New Year

NEWS FROM WARREN FARM

Sometimes it’s worth paying for skills.  Before Christmas we decided to kill the fatted calf (or at least send a beast off to the abattoir.)  Somewhere along the line there was a communication breakdown so that when me and another farming friend got to the slaughter house to collect my beautifully vacuum packed beef and his pork, I wasn’t expecting what we actually got.  I drove the golf estate to pick the meat up as Victoria said the pickup truck was too dirty.  The men working at the abattoir watched me and my mate climb out of the car, open up the back and wait for them to load up the boxes of beef.   Instead they put eight parts which made up one animal, four parts from another beast and two whole pigs.  The suspension has been tested on the VW.  This was at 4 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon and not the best time of the week to get hold of a qualified butcher!  Once home I put the Hereford beef in the chiller and spent Saturday night looking on the internet as to how to chop up a cow.  Amazingly it’s all there on a useful EBLEX (English Beef and Lamb) site.  So on Sunday, whatever we may have had planned, instead we were chopping and bagging up meat.  As a task it was actually very interesting how important it is not to have a beef animal too fat, too thin or too old.  How the muscles are connected was fascinating.  Maybe this is how Damien Hurst got started!   If anyone wonders why fillet steak is so expensive you should understand how little of the animal is that tiny band of muscle.  It was a long day and we hadn’t stopped for lunch, Fergus our only boy at home then, offered to cook tea.  Victoria looked delighted and I’ll eat anything; “I’ll only cook”, says Ferg, “if we can have steak for tea!” 

Going back to my opening sentence, butchers definitely have skills worth paying for. What lesson have I learnt from this; well perhaps I should consider becoming an artist, but overall it has to be that VW estates have many uses! 

News from Warren Farm

When you work on a farm, especially with livestock, there is always a certain aroma that surrounds the farmyard, the house boot-room and sometimes even me!  I try very hard not to smell of cows all the time but it can be hard.   

For Christmas I got quite an abundance of ‘smellies’ which made me wonder if I wasn’t always successful in masking the smell of cow muck.    Indeed the one box claimed to be just as useful as socks but more interesting.  Perhaps in my case it meant, to my friends and family, not to me.

This reminded me of last summer when I had been resisting the need to wear reading glasses all the time and Victoria had sent me shopping for some bits.  I saw some deodorant, the roll stick type, and thought about the need to smell sweet.  I used it for probably for ten days or so and found the smell to be quite good, but one evening whilst having a bath I found my armpits to be frothing before I’d even applied the soap.  This was obviously quite alarming and when I shouted to Victoria she suggested I had a look at the deodorant bottle.  With my reading glasses on I found that it was shower gel that I had been applying each morning for the last ten day.   I now take my reading glasses with me when I go shopping.

On Christmas Day our entire meal was home grown.  It was a good moment for all of us here at Warren Farm.  The hours and months of work that have gone into producing the meat, the vegetables and condiments to go with dinner.  A year on from starting Warren Farm Veg and the field has been very productive during the time, despite the slow start to the season.  Maybe the 21 century man isn’t quite the hunter gatherer of old but on Christmas Day I came close

WARREN  FARM DATES FOR DIARY 2014

HEDGE LAYING COURSE – ONE FULL DAY

Saturday 15 February 

Learn the skills of hedge laying and be part of the regeneration of ancient hedgerows on this estate.

Price: £90 per person which includes tuition, morning coffee,  cake and lunch

Not suitable for infirm or children

Hedge laying equipment provided

Sturdy footwear and warm wet weather gear needed.

Start  9.00 am  Meet at Warren Farm     

Lunch 1.00 pm

Finish 5.00 pm

LAMBING WEEKEND  – ONE OR TWO FULL DAYS

12th and 13th April

Sheep husbandry for any newcomer to keeping sheep.  Covering lambing techniques, and general welfare of ewes and lambs.

Price:  £90 per person per day which includes tuition, coffee, cake and lunch

Not suitable for infirm and dangerous for your health if pregnant.

Lambing equipment provided.

Sturdy footwear and warm clothing needed.  Overalls are useful but not essential.

Start 9.00 am  Meet at Warren Farm

Lunch 1.00 pam

Finish 5.00 pm

CHICKEN LOVE – HALF DAY

Monday 26th May

All you need to know about keeping chickens in your back garden.

Price:  £40 which includes tuition, morning coffee, cake and lunch.

Wheel chair access into yard

Chicken equipment provided

Sturdy footwear and warm clothing needed (depending on weather)

Meet 9.00 am  Meet at Warren Farm

Coffee 11.00 am

Lunch 1.00 pm

Finish after lunch

OPEN FARM SUNDAY

Sunday 8th June

Find out what goes on at Warren Farm.  Learn about the farm calendar and how the seasons blend together.  Test your knowledge with quizzes and competitions.  There are also trailer rides to explore further from the farm and meet some of the animals that live here.  Refreshments and light lunches are available during the day.

Wheelchair access around farmyard and tea room

Sensible footwear to explore the farm.

Start 10.00 am Meet at Warren Farm

Finish 4.00 pm

Price:  Free for all ages.  This is a national event that Warren Farm takes part in.  

WILD FLOWER MEADOW WEEKEND – HALF DAYS FOR ONE OR TWO DAYS

31st May and 1st June

Discover the great variety of wild flowers and grasses that grow on our ancient pastures. 

Price:  £50 per person for each morning which includes, identification  techniques, coffee, cake and lunch.

No wheelchair access

Binoculars, camera and or magnifying glass (all three are not essential)

Walking boots/walking trainers advisable

Start 9.00 pm  Meet at Warren Farm

Coffee 11.00 am

Lunch 1.00 pm

Finish after lunch

DIG UP DINNER

Saturday 6th September

Discover the amazing vegetable patch on our farm and learn about our veg box scheme; then pick and dig for your lunch.

Price:   £40 per person which includes guidance and tuition in growing and cooking your lunch plus morning coffee and cake.

Some wheelchair access

Digging and cooking equipment provided

Sturdy footwear  and  coat (depending on weather)

Start 9.00 am Meet at Warren Farm

Coffee 11.00 am

Lunch 1.00 pm

Finish after lunch

 

MILLING AND BREAD MAKING – ONE FULL DAY

27th and 28th September

Milling wheat from our farm in our mobile mill followed by bread making in the farm kitchen.  Understand the farming process to produce good milling wheat and how it can make the perfect loaf.

Price:  £90 per person which includes tuition, coffee, cake and lunch.

Wheelchair access

All equipment provided

Sensible footwear is advisable

Start 9.00 am  Meet at Warren Farm

Lunch 1.00 pm

Finish 5.00 pm

 

CONTACT DETAILS:

Warren Farm, Brockhampton Park, Bringsty, Worcester, WR6 5TB

www.warrenfarms.co.uk    email enquiries@warrenfarms.co.uk   Tel. 01885 482409

Direction:  Take A44 from Bromyard for one mile, Warren Farm is on the left

 50 metres before the National Trust’s Brockhampton Estate.