Archive for the ‘Heatherhurst Grange’ Category

h1

Sausage Saturday 19th October 2013 – Pre-Order Now

October 2, 2013

Sausage Saturday - Oct 13In the next few days some of our pure bred Middle White gilts will be ready to go off to the Butchers, and as a result we are holding our much awaited Autumn Sausage Saturday Event on Saturday 19th October, here at Heatherhurst Grange.

We will be open between 11am and 3pm, with some sample sausages to try on the BBQ, as well as selling some of these amazing sausages, which are being professionally prepared by our butcher “Mark Turner & Daughters”, from Aldershot.

As always, our sausages will be prepared and vacuum packed in 6’s, and can be eaten fresh or frozen for use later on. Prices on the day will be £5 per pack, or 5 packs for £20. Due to demand we will accept reservations and pre-orders, and as a special promotion for pre-orders you get 6 packs for £20.

In addition to our Sausages, we will be launching our locally produced Lamb. In order to broaden the range of produce that we can supply locally, and to the highest standards we have recently bought a flock of top quality sheep which we are rearing in conjunction with Wildcroft Rare Breeds. Due to the requirement for large areas of grazing, our flock are situated on the Hogs Back, just 7 miles from Heatherhurst Grange, on the other side of Pirbright. Our Lambs will be produced and butchered to the same standards as our Pork and will be available to try on the day, with some available for sale also, in the following quantities. Leg of Lamb, Shoulder of Lamb, Lamb chops. We can also accommodate larger quantities by request. Price will be approximately £8.50 per kg.

If you can pop in on the day, please let me know by return so I can gauge numbers, and if you would like to pre-order please confirm your name, telephone number and quantity you would like to reserve. Email me at martin@heatherhurstgrange.co.uk

As ever, please remember that Heatherhurst Grange is our home so in attending you do so as an invited guest at your own risk. Also, Children must be accompanied at all times, as we have 3 deep ponds and lots of machinery on site.

We look forward to hearing from you, and hopefully seeing you on the day.

Advertisements
h1

New Arrivals

October 30, 2011

It’s been a week since sausage saturday and we are still overwhelmed with the response from residents and the feedback we have had about the quality of our produce. However much we think our pork is great, the fact that really discerning local customers agree is heart-warming to say the least.

The cycle of farming even on a small scale is incredible. Back in July Basil the pure bred middle white boar came to stay with our 1 year old gilt, Pearl. Three months, three weeks and three days later just like clockwork Pearl started farrowing on Friday night at 6pm and by 3.30am she had 7 lovely little middle white piglets. Although we were on hand to assist if required, Pearl was remarkable in delivering, cleaning and feeding her offspring, without any assistance and by pure instinct alone.

We had a sleepless night running back and forth to check all was ok, but the birth was text book perfect. Pearl cleaned up the Ark, made a nest from straw and then settled down to feed her litter. As first timers, we had moments of concern which were addressed via a hotline and many calls to our friend Graham at Wildcroft Rare Breeds, plus one or two calls to our original Mentor Tony York at Pig Paradise and our friendly vet at Hunters Lodge with calls of “should this be happening.. or what do we do if…” we got through the panic while Pearl did all the hard work, taking the whole thing in her stride.

Thanks to Pearl (and Basil of course), the Heatherhurst Grange story evolves further with the creation of our own stock born right here in Deepcut. Our registration with the Pig Breeders Association is complete and our venture to develop our sustainable local smallholding goes on….

h1

Six Days to Sausage Saturday…

October 16, 2011

It’s now only six days to go until our Sausage Saturday open day next week on 22nd October.  Between 1pm and 4pm we will be opening the doors to our smallholding for local residents to come and meet our small menagerie of animals and taste some of our superb sausages.

Preparations are well underway, and our three Berkshire pigs went off on Wednesday to the great big pig pen in the sky, and are now being hung in our butchers cold room developing the most amazing flavour and texture. Although as always we were sad to see them go, the excitement of stocking our freezer for thewinter months and tasting our home reared pork and crackling is now starting to build up.

Next Wednesday our butcher will be professionally cutting and individually vacuum packing all the joints and making sausages to our chosen recipes, ready for sale on Saturday.

Last week we undertook the task of extracting some honey from our Bees and  pouring it into jars. We were sure to leave enough behind for the Bees to use over Winter, and we still got 50 jars of what can only be described as liquid gold. One neighbour who bought two last week has finished them both already !

As planned we will have sausages, pork joints and our very own honey for sale on Saturday, all produced here at Heatherhurst Grange. Spaces are limited but we do have some left, so please register your attendance via email to;

pork@ heatherhurstgrange.co.uk, or visit our website www.heatherhurstgrange.co.uk for more information.

Our address and directions will be emailed to all of those who’ve registered during next week.

If you can’t make it on the day, but still want to place a sausage order I will be delivering to some people  locally in Surrey Heath on Sunday morning so please let me know.

h1

Heatherhurst Grange Blog is re-born….

October 7, 2011

To celebrate, it’s Sausage Saturday on 22nd October 2011 between 1pm and 4pm

Sausage Saturday is an informal open day and an opportunity to come and try our sausages made from our very own home produced pork, and meet some of our pigs.

