Welcome to our February newsletter. We aim to produce one during the first week of every month with occasional reminders of events in between.
Just before Christmas the Dorset Ewes over at Home Farm lambed. They are the only native breed capable of breeding out of the normal season without the need for messing around with their hormones. The lambs are nearly ready to be weaned and we have just let them out of the shed with their mothers onto some grass with lots of shelter. As there is not much grass this time of year the lambs are fed some extra feed to keep them doing well.
All the other ewes are also now in with the scanner lady booked for the beginning of the month. They are happily munching through hay and silage, the first 35 will lamb the end of this month, with the bulk of them lambing towards the end of March and into April. Our first lambing day is on the 28th March with another on 7th April which is also Easter Saturday. We do already have 3 surprise ones!
Cattle are all in and consuming vast amounts of forage, the first calves will be at Home Farm but there is not much sign of anything happening soon. There should be some here by the first lambing day. We could do with some frosty weather to give me a chance to empty our muck store without making a mess or worse getting stuck in the field.
On the crop growing side the oats is looking good the barley and wheat a bit sparse. Ben Jackson is following the progress of our arable fields on his Radio Leicester programme during weekday afternoons. If you miss this great bit of radio we will post the link on our website and facebook page!
The tea room is currently closed while we redo the stairs and find someone who wants to take it on. We are trying to simplify our lives a bit and do a bit more farming so would really like to find an enterprising person to take it on as their own. We are hopeful that it will be back in action during March.
The shop is still open from Wednesday to Sunday, and Sally who was up in the tea room has moved downstairs to help us in the shop.. The pheasant and partridge season is now over but venison continues until the end of March. Our new website is up and running and you can order on line either to pick up from the shop or for it to be delivered to your home. We have a very efficient courier and your order will be packed in an insulated box with ice packs and you will receive it within 24 hours of it leaving here. It worked very well over Christmas so do give it a try.
Karl is running another of his very successful pizza making courses on the 18th feb. You need to book for this one so do send me a email and I will send you details.
Over at Home Farm in Nanpantan, the sheep dog has had puppies, 9 of them to be exact. One of them may be joining the two dogs over here. The idea being we can start training it to take over form the current sheep dog, Pip as she gets older. So shop customers may have another dog watching them through the gate soon.
Roll on the lighter days and the spring sunshine.
Stop Press: Autumn Farm Walk this Saturday the 13th at 11.
Our new website is now live, with a fully functioning farm shop so you can now enjoy our lovely organic food wherever you are. All orders received by the 21st September will get a free bottle of organic wine!
Harvest 2014 is now over, got off to a good start and then disrupted by a cold August and finished in the first week in September. Yields and quality are generally good and we will try milling some of the wheat to discover if Karl can make bread with it in the bakery. If he can then we will be able to make a very low carbon footprint loaf for you, the bulk will be sold as milling wheat to a merchant. The oats will go as animal feed with a few tonnes kept back to feed the sheep prior to lambing.
The Dorset ewes over at Home Farm are due to start lambing at the beginning of November. They look well and are enjoying the late summer sun. The sheep enterprise over at Home Farm has been very challenging this year with two attacks by dogs leading to some nasty stress induced diseases. Farming is a long term undertaking so we are hoping for better luck this time.
It is turkey time again, they are all in the sheep shed about to take to the outside world. We have to take great precautions to fox proof everything as we seem to have a lot of very wily foxes who are adept at squeezing through very small spaces and getting through electric fencing. It takes a lot of hard work and care to get them from the day old chicks that arrive in July to the finished product at Christmas.
The shop and tea room are now both open on Sunday from 10 until 4. Sunday lunches featuring a roast of the day will be available from the 21st September. Booking will be required and we let you know details soon.
The pop up bistro evening was a great success and further ones are planned along with some cookery demonstration evenings. All this is possible because of a few staff changes that have happened recently. Having had a very stable team for years we have suddenly had a few people leave. James in the tea room has left to do what he really wants to do and we wish him luck. Sally and Aaron the new chef will be the new team with a few familiar helpers. Aaron, is a very experienced chef and will be able to do some fantastic things, including some very exciting demonstrations.
Martin our butcher of 8 years has also left, Frank along with Peter have stepped in and ensured a smooth change over. Team changes are always difficult for everyone so do bear with us as everyone gets into their new roles.
We are very confident we have a great team in place and can’t wait for all their great new ideas to help us make the most of what we produce on the farm.
I hope to see you soon,
Welcome to the new Manor Organic Farm Website! Visit us regularly to see details of our upcoming events and courses.
You can now shop online! All of the amazing produce that you have previously bought from our shop is now available to order online to be delivered to your door!
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Our farm shop opening times are:
- Wednesday / 9.00 am – 5.30 pm
- Thursday / 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
- Friday / 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
- Saturday / 9.00 am – 4.30 pm
- Sunday / Closed
- Mon & Tues / Closed
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