As we continue to set up the farm as a proper business, we thought we’d start a short quarterly newsletter for our friends & customers to keep everyone up to date with events on the farm & produce that is seasonably available.
At the farm we believe in doing things the traditional way, with small fields, old vintage tractors (Ian’s influence), breeds that are just a little bit different & farming in-tune with nature. We are passionate about rare breeds & are keen to market straight from the farm so reducing food miles. We currently have rare breed pigs, sheep, & chicken & rear animals to sell on as breeding stock or for meat.
Pigs & Pork – Bess our Large Black sow had her second litter of piglets in mid January & she surprised us all by having 6 striped ones… we are not quite sure where the stripes came from but they are delightful to look at & are all doing well. They will be ready to wean in mid March & will be off to the butcher in August; so far we have orders for 2 half pigs. If you would like some pork in the summer time & can let us know in advance, it will help us decide how many of the piglets to rear ourselves & how many to sell on.
We are thinking of offering a kind of ‘community pig scheme’ whereby, if you want a whole pig for the freezer, you can come & choose one, we will rear it for you, you can visit & pamper it as often as you like, pay for its food & keep on a weekly basis until it is time to go when we will deliver it to the abattoir for you; you then tell the butcher how you want it cut, & collect the pork yourself straight from the butcher. We’ve been working out the costs of doing it this way & it would work out cheaper to you in the long run but is only available if you want a whole pig – if you are interested, let us know & we can fill you in on the details…
There is still some tasty pork in the freezer from our own saddleback crosses that went at Christmas & I collected our fresh gammon joints & steaks this week. Amazingly, the 3000 sausage glut is coming to an end & there only a few packs left! We will be making our own next time so if you have a favourite recipe you’d like us to try, let us know.
Our young pedigree Large Black boar & 2 gilts are growing well & will be ready to start breeding in June which is all very exciting.
Sheep – we’ve nearly finished fencing the deluxe ram paddock so ‘ Wayne ’ will be leaving the girls imminently. There will be 17 ewes lambing from 1st April this year so if you want to come & lean on the gate & ‘ah’ please feel free! We had 3 skins tanned & they came back last week – they exceeded our expectations & are lovely & soft to sit on – we’ll need to sew several together to make a decent sized rug though!
Willow – now is the season for planting willow for living garden structures, arbours etc. We are selling both fast growing hybrid willows & brightly coloured stems for basketry – all naturally grown without use of chemicals.
Wildlife – we at long last dug a pond for wildlife just below the farmyard & have seen our first frogspawn already & a group of snipe have taken up residence in the adjoining wetland.
Publicity – we are in the process of setting up a website to help sell produce from the farm & hope to be on-line soon. We will be attending the Smallholders Fayre near Bodmin in May to test the ‘show circuit’. Through our involvement in the Devon Association of Smallholders, we will be running a couple of courses at the farm in the spring – including the long awaited tractor & machinery maintenance!
Please let us know if you think this quarterly newsletter is a good idea, what you’d like to hear more about, what to miss out, a name for it, suggestions for the lay-out etc. - or if you would rather be removed from our mailing list.