WTM Newsletter Issue 45 ........ ( late for ) June 2014
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Shop opening times:

Thursdays -
11 am till 3 pm while we label up and process the orders for FREE DELIVERY.
Fridays & Saturdays -
10 am till 5pm
Any other normal shop opening hours when the sign is out.
If you want to check,  just phone 07790 095 052
£25 worth of mixed grill meats for £20. Frozen boxes in stock all summer, fresh boxes can be ordered for the weekend.
Each box is individual but will contain 8 burgers and 16 sausages then a mix of steaks and kebab meat.
Should satisfy 8 - 10 carnivores, usually with a mix of beef, pork, lamb and chicken.


 We have three different desert apple varieties juiced. All apples are local and the 1litre bottles of pure apple juice are £4. There is also a Bramley blend which your taste buds will find sharper.

The new season honey has arrived. Made by  bees foraging mainly in Peldon and Wigborough, £4 per jar.


Currently available from Bob's garden:

Produce grown between the buildings at Garr House Farm.
sweet peas ( 40 stems per £2 bunch unless someone takes a photo and Bob loses count )* lettuce * fhubarb * garlic * blackcurrants * raspberries* radish* courgettes* spring onions* potatoes* broad beans*
These can be cut, picked or dug fresh to order.
We often have our stall at local events and at Colchester Farmers' Market on the first Friday of the month. Orders can be brought along for collection; check out the up coming events section on the website.
The next fresh beef , from our home bred, grass fed suckler herd will be available from  Wed 30th July having hung for 3 weeks.
The other side will hang for another week.
Orders can be placed now or you can respond to an email which will go out just before it is cut.

Welcome to another WTM newsletter, June has been a busy month with some tricky decision making.

We have run a small suckler beef herd since 2007 and successfully hired a in bull each year. As our herd has a high health status the bull has to under go some pre flight checks with our vet to make sure he isn't going to bring in any diseases. The nominated bull failed one of these ( IBR ) this year and we were left with the dilemma of cows and heifers coming on heat, not wanting to delay mating as that would push calving too late in the Spring and being unable to find another suitable 'rent a bull'. So, the decision was made to purchase our most expensive animal yet ........ at £3,500 take a closer look at the shape which we hope will in two years time lead to some prime rump steaks on your plate.
Spring was a good growing season, you grow a thick crop of grass which can be conserved either as hay or silage.The new rabbit proof silage enclosure featured in the last newsletter ( available on the web site www.garrhousefarm.co.uk ) now contains all the silage we need for the winter. So,  you pay attention to the weather forecast and gamble when there are going to be 7 consecutive dry days and cut the grass for hay.              
It isn't a case of just leaving the cut grass out in the sun and coming back with the baler. All the grass needs to be dry and below 15% moisture or it can spontaneously combust when in the barn. So, you need to work at making hay while the sun shines; scattering it about, rowing it up or just turning the rows over depending on how good a drying day it is. June saw some humid days which didn't really dry. The crop is nearly dry enough then out of nowhere, thunderstorms are forecast. If the hay gets wet when nearly 'made', mould spores develop which make it dusty affecting an animal's lungs. To gather it in quickly, a contractor made it into big bales, they weren't quite dry enough to store as hay so needed wrapping as dry silage. We haven't the equipment for this so another neighbour was called in to wrap. Then we needed to use his grab to move the bales as our grab is for round bales and a spike would make a hole in the wrapping so anaerobic fermentation wouldn't take place and the grass would rot. 
Hence the unusual site for us of having wrapped big square bales. Yes,  I know they are rectangular .... just as the 'round' bales are actually cylindrical !

Another problem has been the pigs being too tubby when reaching finishing weight. Long term we will sort this with the breeding but in the short term they needed to be on a different diet, one which included more fibre rather than protein and energy. After consultation with our nutritionist, the inclusion of middlings, wheat bran ( the difference between white bread and brown bread ), was deemed to be the answer. We home mix our rations and had no storage for a different ingredient so a new bin was needed.
The growing pigs have been on their new rations for three weeks now and the back fat levels are getting down to the more desirable 11ml as measured on the carcasses.

We have had owl boxes in some barns for a couple of years now and have seen barn owls around. Curiosity got the better of Phil and a quick opening of the door with camera phone at the ready revealed three slightly startled owlets - and that their box needs mucking out.

No newsletter would be complete without a concreting picture, so just to show the mixer was in action again last month ......... another load off to create a wall. we have run out of time to put in the floor to complete the grain store and fill it up this harvest, may be for next year .........
 Please visit our web site              www.garrhousefarm.co.uk
Or contact us on 01206 735 694  or 07790 095 052

Kate Gladwin        Garr House Farm, Layer Road, Gt. Wigborough, Colchester Essex CO5 7RR

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Wigborough Traditional Meats · Garr House Farm · Gt.Wigborough · Colchester, Essex CO5 7RR · United Kingdom

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