How to become a pig farmer?

…. have a friend who needs to re-home some pigs!

2017 has seen us take on a new venture as pig farmers. Just 2 sows, which I think will be plenty on top of all the other animals. We are delighted to have re-homed Blossom and Bramley from New McDonalds Farm in Wiltshire. They were looking for a different breed but couldn’t bear the thought of these lovely, and still young, sows going for the chop.

They are both Gloucester Old Spots and have a lovely docile temperament, although don’t get in the way of Bramley and her food! We are borrowing a boar to do the business and then hopefully have our first piglets in summer 2017.  

Meanwhile as we have pretty much run out of pork and sausages, we have done our usual thing of buying a couple of weaners to fatten up for meat. 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Experience 2016

Following on from last year’s hugely successful Christmas Experience, its back! Come and join us on Tuesday 20th December at 4pm on a journey to Bethlehem, to a stable with a very special baby. And a few goats too! And hopefuly Mr Pickles if he’s behaving.

   

Followed by some warming mulled cider and mince pies – undercover this year so no one need get wet.

 

Building a house

Have realised I haven’t updated the earlier post of “hoping to build a house”…. all good news –  We were given our full outline planning permission this summer. We’ve recently appointed an architect and are working with him on the design. This will then get submitted to the council for approval and then we can start building! 

New packaging

We have new packaging – look out for it in all the farm shops and delis across Somerset. Big thank you to our wonderful graphic designer Catherine Hornsby-Smith. We’ve named our cheeses after various local places such as Burcott, Ebbor Gorge and Yarley.

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Hoping to build a house…

We have been at Wookey Farm now for five and a half years and are fast out growing the mobile home. Ali and Edward are growing and so is their stuff!

We feel the time has come to apply for a house, as the process from applying to having a roof over our heads could easily take another couple of years.

Our application was registered into Mendip’s system on Wed 16th March and should be decided within 8 weeks (This is just for outline planning permission to see if we can have a house. No drawings/plans submitted at this stage) Planning Reference – 2016/0459/OTS

If you would like to write a letter of support, that would be fantastic and much appreciated. Deadline – 28th April 2016. Please send direct to:
Miss Lynsey Bradshaw, Planning Department, Mendip District Council, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT

You can see the full application on the Mendip Planning Portal but here’s a summary:
– We’ve been here for 5 ½ years, building up our dairy goat farm
– We process all milk on site, making a range of cheese, bottled milk, cream, yoghurt
– Have made a successful, profitable business from the dairy goats which is supplemented by income from campsite and meat
– Currently employ 6 locals who work part time helping with goats, processing, markets and general building and maintenance
– Benefit the local economy through campers going to local pubs and café and through providing jobs for local people
– Benefit the village by getting more people into the countryside, finding out about farming and cuddling baby goats!
– Open the farm for ‘Open Farm Sunday’ and to school visits, including very successful Christmas Experience
Thanks,
Ian and Sarah

2016 kids…

We’ve had a busy February with the first batch of goats kidding. An attentive mum licking her new born kid. A heap of kids keeping warm under a heat lamp on that hideously wild and windy day last Monday. And 3 kids feeding from our multi-feeder. It can take a couple of goes to get the hang of it, but these 3 have sussed it out.

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The Christmas Experience – 22nd December

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This year we are hosting a truly memorable crib service at Wookey Farm on Tuesday 22nd December at 4pm (please arrive by 3.45). The journey begins as the sun is setting. A story-teller will set the scene for your journey to Bethlehem and will guide you along the winding road. You’ll meet various characters along the way and sing some well known carols, finishing in the stable with some goats, sheep, a donkey and some other important members of the Christmas story. The crib service will be followed by some mulled cider and mince pies around a cosy fire.                                                                 Everyone is welcome -welly boots, a torch and warm clothes essential!

 

Countryfile Fame

Fame at last……! Wookey Farm is part of the Frome Food Assembly which has just been featured on BBC1’s Countryfile, 15th November 2015. Ellie came to the assembly a couple of weeks ago filming and my (sarah) little interview was there right at the end of the programme. Look out for food assemblies near you – they’re like an online farmers market.

Open Farm Sunday 2015

Open Farm Sunday

We’re gearing up for this year’s Open Farm Sunday. Lots of fun things to see and do – meet the animals, pet the animals and even take some for a walk…

Open Farm Sunday 2015
Open Farm Sunday 2015

7th June 2015

Also the usual adventure on the tractor trailer rides, milking demonstration, sheep shearing (tbc), BBQ, lots of our cheese to sample and local stalls.

The perfect way to relax.

Find us on the Open Farm Sunday website

Spring is here!

20150228_092615We’ve been busy in the last few weeks with lambing and the first batch of kidding. Lots of twins and triplets so the ‘nursery’ is full of life. Here’s a picture of Ali holding Tiny Timmy. Plenty more due so if you’re coming camping at Easter you might get to see some live births, or at least help with some bottle-feeding.