Pigs need sunscreen but when we heard people texting in on the Chris Evans show this morning we couldn’t let the listeners think that we go out slapping the factor 30 on our sows every morning. Meg sent in a message then they called us straight back – there’s a link to the clip on the Chris Evans Radio 2 page or click here
Then radio Gloucester called to see if they could do a piece about sheep shearing and as Simon had just donned the special trousers they sent their roving reporter round. Simon impressively sheared a sheep in just over 90 seconds whilst giving a running commentary, who said men couldn’t multi-task! We’re on about 2 hours 14 mins into the program… Anna King on BBC radio Gloucestershire
…it’s not too late to join in – we have plenty of beef in stock: burgers, steaks, joints and mince. We had a tasty topside tonight with our first asparagus of the season from WR Haines – easy to do and hard to beat, why not give a go this weekend.
Simon took 9 cattle to Ross market this morning with strict instructions only to accept real money, no magic beans although I might have been happy with a golden egg-laying goose! The cows have been let out now and had a great time careering around the field with the calves a little bemused as they have never seen grass before.
We are down to single figures with the lambing (about time), our new ewe lambs have done well and are looking after their babies, once they have got over the shock.
Next on the list for release from their winter quarters are the sows and boar, we just need to pig-proof the pig glamping area as they are well known for their escapes. The weaners are due to go out into the little paddock opposite New Farm this weekend.
The “Shearing Shed” is nearly ready for holiday makers, we are having a final push this weekend and plan to have a grand opening next week so you are welcome to pop in next Fri/Sat to have a look.
This week I have mostly been making sausages – plain pork, breakfast bangers, pork & apple and lemon & fennel plus we have some pork & apple burgers and fresh lamb so get stocked up for your Bank Holiday Barbecues, whatever the weather…
Easter shop opening: Good Friday/Easter Saturday 9.30am – 2.00pm
We have fresh lamb, beef, pork, gammons and chicken (including a few whoppers – I haven’t looked yet but I think there are some 12 pounders!).
We aren’t doing any special walks this year but you are welcome to look around the lambing pens (during shop hours), the piglets are still cute and if you want to take a walk down the lane from Dorn to Moreton you’ll see some of the lambs frolicking in the spring sunshine (fingers crossed for the sun although we are desperate for a bit of rain now). We will have the coffee machine on and Meg plans to do some baking tonight, maybe with some Easter themed goodies.
The Shearing Shed is not quite ready (we are always optimistic) but maybe we’ll do a bit of work on it over the weekend, luckily I hadn’t taken any bookings!
On a really positive note we went clear for TB this afternoon so we can sell a few store cattle and the cows will get to go out in their field again – they have been looking longingly at the lovely fresh grass on the other side of the fence for the last month or so…
Lambing (main flock) was due to start on 15/3 but maybe the good weather brought everything forward as we were a good 10 days early. Piglets too – 8 little Glamrockers arrived on 8/3!
Following on the same theme our ewe lambs started lambing early, we’ve had another 15 piglets and not wanting be left out the cows have gone mad (!) and produced 10 calves in the last 10 days – great to see Horace (the new bull) is in good working order. The main flock have all but finished with just 8 still hanging on in there and around 400 lambs are now turned out and enjoying the sunshine.
Granddad has planted the spring barley which should hopefully go for malting, the wheat is coming on nicely and we’ll be planting linseed in the next week or so.
Work on the old shop is coming on well and we hope to have “The Shearing Shed” ready for guests over Easter (or just after). It will be a self catering unit to sleep 2 people with fitted kitchen, king size bed, reclining sofa and cosy woodburner, perfect for friends and family who might be visiting the area…
We did have a bit of good news this week – we have been shortlisted in the Western Daily Press Food and Farming Awards “Best Farmer” category along with Simon Weaver and Applevale ltd. The judge came around on Tuesday, I guess we’ll just have to wait til the awards ceremony on 9th May to see how we do – at any rate it’s a good excuse for a night out, we haven’t had one of those for a while!
