Sorry, it has a while since my last message but life seems to speed up gradually over the summer and before you know it the clocks have gone back – just in the nick of time. A lot has gone on so I’m not sure where to start…
We finally finished combining on October 14th, not the latest on record but a close 2nd. This has meant that autumn planting was running a bit late but Simon and his dad have been working hard cultivating fields and drilling winter wheat and have just about caught up – there is just one field left to do.
The tups are now in with the main flock and the cattle and pigs are still out seeing as it has finally dried up, they’ve been enjoying the sunshine over the last few days.
The “Shearing Shed” (old shop) has had a busy summer and is still booked out at weekends, we have had some lovely comments from guests and feel that this was the right thing to do with the space. Having the shop back up by the house has made it easier to manage and I hope that the new opening times have not caused too much inconvenience – we are always happy to open up out of hours, just give us a call first to make sure we are here.
We have plenty of frozen lamb, beef and pork and I have re-stocked the bargain freezer this week so why not pop in and pick up a good deal!
Christmas order form out soon – watch this space!
Just a reminder that we will be at the Moreton Show on Saturday (2nd September), the tent is going up on Wednesday or Thursday and we’ve been flat out in the cutting room making burgers, sausage patties and slicing bacon. We are in the same place as usual on the bottom right hand corner of the main ring (as you look at the ring with the members tent straight ahead of you). Breakfast baps/burgers will be ready from 8.30am and the pig roast should be cooked by 12.00. Do come along and see us if you are going to the show and we have advanced discounted tickets for sale in the shop on Friday.
We have fresh pork and sausages in the shop this week plus fresh lamb, beef and pork the week after the show.
NB. The Farm Shop will be CLOSED on Show Day
Remember Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen? If you didn’t get chance to see all 4 episodes back in 2013 or you just fancy watching them again they are now being re-run on Saturday lunchtimes, 12.00, BBC2. The first 2 have already been shown but are still available on the i-player (click here), the last 2 episodes will be shown on the 5th and 12th August.
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