"OK, is this any better ...... ironed out a few things." — Kate Gladwin
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WTM Newsletter Issue 49 ........ January 2014
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January deal for regular customers ........... introduce a friend / family member who is not already a WTM customer by bringing them along to the shop and both parties receive 25% off their purchases.

Stock included in the offer is all frozen beef, pork, lamb, bacon, ham, gammon and sausages but excluding anything in the B.O.G.O.F basket.


Shop opening times;

Thursdays from 11am when we are labelling up and processing orders for FREE local delivery.
Fridays and Saturdays
10 am - 5pm

All other times when the sign says 'OPEN' and by appointment. Please ring if you are making a special trip.
07790 095 052


New season Apple Juice is now available.
£4 / bottle.
The harvest was down on the previous year so all apples were juiced together. Most were bramleys so it is called 'Bramley Blend' but is less sharp than a pure Bramley as some varieties of dessert apple are included.
A few bottles of the 2013 Bramley Blend are available at £3 / bottle.
It is pure apple juice; nothing added. Delicious when served hot or with lemonade as a longer drink.

Local set  honey £4 / jar.

Instructions provided on request on how to turn it into runny honey.


Rare breed - £47
White and white with one spot - £37
Jacobs - £57 (currently out of stock but can be ordered).
The skins are large size and machine washable on a wool cycle, dried naturally they can then be brought back to condition with a pet brush.
Ideal for new born babies, in a pushchair, by the bed or for added comfort on a chair.
£5 off when you purchase a half lamb.

Hay - £5 per bale or £2 per bag.
For larger quantities and potential delivery contact Phil on 07790 095 052
Barley Straw - £2 per bale or £1 per sack.
Contact Phil for larger quantities and possible delivery. 07790 095 052

Well Rotted FYM

Available by the sack; load your own £1each. Fork, bucket and sacks provided.
Sacks can be ordered ready filled at £2 each.
We can fill small trailers at £10 per muck bucket load.

Flock clearance hens for sale.

Currently living indoors as barn hens, they are Gold Line hybrids who will have been laying for two years in April. They average 5 eggs a day from the remaining 12 hens. Sold as seen . £1 each.

Happy New Year! Hopefully it will be a healthy and prosperous one for us all.                                            

A cute photo to start with - this day old piglet is using his Mum's ears as an under and over blanket rather than go under the heat lamp with its siblings.

Since the last newsletter in October there have been three major investments on the farm. In order of appearance they are the dirty water disposal system, bale spreader and a 60ft building.

Contained in the metal box are the brains controlling the new dirty water irrigator and the pump. The dirty water in question is run off from the muck  produced all year round by the pigs and by the cattle and sheep when housed in winter. The lead going into the grill on top of the tank has a float on the end which senses how full the tank is. It is programmed to operate at night with sensors to cut out if the pressure is too high ( a blockage ) or too low ( a burst pipe ) and its own heater to kick in should the temperature drop too low and ice damage the pump.

This is the self propelled irrigator itself. Once set up there is a wire at the front which reels in and thereby pulls the irrigator in a straight line at a pace governed by gears ( cogs based round the metal wheel in the centre ) so the dirty water is dispersed evenly over the field.Trailing behind is the black hose which the dirty water is pumped into from the storage tank. There is enough hose that we can irrigate the three field on the south side of the farm - remembering to only have sheep in there at the time not cattle who would investigate with unnecessary force. So far the red error light visible from the comfort of the landing window has declared the pressure too low on several occasions necessitating closer investigation. Apparently a modification advised after calling the installation team rather than opening the handbook has rectified this.

The arrival of the bale spreader on demonstration caused much excitement and even generated an audience. It fits onto a telecsopic loader with a quick hitch fitting. The jaw at the front opens so you can drive up to a quadrant (technical term) sized rectangular bale and scoop it up.
Having driven carefully round the yard (Phil only) to the chosen pen, blades on the two spreaders at the front are rotated at speed to scatter straw in an even coating for bedding down. It doesn't chop so isn't dusty and is not too noisy so doesn't frighten the animals. In fact some of the cattle now choose to stand underneath for a straw shower. Visibility is limited so only with experience can you judge how much straw has been showered. Some of the pig pens only need  4 seconds - not a good moment to receive a phone call. Not only does this reduce the time taken to straw up, it makes the task a one man job and crucially with the cattle means nobody has to enter the pen. Avid listeners to The Archers will know Tony's fate ....... it is also no coincidence that a red oxide covered human escape ladder is included in the corner of the new cattle shed. For those of you new to the newsletter; all Phil's metal constructions get a lick of red oxide paint. My interest in Radio 4's 'every day tales of country folk' has declined since the death of Nigel Pargeter after falling from a roof whilst putting up Christmas lights. However, Phil thinks it isn't a soap and 7:05 pm every night is 'do not disturb time'.

The third investment was a 60ft extension to the straw shed. A new departure was buying the frame and having it erected for us. Time pressure meant doing it ourselves we wouldn't have achieved this before winter when there is peak demand for shed space to house cattle and sheep.

These are the footings before being 'planted' and concreted in then left to set for a month. The RSJ stantions are then bolted onto these.
Three men are busy for four days and the job is complete. Impressive.

That shed is now full of straw enabling last season's lambs to move where the straw was after completion of the last concrete pad. Murphy dog being the only one on site wearing a high vis' jacket.
Regular followers of Garr House Farm activities may recall that a shed conversion for use by some of the suckler beef herd on the North side of the road was taking some time. It is now completed and the bull is in residence.

The second pen will shortly be occupied by the calves born last March when they are weaned just before the cows calve again this March.   
       The 2015 calving season started unexpectedly early with some heifer replacements who weren't meant to be put to the bull till the following Spring receiving the attentions of a rig - a bull we had put the castration rings on when he was a calf, but not sufficiently well to do a complete job. The heifers had not reached an ideal size for calving and we needed the vet out to perform a caesarian on one where the calf was too large for a natural birth. Unfortunatley though the vet was extremely efficient, the calf died during the procedure. It was the first time I had observed a caesarian and there seemed a lot of rummaging around to extract the hind legs. This has to happen without damaging the umbilical cord so the calf still has an oxygen supply until born and able to breath air. Some speedy needlework has left the heifer recovering well and hopefully she will have a calf successfully next year. Meanwhile she is sporting an impressive scar.
  A 10 pence per kg drop in the pig price last Friday puts a stop on any further investment for a while. It is the largest single drop in our pig keeping career - still as a result of the Russian embargo on imports from Europe which means there is surplus pig meat in Europe being imported into britain at low prices just to clear it.
If you want to help........ buy British, buy local and for your meat buy WTM. As an encouragement there is

OFF selected meats in

See top left for details. We look forward to seeing you in the shop very soon !
 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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