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Our Garden overfloweth…

September 5, 2010

August has seen our pig herd and poultry flock grow to near capacity, and it is satisfying to see a wider variety of creatures enjoying life at Heatherhurst Grange. Mid August saw the arrival of four beautiful Berkshire piglets, closely followed the next day by two registered pure bred Middle Whites gilts, Snowdrop and Pearl.

After experiencing the sublime    quality of Middle White Pork we  have decided to breed and Snowdrop will be our first breeding sow, who will be old enough in the spring to start producing her own litters. Pearl has been sold on to Graham and Tracey at Wildcroft Rare Breeds, but we can’t move her for 21 days due to DEFRA guidelines, so she’s lodging with us for now and keeping Snowdrop company.

In order to create more space and give them a fresh green patch we’ve moved our chicken flock to join the Geese in the bottom paddock and they are relishing fresh green grass and a much larger enclosure. Egg production remains high, and although we aren’t licensed to sell eggs we have been giving them to neighbours who in return have provided lots of fresh veg and apples to feed us and our pigs.

At the start of the month our Turkeys arrived and having had their wings clipped have settled in nicely in a large new enclosure in our middle paddock away from our chickens as they cannot be mixed. They eat a huge amount of feed, and are doubling in size almost every week, which is most probably why they are more popular than chicken for the festive season. As with all our livestock, we’ll ensure they have a happy life between now and then.

August has provided the most exciting day of the year for us so far, with the extraction of our first ever Honey crop. It appears to be quite a complex and messy process but in reality it was straightforward and very satisfying. The Honey is absolutely delicious and all 30 or so jars sold like hot cakes in a matter of days! Now that we’ve harvested this year’s crop and our colonies are a full population, we’ve treated all our hives for Varroa, so fingers crossed they’ll survive until the spring.

Our twice daily feeding routine is getting longer and longer as we now have a total of 11 pigs, 8 turkeys, 4 Geese, 17 Chickens, Dog, 2 Cats, and a pond full of fish. Soon we’ll have to add the bees to the list for a weekly supplement of feed to help them over the winter.

September will see our Oxford Sandy and Blacks go off to Laverstoke at the end of the month, to stock our freezer for autumn along with those of our local customers. We still have a couple of quarters left, so get in touch if you are interested in trying some locally produced, high quality rare breed pork. Once you’ve tried it you’ll never buy supermarket pork again !!!

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4 comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michelle Flick, Surrey Heath. Surrey Heath said: Check out all the latest goings on @HeatherhurstGra nge – http://bit.ly/a476xi […]


  2. Hi Sean,We are Carl’s mother and fahter. First may I say thank you so much for staying longer than anticipated at the reception we really did enjoy you and your colleagues company. We felt as if you were friends rather than the photographer booked for the day!!!! WOW! Fantastic photo’s, on your website, we just can’t wait to see the rest of Carl and Debbie’s Special Day. Thanks to Julie and Glyn for having such a beautiful daughter, she is truly a daughter to us not a daughter in law, and a wonderful wife for our son Carl.Thank you once again for unbelieveable photos.Pauline and Alan Bailey


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