WTM Newsletter Issue 47 ........ September 2014
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Fresh beef back Wed 5 th November.
Special cutting orders in by 6pm on Sunday 2nd November please so the butcher can start first thing Monday ...... 4am !
MIni Beef Boxes around £45 available at 10% off individual prices. To contain a mixture of joints, mince, casserole meat and steak - your choice, with the option of sausages and burgers. For further details check out the web site or give us a call.
Due to a shortage of apples this season, all the varieties have been juiced together to make a blend. Priced as last year at £4 / bottle. Available as soon as I get a chance to collect them ....... meanwhile there are a few Bramley Blend from the 2013 harvest in stock.
Set honey is available from bees foraging mainly in Peldon and Wigborough with instructions on how to make it into runny honey - basically involves a microwave. £4 / jar.
The Quince Jelly has been made from our Quinces, it is a very sweet accompaniment to any meat or good simply spread on toast and priced at £2:50 per pot.
Currently available from Bob's garden:
Produce grown between the buildings at Garr House.
carrots * leeks * celeriac * garlic * red onions* white onions* parsnips*
They will be dug to order, just let us know what you would like and when.
Shop opening times:
Fridays and Saturdays 10am - 5pm
On Thursdays from 11am when we are labelling up the fresh meat and processing orders for FREE DELIVERY
We will be open all day on Dec 22nd and 23rd.
FREE tastings of our Festive Flavoured sausage ( cranberry, stilton & sage ) every Saturday till Christmas.
WTM will be having a stall as usual at Colchester Farmers' Market and the next one is on Friday November 7th. St. Mary's Arts Centre 9:30 am - 12:30pm.
We will have fresh beef, New Season lamb, mutton, pork , gammon, ham and sausages.
Offal and bones can be requested. There is also the popular half price bargain box of frozen produce to rummage through.
Poppy the fox red labrador has celebrated her first birthday and loves water. We take her when inspecting the land round the reservoir and after rain and the resulting flooding of Pond Field she is an excellent depth guage.
Our first mention of Christmas ........
White, barn reared Christmas Turkey.
These excellent succulent birds reared by our neighbours will be available either from them; C.C. Roots and Sons at Brooklyn Farm, CO5 7RU
or you can order and collect from us.
Early orders for WTM Gammon and Ham appreciated.
Our main income is from selling pigs at a finishing weight of around 68kg deadweight. Russia has imposed a ban on imports from Europe in retaliation for sanctions Europe has imposed on Russia due to their involvement in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Britain does not export a lot of pig meat to Russia but Holland, Germany and Denmark do. These pigs have to go somewhere; the supply cannot instantly be switched off and only so much can go into storage, The UK is a very convenient market hence we are currently overloaded with cheap imports and the wholesale price we are able to get for home produced pigmeat has dropped. Global affairs have an effect on the rural economy in Essex and farmers need to maintain their reputation and moan about something. Can't complain about the weather at the moment, judging by the growling going on all around last night even the arable boys are up to speed and finishing drilling.
So, we don't really need unexpected bills at the moment such as having one of the telescopic loaders out of action due to a broken ring gear and starter motor. . There is satisfaction in now having a workshop which will fit a vehicle inside and Phil can help the mechanic on site which keeps repair cost down. I think they secretly enjoyed the challenge of having to take the engine out ( its the bit hanging around to the left of the picture ) but it does mean Phil had less time to spend on 'progress jobs'.
The ongoing project is still the conversion of a sheep shed to cattle accomodation with the time pressure of it being needed to house them when the weather turns.
The workshop was used to construct the metal feed barriers which were transported to the cattle shed using the remaining functioning teleporter.
Painting the barriers, red oxide of course, was a convenient wet day job with the smaller concrete mixer in action to make the bases.
The first piglets born since we changed the breeding company supplying the semen for AI are weaned today; 28 days later. The jury is still out as some of the smaller ones kept back on a foster sow as they haven't reached weaning weight are notched potential breeding replacements.
Hopefully these will grow fast and evenly from now on with a good feed conversion. We won't really know if there is an improvement till the abbatoir report tells us their fat depth and we know the number of days it takes them to reach finished weight.
The new flock of hens has arrived and these are the first out the hut to experience being free range. Some have yet to agree to being confined by an electric fence. They are 21 weeks old and are dropping eggs all over the place, only one used a nest box. I hope the others follow her example soon.
Our three Suffolk rams have been getting a ground barley supplement over the last month. This allows them to build up a healthy sperm reserve and be in good condition for tupping when they are put with the ewes shortly. The better working rams tend to lose body condition as they persue the ewes.
Having tamed the land we are renting round the reservoir which hadn't been actively farmed for10 years, we are at the stage where the grass seed has been drilled. It then needed rolling to inhibit the progress of the slug family. We borrowed this Cambridge roller but due to the narrowness of this part of the field Phil couldn't turn around with such a wide implement and so drove backwards - weirdly the rolled land is between the tractor and the roller.
Cambridge rolls usually consist of smooth v shaped rings but this has alternate crosskill rings which help break up clods. If it was being used on ploughed land, the tines at the front would be put down to help break the larger clods. The grass is now establishing well, along with a few broadleaved weeds. Hopefully when the fields flood in winter the grass will cope better than the weeds.