but that hasn’t stood in the way of studying seven subjects for his Nat 4s and Nat 5s. 

“I’ve got exams coming up when I go back, so it’s been really nice to come out to the farm and get a break from school. It’s also good to get a chance to do what I enjoy, which is farming and working with animals.”

So, with that in mind, what has been Harry’s favourite thing about working at the farm?

“I think the nicest thing I’ve done this week is bottle feeding the lambs,” says Harry. “And it was fun when we had to catch the goats. They have six kids and they didn’t want to be caught so we had to chase after them! I like the physical side of it too. Lifting things, carrying them around and being useful. I’d love to do this again next year or even get a part time job here in the future.”

With Harry’s positive attitude, love of animals and healthy work ethic, it seems that’s certainly on the cards.