Please note our new shop opening times for 2017:
Fridays/Saturdays 9.30am – 2.00pm
We will be happy to arrange collections from the farm outside these hours as well as offering home delivery options, please call on 07846 980707 if you want to know more…
I was tempted just to copy my newsletter from 2015 as I seem to say the same things year in year out! Harvest done, tups in, crops drilled…
We did have a little shopping trip to Builth Wells in October and came home with 60 welsh mule ewe-lambs to add to the flock. This was shortly followed by the purchase of 2 fine looking Charolais tups, they will be introduced to the new girls soon.
Our latest Old Spot gilts have now all farrowed and we have plenty of little Glamrocks running around. To plug the gap in production we bought some Berkshires from Blockley and some more Old Spots X Tamworths from Michael Morpurgo’s farm so we will have plenty of pork, bacon and hams for Christmas.
I have sorted out the 2016 Christmas Order Form for Christmas poultry from Lower Clopton and Westmoor Farm, mince pies from June and gammons, sausages, bacon and the usual stuff from Old Farm. We are not taking orders for veg and cheese this year but there will be a small selection in the shop.
Please can we have orders by 12th December if possible and if you want a smaller bird then I would advise letting me know sooner rather than later. There will always be some late availability but the choices may be limited. Orders will be ready for collection from 21st December.
Christmas Opening Times:
|Re-opening with NEW TIMES from 6th Jan 2017.
|Fridays and Saturdays
Please ask about home deliveries or
collection from farm outside normal hours
A 300 acre mixed family farm with sheep, Hereford beef, Glamrock pigs, arable, horses, hens, farm shop, B&B and camping field. The farm is part of Batsford Estate and was used as the location for “Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen” filmed for BBC1 in 2013.
Watch this space for more details but plans so far:
- 11.00am to 3.00pm
- FREE ENTRY
- Tractor Rides (please book on arrival to avoid the queues)
- Pig Roast
- Farm Walk (maps and arrows provided)
- Sheep Shearing
- Dry Stone Walling
- Tea and Cakes
- Pigs, Sheep, Cattle, Hens, Horses
- Big Machines
Finally lambing is over – our last ewe gave birth to a single lamb (#412) on Sunday. They have all been taken out to the fields now, we just have a few orphans left at the farm. The new lambing caravan was a welcome addition – it was definitely a room with a view as we could keep an eye on the flock from the comfort of a home-made pallet chair. We just need to clean it out now and we can go for a mini break!
The linseed has been planted and has already come up in row (~10 days later) thanks to the warm weather, and we have also planted a wildflower mix in Lady Ann (field!). The cattle have been turned out for a couple of weeks now that the grass is growing and have produced 8 calves since our last message, unfortunately these will be some of the last progeny of our good old Hereford bull, Harry, who we lost at the end of April. We picked up a young bull from the same blood lines as Harry today, his proper name is “Eldersfield Orestes” but we’ll call him Horace. Simon mentioned to the farm manager that we were looking for some extra pigs and to cut a long story short…
Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare established “Farms For City Children” in 1974 and now run 3 farms including Wick Court in Gloucestershire. The main objectives include:
- Understanding farming, the countryside and food production.
- Social and emotional development through teamwork.
- Immersion and total involvement through a whole seven-day stay a ‘world away’.
- Learning about healthy eating.
- Using practical, hands-on learning outside the classroom to enhancing the requirements of the national curriculum.
- Drawing on the farm experience and the charity’s literary heritage to promote literacy and storytelling.
We ended up buying some Tamworth and Old Spot X Tamworth porkers (the first Tamworth pork will be available this week). We have also bought 3 Berkshires from Blockley (Carol and David Webb’s herd), they will be ready in ~6 weeks. Our new Old Spots are just about to go to the boar so we hope to have some new Glamrock piglets in the autumn.
We’re just starting to plan for Open Farm Sunday – 5th June, 11am-3pm. This year Moreton Show and Moreton Young Farmers have kindly offered to help so I’m sure it will all run smoothly. We are planning a small preview this weekend and will be opening up the short farm walk on Saturday 14th (during shop opening times) so come along if you’d like to see the lambs and meet Horace! Teas/coffees/cakes available in the farm shop.