You may have noticed Simon ploughing in the Fosse Field and Batsford Corner last week, it took about 12 hours to complete the 17 hectares. The new drill Simon bought from a neighbouring farmer made the job a lot faster than our old one which only allowed us to travel at 6-8 km/h, at 12-15km/h he was done in half the time and the tractor used less fuel too so it should pay for itself in about 20 years! It is now planted with linseed, watch out for the beautiful blue flowers over the summer.
A big welcome to Sarah Mann who joined the Old Farm team this week. Sarah will be at the farm Monday to Friday and has already got the hang of sausage linking! Fiona will still be in the shop on Thursday and Friday mornings but will probably be grateful for some help as we are starting to get quite busy at these peak times.
Monday 23rd is St George’s Day and the start of the Great British Beef Week. Francis Green, The Cotswold Traiteur, has made us a tasty Provençal Daube of Beef (with our beef of course) and it will be in the shop from Tuesday. If you want some new recipes to try at home why not go to the British Beef Week website for some tasty ideas.
Lambing is nearly over now and we have had more than 300 so far, just another 40 ewes left… There were a couple of new calves too last week, one no bigger than BB!
We will be open as normal over the Easter weekend – Thursday 9.30 to 1.00; Friday 9.30 to 6.30 & Saturday 9.30 to 5.00.
Please feel free to come and see the lambs if you are coming to the shop and there are some lovely Gloucestershire Old Spot gilts out in the front paddock. We have just put one of our Glamrock boars in with them so hopefully we will be hearing the patter of tiny trotters in a few months time, well, 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days to be exact!
We went to the Foodex exhibition on Monday last weekat the NEC just to have a look around and came back with a pig roaster (we really shouldn’t be allowed out together!). We are planning to hire it out complete with pig, staff optional, please contact us if you’d like more details. We will be roasting a pig for Farm Sunday (17th June) so you can see it in action.
We started 2012 with TB testing on 6th and 9th of January – we had been clear for 6 months and were hoping for another negative result to put us on annual testing. Unfortunately we had 1 reactor so we are back to 60 day checks. We will be carrying out a badger survey on the cow fields to see if there is anything we can do to try and keep the cattle and badgers apart (ie. fencing off badger latrine areas and badger-proofing cattle feed stations). Fingers crossed this works. (NB. There has not been a single documented case of someone developing human TB after eating meat and all our beef animals are checked at the abattoir by the Meat Hygeine Service).
Things are looking up in the sausage and bacon department but our Gloucester Old Spot herd is in need of new blood. We sometimes rear our own replacements using semen from the Deerpark Stud in Northern Ireland but this year we decided to buy a group of weaner gilts from a breeder in Derbyshire. They arrived on farm a couple of weeks ago and are settling in nicely.
The sheep have been scanned and we are starting to make preparations for lambing by giving the ewes extra rations. We will split them into groups depending on the number of lambs expected soon. Bonnie, the new sheep dog, is booked for her first training session in April, we must get and watch the training DVDs I bought Simon for Christmas!
We are now taking orders for turkeys (fantastic free range white and bronze birds from Lower Clopton), cockerels (tasty free range from Great Farm), mince pies (made by June with all butter pastry), pork pies (various flavours from “The Pie’s the Limit!” made with our Glamrock pork), Christmas veg (amazing value Christmas Veg Box from WR Haines) as well as our own hams, bacon, sausages (gold award winning), sausagemeat, beef, lamb and pork…
The best thing would be to pop to discuss your requirements with us but we do have some order forms/price lists for you to print off, see below. If you can’t make it in to the shop then please e-mail forms back to us asap as some items will be limited and allocated on a first come/first serve basis. Give me a call on 01608 650394 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information.
christmasorders2011(word doc) ……… christmasorders2011pdf
christmas veg 2011
Veg order form example Nov 2011 *If you’d like to receive an up to date veg order form weekly, let me have your e-mail address and we’ll add you to the list.
