Growing Food to Give Away!

We want to use our land to grow food to give away!  Interested in giving some time or money to allow this to happen – we are re-launching our charity MATRIX TORBAY.  To find out more click here.

Matrix Torbay Logo

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Beach Huts and Chickens

beach-hutsThe beach huts are finally in!  With lots of much appreciated help we have managed to get all 9 huts onto the land, including the chickens that live in them.  There’s a fair bit of repair and adjustment to be carried out to make them more usable for our purposes, but the logistical challenge of moving them all has been accomplished.

We are planning to sort through the chickens we have, sell those we don’t need, and incubate lots of eggs to increase numbers of the breeds we would like to work with.  We hope to sell hatching eggs and Point Of Lay chickens from the following breeds, all of which we currently have  –

  • Lincolnshire Buff
  • Copper Blue Maran
  • Light Sussex
  • Barred Rock
  • Silkie
  • White Leghorn
  • Polish Chamois
  • Norfolk Grey
  • Rhode Island Red
  • Speckled Maran
  • Various Bantams

And the following Ducks –

  • Indian Runners
  • Khaki Campbells
  • Silver Appleyards
  • Lavender Muscovys

All our outdoor runs now need to be sorted ready to let our birds run in much bigger areas. They have been confined to small, netted areas, due to the restrictions that were in place because of the Avian Flu outbreak.

Until recently, one half of our chicken area had pigs living on it.  These have been moved and in a rare dry moment I managed to cultivate over it in an attempt to flatten the area ready for some grass seed to be sown.

bcs-cultivatingIf you look closely you can just see Sky feeding her latest litter of piglets outside as the day was beautifully warm.  Our 3 main breeds for egg laying will live in this area, but their houses are yet to be constructed!

Run up to Christmas

christmas-orders

We know it’s still early to be talking about Christmas, but with 10 Markets and limited butchery as we approach the festive season we are now taking pre-orders for all our meat. Below is a list of all things available over the next few weeks.

If there’s something you would like please pre-order as we cannot guarantee, especially with all our markets, that we will have much left by Christmas.

1/2 Lamb – Our Whitefaced Dartmoor lambs are looking healthy and have reached a good weight.  They will be ready to go sometime during November.  1/2 Lamb all vac packed and ready for the freezer is only £70.

1/4 or 1/2 Goat – Our goat meat is selling really well at the Farmers Markets and although we have individual pieces for you to try we also sell by the 1/4 or 1/2.  If you’re a goat meat lover then we will have goats available through November and at the beginning of December.  Again all vac packed ready for the freezer – 1/4 Goat – £55   1/2 Goat – £100. Prices may vary slightly depending on weight but will only be lower, not higher.

Goat Milk Ice Cream – We normally have the 125ml pots of Premium Goat Milk Ice Cream from Dartington Dairy in stock, but we can also sell either 500ml or 1L tubs. Flavours include Blackberry, Blackberry Ginger Crunch, Dark Chocolate, Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip, Gin Elderflower and Honeycombe, Madagascan Vanilla, Rhubarb and Ginger, Salted Caramel and Summer Strawberry.  500ml tubs – £6  1L tubs – £10.  Some of these flavours are seasonal and so numbers may be limited.

Pork – Gammon Joints, Chipolatas and Streaky Bacon. Our last pork, before Christmas, will be available at the end of November (Limited storage at the butchers), so if there are any of these Christmas cuts you would like please pre-order early.

If you would like to pre-order any of the above please phone or send us an email, or alternatively come and see us at one of the following Farmers Markets –

5th November – Kingsbridge (09:00 – 13:00)
19th November – Kingsbridge (09:00 – 13:00)
20th November – Totnes (10:00 – 15:00)
26th November – Teignmouth (10:00 – 14:00)
27th November – Brixham (10:00 – 16:00)
3rd December – Kingsbridge (09:00 – 13:00)
4th December – Dawlish
11th December – Brixham (10:00 – 16:00)
17th December – Teignmouth (10:00 – 14:00)
18th December – Totnes (10:00 – 15:00)

Summer Catch-Up

What a summer we’ve had!  In fact we’ve had an interesting time since coming back from our holiday at Easter.  Here’s a shortened account of events since then.

In April we set about digging out our goat house.  After 18 months the straw was almost 3 feet deep and took some time digging out by hand.  2 of the goats gave birth – 4 kids in total.  Willow, our first time Mum had triplets.  The first she gave birth to in a water bucket!!  Our Ewes also gave birth to 3 lambs between them.

In May we hatched out our Italian Quails, some more Lincolnshire Buff Chickens and bought 20 chickens to start setting up our egg run.  At this point we had decided that we needed to move away from rearing goats in favour of poultry and ducks.  We love the goats but with limited pasture and time we needed to change some things.  They were consistently escaping from their electric fenced area in the adjoining field where they are able to graze and so we had to take it down and replace it with a much better quality fence.  We finally finished it and apart from 2 escapes during the first day they stayed in.

In June we were given over 600 strawberry plants and so we set about preparing beds and planting them up.  Unfortunately one of our Ewes got ill and was unable to raise her two lambs.  We had to move them into our goat house and hand rear them, a very time consuming and expensive activity.   In preparation for more chickens and ducks we designed and started to install a permanent fence around the bottom area of our land.  It has been designed with 7 separate pens to house our birds, keeping them safe from the foxes around us.  However, just as we were starting a fox got into one set of our chickens and killed 2.  This spurred us on to work hard on the new area, but sadly the fox attacked again in a separate area and killed 25 chickens in one go.  As can be imagined the scene wasn’t a pretty one and the remaining chickens had to stay locked in their houses when we weren’t on the land.  Since then we have worked hard on the new area fitting over 2 1/2 miles of fencing wire.  It’s taken us until September to finish it, but we’ve finally made it.

chicken-fence

With all our time invested in sorting out the fence we have had to neglect other areas of the land and so our veg beds have suffered.  We’re now beginning to deal with the weeds sorting them out ready for next year.

In addition to all this work we have continued to sell at local farmers markets – 18 in total over the summer and these are set to increase over the next few months.

dartington-dairy-logo

Last week some of our goat herd moved to Dartington Dairy to join their goat herd.  We have been talking for a while about working together to promote and sell some of their goat product at the farmers markets we attend.  This should work well for both of us and gives us a regular, seasonal, supply of goat meat as well as the opportunity to sell their Goat Milk Ice Cream and in the future milk, cream and yoghurt.