Friday, 17 June 2011

By eck were in Farmers Weekly!

Hello if you've found us from Farmers weekly, your very welcome!!

I was performing my usual scan of FW after work (i do read it cover to cover on my throne) when i came across a list of blogs including little old us!!

What was a real treat was to get a mention for my photography. Now time for a bit of honesty, I do take the odd photo and with the invention of digital cameras (being able to take thousands)the odd one is bound to be good. However there are two members of my family who are SUPER talented with a camera, the first is my little sister Tori who shows her pics on her blog.

The next is Dad. He has spent many hours around the farm and other areas of Norfolk taking pictures of wildlife in its natural environment. He is truely a master and I find nothing more exciting than going trough his pics after he has been out and about.

This is the picture that started it all, after months of trying he got the picture of the barn owl that he was pleased with, it really was months and a lot of nearlys!!

This is dads favourite,  a really tricky shot to get, focusing the camera in with a Shell Duck coming into to land.

And this is my favourite, just the fact that its a Yellow wagtail that i have never seen before but the fact that it is flying over rape in flower, love it!

I think you'll agree that there pretty special and with a bit of luck he will be out with his camera again soon.

Summer apprentice!

Its a bit like living back in my family home at the moment, Norfolk Farmer's new summer apprentice just happens to be my baby brother. He turns up at 8 every morning to a cup of coffee waiting for him (he is a 21 year old student so does often turn up looking a bit blurry eyed and tired) and comes in for lunch and after work, am seeing a lot of him, which is lovely actually!

Anyway Norfolk Farmer has taken him on to help with fencing around the farm and other day to day jobs that need doing. He has only been here for about a week and half and been learning fast, including driving a tractor:

Farmerwill now! This is Josh on Norfolkfarmers Dads tractor, A John Deere 3720 with a 1.2m flail mower on the back. Dad has taken a fair bit of ribbing for his taste in small tractors from the family but it is truely a very useful bit of kit. Its got a hydrostatic gearbox which makes it extreamly easy to drive, basicley a forward pedal and a backwards pedal! Josh got on particulary well with this tractor as, in his own words, "its just like a lawn mower!".

The meat boxes are selling and there are some happy customers already. Get in touch if you want to try some meat from truly happy cows!!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Launching Church Farm Meat Boxes ...

This is the logo for our new venture, we are now selling our own meat, beef boxes are available now and lamb boxes soon!!!

I will let the text from our leaflet do the talking:

Church Farm is a small family run business just outside Kings Lynn, rearing Red Poll cattle and Wiltshire Horn sheep. A large portion of the farm has been reverted to it its natural state of wetlands and wild flower meadows to encourage the flora and fauna of Norfolk.
Both the Red Poll herd and Wiltshire Horn flock are native breeds which makes them perfectly suited to grazing the 600 acres of extensive meadows. The animals enjoy and outdoors, free-range lifestyle, with all lambing and calving taking place outside in the fields come rain or shine.

At Church Farm we rear the animals as naturally as possible, while using modern farming methods to ensure that all our stock are healthy and happy. We allow the cattle to grow at their own pace without using any concentrates or growth hormones. They are free to eat extensively on our meadows which provide the cattle with a number of natural herbs to ensure a distinctive and delicious flavour. In addition to the meats wonderful colour and flavour it is also high in omega 3 and other beneficial fatty acids. The Wiltshire Horns produce a darker fleshed lamb that is lean, tender and beautifully delicious!

Beef Boxes

Taster Box 4-6kg @ £11.00 per kilo

Standard Box 9-12kg @ £10.50 per kilo

Large Box 18 -22kg @ £9.95 per kilo

All boxes will contain a mixture of vacuum packed steaks, quick and slow roasting joints and mince.

Lamb Boxes

Quarter Lamb 4-6kg @ £8.00 per kilo

Half Lamb 9-12kg @ £7.75 per kilo

Whole Lamb 18-23kg @ £7.25 per kilo

All boxes contain a selection of vacuum packed roasting jointing, chops and mince.
Please do not hesitate to contact us regarding any of the above boxes we are happy to cater for any individual needs.

Payment can be taken for most cards, or cold hard cash on collection!

Please call to place an order:
07938 568099

Friday, 3 June 2011

Sheep shearing and catch up!

So all the family has been returned and life has returned to something like normality. We had a cracking bank holiday with Jacobs first birthday party with 50 guests and there kids. The idea was to enjoy the garden, spread out and enjoy the dry weather, if anything was going to make it rain it would have been that! At long last the heavens opened and we had approximately 15ml of rain, the first measurable fall since February and has reduced my panic over winter feed just ever so slightly.

So work wise I have been off on a course to learn how to shear sheep. We met at a farm out in the fens, easy to find as it was the only one with sheep! With a group of 12 of us milling around we all signed our health and safety forms and awaited our instructions. Our teachers for the day were Ed and Andy both very experienced shearers (but typically understated) and they split us into groups of 2 by skill level. I was horrified that only myself and a very small lady indentified ourselves as beginners and all the others got out there own kit!! bloody hell this was going to be a long day! We all lined up against Ed's shearing kit and Andy pulled out a shearling Lleyn and performed what can only be described as a choreographed dance with a sheep and clippers as the wool seemed to fall of in a graceful arc. He then did a second shearling showing us each seperate stage of the process and I thought to my self that i could do that. It soon became very clear that i couldn't. It was so difficult, it turns out that sheep are very attached to there wool and not over keen to have a rank amature nicking there skin while trying to hack the wool of there back. 20 minutes later and utterly drenched with sweat a shabby looking sheep limped off back to the field and the farmer turned to me saying "don't worry there's only 2 weeks difference between a bad haircut and a good one!" well at least he had a sense of humour and he needed it looking at the sheep leaving his shed! If i was having troubles it was nothing compared to my shearing partner, when we moved on to the mule ewes they were about the same size as her and God love her she got them sheared but they took a bloody long time!!

The course lasted two days and by the end of it I pretty much knew what i was doing and felt ready to shear my own sheep.

Fortunately most of my flock are Wiltshire Horns and shed there wool

but i have 10 suffolks crosses and 2 jacobs that need shearing, i got the shears, no excuse!

So heres one of my suffolks all done

Its got to be said that i now have so much respect for professional shearers who make a living out of shearing doing 35 - 40 sheep an hour. I did eleven in one afternoon and I was f*%ked!!