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Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat…

December 6, 2010

All four of our geese are getting fat, but the good news for them is that they are being kept to provide a bounty of goose eggs next year. Our Turkeys on the other hand are also getting fat, but the future isn’t so rosy for them. All of our Turkeys that we bought back in the summer as day old chicks have been lovingly reared and are destined for the festive table at various households in the area.

The rate they have grown at is phenomenal, and having run around freely through the summer and autumn in our middle paddock being fed on grass, corn and premium feed, I bet that not only will taste delicious but having come from Wildcroft Rare Breeds at Puttenham they will have only travelled minimal food miles.

As the cold weather sets in, life as a smallholder becomes more challenging, as in addition to twice daily feeding and provision of fresh water, all the ice has to be broken on the water troughs and with frozen outside taps  getting the water to the animals is extremely problematic. At this time of year, with the lack of natural forage, our bees require a weekly supplement of fondant in their hives to ensure they maintain enough energy to survive “over winter” and maintain the queen’s health for the population explosion which will start in the spring.

On the pig front, we have three Berkshires that are going in for pork and sausages to supply the Christmas demand, and we still have some availability (see our ordering page for details).

Our Oxford Sandy and Black will go for ham’s, bacon and cured porky delights in the spring and our middle white gilt Pearl, is growing at a pace and will be ready for the boar in the spring in the hope of our first litter of Heatherhurst Grange bred piglets in early summer 2011. Finally our two Kune-Kune’s, Gloria and Delilah seem to do nothing more than eat, sleep and eat some more, so next year they will need to earn their keep as breeding sows too.


Other high points from the year include; the massive success of our honey which we sold out of within a week of harvest,  we added spiced apple chutney in our porky parcels (recipe courtesy of the WI and apples from our neighbour), and in the summer we ate the first complete meal produced entirely on site, and have delivered multiple orders for logs.

We aren’t quite at “Tom and Barbara” good life status yet, but our efforts have started to yield really rewarding results for us and provided high quality produce with local provenance to some very supportive friend’s, neighbours and locals.

Next year will bring the introduction of our breeding plan with the sows, creation of a fully functional vegetable garden and the modest expansion of our livestock holding to meet steadily growing demand.

Other plans include more  “sizzling sausage Saturday” for those who don’t want to buy a whole quarter of pork where we’ll open to allow locals on our mailing list to pop up and buy some sausages, bacon, the odd joint of pork or any other products that we have produced at Heatherhurst Grange. If you are interested in being added to our mailing list please let me know via the website or by email to pork@heatherhurstgrange.co.uk

Thanks to everyone who has supported us or followed our progress this year, and as we move into what will be a tough 2011 from an economic perspective watch this space for ways to enjoy high quality, cost effective locally produced goods from Heatherhurst Grange.

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4 comments

  1. […] Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat… (via Heatherhurst Grange – Deepcut) Posted on December 6, 2010 by deachy All four of our geese are getting fat, but the good news for them is that they are being kept to provide a bounty of goose eggs next year. Our Turkeys on the other hand are also getting fat, but the future isn’t so rosy for them. All of our Turkeys that we bought back in the summer as day old chicks have been lovingly reared and are destined for the festive table at various households in the area. The rate they have grown at is phenomenal, and ha … Read More […]


  2. […] for Christmas and of course the weather has made this more challenging for them as Martins latest blog post […]


    • I do not understand why you would do that to a ptcrefely good bathtub.But I hope your mulled wine was a success. I am having a giant hangover. But I had fun.


    • 5rplZP dzjncnizauye



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