shop price list nov-dec 2011
Christmas Opening Times:
Thurs 22nd 9.30-5.00
Fri 23rd 9.30-6.30
Sat 24th 9.30-1.00
Thurs 29th 9.30-1.00
Fri 30th 9.30-6.30
Sat 31st 9.30-1.00
Adam Henson brought the Countryfile cameras over to Old Farm a couple of weeks ago to meet the Glamrocks and have a look at our new cutting room. He was keen to see our “award winning” sausage making machinery and helped us make up a batch of Breakfast Bangers although we don’t think he should give up his day job just yet! You can see the episode with Old Farm on the BBC iPlayer, just follow this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b017j31k/Countryfile_13_11_2011/
British Sausage Week comes to a close with the last of the regionals finals in Bristol today. We may not have won but we feel honoured to have met the King of Glam Rock himself, Noddy Holder! There were 8 finalists in the South West and with more than 300 entries nation wide, to get to this stage was more than we could have dreamed of. We’ll have to try harder next year… Is Simon saying “does my bum look big in this?”!
We will be at the Cotswold Farm Park on Sunday 16th October along with other producers from the North Cotswolds so if buying local is important to you, this is a great chance to meet lots of producers in one go. Adam Henson will be there and Rob Rees “The Cotswold Chef” will be doing cookery demonstrations throughout the day.
10.30am – 4.30 pm, free admission to the food festival, 10% discount voucher for the Farm Park available to download from www.cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk
We have finally managed to finish all the combining; the linseed proved a bit of a challenge and we had a few breakdowns (mechanical!) but got there in the end and it seems to have yielded quite well. We will have to dry it however before we can sell it despite the amazing weather we experienced at the end of September. We sold 4 loads of wheat early on but wish we had sold more as the price has now dropped by £30/tonne so we will hang for a bit longer and keep our fingers crossed before selling any more.
Simon has just made his annual trip to Builth Wells and came back with 45 young females (Welsh Mule ewe lambs that is). He only went for 30, they must have seen him coming! The tups are nearly ready to get started and are due for their MOT in the next week or so before being let loose with the girls.
The drilling is nearly finished with about 40 acres of wheat still to go in. We could do with a bit of rain now to get things moving before the temperatures drop too far. Simon has enjoyed this years cultivations with a new toy – a 160 horse power “Eco Friendly” tractor which is meant to help reduce our fuel costs. I’m not sure how many years we need to use it for to justify this but it was a good excuse anyway Simon!
The first Saturday in September looms and we are busy getting ready for the Moreton Show, 3rd September. Come and visit our “Glamrock Cafe” – we are cooking pork, beef and sausages as usual with bacon butties available for the early birds. There will be a chance to buy fresh meat from our stand on the day and see our newest Glamrock piglets.
After you have visited our stand then please go along to the Countryside and Heritage Area where there will be chicks hatching, butter making, bee-keeping, cider making, spinning & weaving and more… Get the kids to milk a cow and dress a chicken (not real ones!!)
Discounted show tickets are available from the farm shop.
PLEASE NOTE: THE FARM SHOP AT DORN WILL BE CLOSED ON SHOW DAY, SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENEINCE (remember we are open until 6.30pm on Friday)
…and sometimes you get what you ask for, and then some. We were disappointed to see the forecast but on the other hand, the country was so desparate for a good soaking it was quite apt that it should bucket down on Open Farm Sunday. Despite the rain we had a good turnout, more than 130 came to look around the new cutting room, see the sheep shearing and the Glamrock piglets followed by a hotdog and a cream tea. Only one hardy group actually did the farm walk as far as we know, watch this space as we will open it up again in the next month or so when the weather looks a bit more settled. Caroline Drummond, LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Cheif Executive popped in to see us along with 3 delegates from the Ulster Farmers’ Union; John Thompson (UFU President), Taryn Carlton and Kate Cairns. They are hoping to host a similar event in Northern Ireland in the summer, let’s hope thay have better weather than we did! Thanks to all our helpers on the day who needed a good hot bath to warm up again when they got home.