Welcome to our occasional newsletter

Winter on the farm is busy, spending time looking after the animals, most of which are housed in the sheds, until the weather improves and the grass starts to grow! Recently, lots of time has also been given to defrosting water and hose pipes. This is an important job, as when they freeze no water can get to the animal’s troughs, and as well as the animals being thirsty can cause the cows the fight over desperation to be first! We also have to, of course, keep the cows and their offspring feed, they need feeding twice a day and strawing down a couple of times a week. Our latest addition to the herd, born 1st February, were twin calves! This isn’t a common occurrence, though we have had a set of twins every year for the last three years. Our bull turned 4 years old, so this winter it was time to find a new one. At the beginning of January, we swapped our Longhorn bull with another local farmer. Our new bull is called Orbit, and so far, seems to have been welcomed nicely into the herd and doing what bulls are there to do!

In the shop, our Shop Manager, James, has now settled in and is enjoying working with the staff to continue to promote our organic produce. As well as selling our products through the shop, we have also been updating the website, which offers a shop online service where our fantastic food can be delivered anywhere in the UK! Luke, the baker, is busy as always making sure that fresh bread, savoury and sweet treats are available every day. The shop now has some new additions – we have a hot hold that has everyone’s favourite sausage rolls kept warm, as well as pasties and pastries! There is also a self-service bean-to-cup coffee machine that is able to make a variety of organic coffees at a push of a button and lovely warming hot chocolate.

In preparation for lambing, the Lleyn ewes are in the sheep shed eating through their winter ration of hay and organic ewe feed. On Friday 18th January they were all pregnancy scanned, (with help from Little Farmers After School Club). Scanning the sheep makes management much easier as it enables us to group them and feed them correctly. Of the 215 scanned, 10 are empty, 74 are having a single lamb, 116 are twins and 14 were triplets. One of our sheep was too far gone to be scanned, and gave birth to twin boys on 12th February! We will have 26 others lambing later February/early March, but our main flock should start around 22nd March.

Our Poll Dorset sheep, have already finished lambing, as they are a breed of sheep that are very fertile and have no restrictive breeding season. The majority of the flock lambed in November, although we had one sheep lamb in September, whose lamb, Barbie, will be taking part in shows this year. We hope to lamb more of the flock in September this year.

Our Poll Dorset sheep, have already finished lambing, as they are a breed of sheep that are very fertile and have no restrictive breeding season. The majority of the flock lambed in November, although we had one sheep lamb in September, whose lamb, Barbie, will be taking part in shows this year. We hope to lamb more of the flock in September this year.

Much has been made in the media about the negative impact of eating meat. While it is undoubtedly true that a lot of intensive meat production is damaging both to the environment and is a large contributor to the climate change, extensive grazing animal meat production can be beneficial in many ways through preserving landscapes, encouraging wild flowers and wild life and actually helping sequestrate carbon through increasing the soils organic matter or carbon content. Much of the land we farm, especially that in the Charnwood Forest, is only suitable for growing grass and without grazing animals the landscape and the flora and fauna would change. We are fully aware of our responsibilities to future generations, most of the electricity we use is generated by 50 KW of solar panels on the sheep and cattle shed roofs and all our heating is done by a biomass boiler that burns woodchip from our landlady’s estate woodlands. This encourages active management of the woodlands and is beneficial to plants and animals that live in traditionally managed woodlands.

We are planning to open our farm again this year, for a number of events, including our very popular Lambing Days, Open Farm Sunday, a Bluebell walk and to celebrate Organic September. We enjoy connecting with the public and our customers on these days as it allows us to show you what we do and for people to embrace the countryside, farming and ask questions. This year our Lambing Days will be help on Saturday 30th March and Saturday 7th April. Keep an eye on our Social Media pages to find out more and to keep up to date.