It’s been nearly 12 months since our last blog, not due to lack of interest nor activity, simply lack of time due to pressure of work in tough economic times. Running our small holding whilst holding down a full time job has proved challenging but rewarding in equal measure, but has left no time to publicise our exploits to the local community.

During the last year we have continued to rear our herd of rare breed pigs, our geese and chicken flocks, as well as our turkeys and bees. Our passion for producing high quality, good value and locally reared produce right here in Surrey Heath has never faltered and during the last year our friends and neighbours have supported our endeavours throughout, enjoying our produce with us.

Due to increasing demand, we feel it is now time to re-launch our project to the local community and hence our blog will be re-invigorated and published every month, along with regular tweets, and more frequent open days to keep the people of Surrey Heath in touch with what local and sustainable food production really means.

On Sausage Saturday we will have our sausages, pork joints and our very own honey for sale all sourced here in Deepcut. Whether you want to buy some of our produce or just pop in to meet the animals, as Surrey Heath Residents you are welcome either way.

Spaces are limited so please register your attendance via email to pork@heatherhurstgrange.co.uk, or visit our website

http://www.heatherhurst grange.co.uk/events for more information.

h1

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 !!!

h1

More New Arrivals

June 28, 2010

Since our last blog nearly a month ago, we have had some more new arrivals. In addition to our Oxford Sandy & Black piglets who arrived at the end of May, our menagerie has been grown by the arrival of three French white geese, who have taken up residence in the bottom paddock, and both our Light Sussex hens have successfully hatched eggs, so there are four very cute chicks to add to our flock.

Egg production is now at its highest level of the year so far, and after this weeks hive inspections, our bee colonies are bursting with honey due to be extracted in the next few weeks.

We’ve also just pulled our first potato crop and for the first time since we started out we have home produced supplies in abundance. I’m starting to realise what all of the hard work through the winter is all about and with a large bucket full of elderflower sparkling wine fermenting in the utility room, waiting to be bottled we should soon be able to sit down and enjoy our first complete meal produced entirely on site; honey roast ham, egg, potatoes and salad washed down with our home made sparkling wine… Not the most elaborate of culinary delights you might think, but every ingredient produced and supplied by the amazing creatures we look after here, or grown in our own soil, it will taste magical.

Next week heralds the departure of our Middle White pigs, and as ever whilst we’ll be sad to see them go, as they are renowned for being the supreme porker I can’t wait to taste the pork they produce.

We still have a couple of quarters left due to regular customers being on holiday, and the good news is, due to our expanding herd and the reduction in feed by buying in bulk we have reduced the cost of a quarter box of pork to just £85. That works out to around £3.40 per lb, which is comparable to most supermarket prices, but for a product that is entirely superior, not to mention the minimal food miles and happy and healthy lives these animals have led.  If you interested let us know, as delivery will be week commencing the 5th July. You can find details of the contents of a quarter box on our ordering page.

Next week we’ll start planning honey extraction and offering jars for sale locally, so if you like honey, or are a hay fever sufferer living in the area watch this space as eating honey from bees foraging pollen collected locally is reputed to increase immunity.

May the sun continue to shine for the coming few weeks and the pollen continue to flow…

h1

Two Swarms in one week

May 2, 2010

As old folklore says, “A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay, a swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon”. I’m not sure what a swarm of bees in April is worth, other than we now need to go and buy another hive….

This week started with great excitement, as on Monday we were called out to help a friend gather a swarm of bee’s that had taken up residence on a rose bush in the garden of an elderly couple in Tongham. It was a first opportunity to put my swarm gathering training to the test, and the swarm were collected up without a hitch and transported away in our “nuc” box to be re-hived. It was fascinating to see a bee colony living wild and they had already started to build natural comb for the queen to lay eggs in. In addition to the obvious concern of the house owners, they couldn’t have survived there so re-hiving is the only option.

Bees tend to swarm if they run out of hive space for the queen to lay her eggs in or if the colony produce queen cells in an attempt to overthrow an ageing queen with a new one. At this point the existing queen and some of the colony will leave to find a new home.

I’m so glad we did our hive inspection the week before as in our own hive at Heatherhurst Grange, space was becoming limited.

The second swarm of the week were swarms of people. Thanks to the Surrey Heath Residents Web Blog we realised that this weekend was the Surrey Heath Show at Frimley Lodge Park. We decided to take a last minute stand to promote our pork sales and although we weren’t fully prepared, we managed to pull together a respectable stall to inform the community of our smallholding. We were amazed at the size, scale and professional organisation of the show that was well attended by thousands of local people. The show is in its third year, but felt like something that had been running for decades, and I didn’t even know it took place within walking distance of Heatherhurst Grange!

Interest in our stand was pretty steady even though we weren’t actively selling anything and the amount of interest in our rare breed pork was very encouraging. Lots of people wanted to talk and look at our pictures and reminisce about how pork used to taste, some had already experienced rare breed, slow grown or free to roam pork but didn’t realise they could get it locally, and others were interested in piglets to rear themselves. We will be breeding piglets for sale later this year to accommodate and interest in our May and June pork tasting events has gone through the roof.

This coming week will see the arrival of a new hive to house our captured bees, and the tagging of our Oxford Sandy & Black’s ears, in readiness for their departure in three weeks time.

We also need to cut the lawns and do a few chores outside so let’s hope the swarm weather returns tomorrow…