"We spent an amazing three weeks on Smiling Tree Farm! Christine is a wonderful host, with a wealth of knowledge on running a small holding, animal husbandry and an absolutely fantastic cook. It was great to experience the raising & growing of produce from paddock to the plate. We never thought we'd learn the skills of separating milk and making butter (among many others!). Our daily chores made us really feel like we were contributing to the running of the farm, which was rewarding in itself, not to mention we were always treated with delicious and plentiful food and luxury accommodation. We will definitely miss the lifestyle and all the lovely animals.
Christine is so welcoming, friendly and full of life, and always does her best to make sure your every need is met. Her home is stunningly beautiful and the helpers' snug is a cosy place to sit and relax.
It was really nice to make new friends with the other helpers. Overall Smiling Tree Farm is an amazing slice of paradise in beautiful Shropshire and we would recommend it to anyone."
Duncan & Beth (Australia)
"I spent 2 unforgettable weeks at Smiling Tree. It really was a privilege to spend time on the smallholding, get involved in so many routines and practices, and learn so much about the animals, fodder, fixing fences, plants, hay, weeds, ground-source heating, shelter belts, and the building and food forest plans for the future. Christine is a very positive person who is highly competent in so many areas. She always had time to answer my questions. "
I loved my time here. I learned so much. From how to make pain au chocolat to setting up an electric fence. Christine is a wonderful host, a great teacher, very knowledgeable and overall quite an inspiring woman. After just a few short weeks on Smiling Tree I feel that I'd like to have a farm of my own someday. Complete with a beautiful Jersey dairy cow just like Lollipop. I really enjoyed learning about small shareholder farming especially the dairy (including how to make butter!). The dairy provided to us by Lollipop was gorgeous. As were all the puddings and the food provided by Christine (and the animals on the farm). Christine is an amazing cook and will feed you well.
Come to Smiling Tree Farm if you want to learn and spend time with new friends. The work schedule for the day is broken up and varied so much that the day flies by. I felt that our workload was just the right balance of physical labor and lighter tasks. We did a variety of tasks like feeding the animals, sowing seeds, weeding and moving stones in preparation for wall building.
Christine is a happy and friendly person and overall a joy to be around so I was thankful for the longer breaks and lunches that allowed us to spend time talking with her.
I highly recommend going to Smiling Tree Farm. I had a wonderful time and am thankful for the new friends I made while there.
Thank you Christine!"
"Smiling Tree was my third WWOOFing experience (I have now been to about 30!) and it remains one of my favourites. The work was interesting and varied, the accommodation and food sublime and Christine is a very approachable and knowledgeable host who is keen to share her wealth of skills and experience. There are many innovative ideas put into practice on the smallholding including the use of sprouted fodder for the cattle and pigs, so there is plenty of opportunity to explore which ideas could work for you, if this was a way of testing out a possible future venture. Highly recommended."
"Smiling Tree Farm is such a lovely place to stay. It is so nice that you don`t want to leave. We have been there for two wonderful weeks and were very sad when the time was over.
We have seen and learned so many interesting things that it was a pleasure, no work, to do the different things: feeding the animals, preparing the fodder, weeding, harvesting garlic, cutting the hedge.
We mustn't forget to mention that Christine is a great cook. Her food was amazing and she taught us a lot about her delicious recipes. She taught us so many things, we learned how to separate the fresh milk from the house cow (we were allowed to milk ourselves) and how to make butter and cheese.
The most important thing to say is that it is Christine, who makes this place so lovely, comfortable and enjoyable. She is such a great person to talk to and to spend time with.
Thank you so much Christine."
Anne & Manuela (Germany)
"I had such a brilliant time here! My friend Hannah and I did lots of odd jobs around the farm - a bit of hedging, a bit of mucking out, carrying the lambs down to the field and electric fence training the piglets! The work was never dull and the bigger jobs we did a little of over several days so we were never bored with the work (morning breaks with fresh coffee and cake also helped!). Christine taught us about all the aspects of having a smallholding we were interested in and I found my new vocation in life- pressure washing!
We were treated like royalty in Christine's home! The comfiest bed, the snug with the roaring fire, and oh my goodness the food! Freshly made pain au chocolat (which Christine also taught us to make), delicious meat reared on Christine's farm (some of which Christine taught us to make sausages from), endless homemade cakes and BEAUTIFUL PUDDINGS!!
An overall fantastic experience. Thank you very much!"
Jess & Hannah (UK)
"I have given 5 stars to previous hosts, but this place really deserves top marks! Christine certainly does all she can to provide a comfortable and educational time for her helpers. I would highly recommend Smiling Tree Farm if you are interested in innovative small holding practices and want to experience how well people can live in a very sustainable way. During my two week stay, I got to see all the hard work and dedication that goes into feeding and looking after the animals in a way that keeps them super healthy and happy. The rewards of all this work are the delicious food that is cooked to perfection by Christine. Some of the memories I have taken away from my experiences in the stunning rolling hills of Shropshire are the wonderful tree roosting chickens, gentle Lollipop the cow and her delicious diary, Peter the pig who just seems so content, the Shetland sheep (content until weaning :/), the pea and barley fodder that provides such beautiful food for the pigs and cows, and the incredible 15th century thatched roof house. Thank you for being such an inspiration Christine and also for going to the trouble to contact me about my forgotten phone charger and posting it to me. All the best with all your future projects!"
“Our host Christine is a font of knowledge about all aspects of smallholdings – livestock, land management, renewable energy, finances, and more! I feel like we’ve learnt so much already. And we’ve had delicious food: home reared lamb, bacon, sausages and pork; nettle soup; apple tarts; home baked bread; and fresh eggs from the chickens.”
Matt & Laura (UK)