Garr House Farm, Layer Road, Gt. Wigborough, Colchester Essex CO5 7RR

Garr House Farm, Layer Road, Gt. Wigborough, Colchester Essex CO5 7RR


Garr House Farm, Layer Road, Gt. Wigborough, Colchester Essex CO5 7RR

Occasional Newsletter Issue 21 : January 2012

May we be one of the last to wish you a Happy New Year ...... we did have the photo’ taken in December to wish you a Happy Christmas; and hope you did anyway. The ‘senior’ farm team are pictured with an accumulated experience of over 250 years, not including the dogs. They only manage a human equivalent of 86, a figure acquired using the on line age equivalent calculator.

Back row : a camera shy L.B.

Bob, Bobby, Kate , Phil & Murphy dog.

A wonder of the internet without which I would have used the old x 7 rule and given them another 19 years and an excuse for being tardy when on vermin control duty. That should have been a tenuous link into further online activities and the introduction of the WTM website, however the gestation period for a website is proving closer to that of an elephant than a mouse so the wait for that birth announcement continues.

The Festive Season did seem to go on a bit and having crammed a year’s worth of socialising into 10 days we were ready for a return to normality. Having had a hectic time in the run up to Christmas the slaughter houses then shut until New Year. This meant no Monday morning lorry to take the finished pigs and the resulting shuffling up of everyone into the newly cleared pens which gave us an enforced break from the routine. It did however give a window of opportunity for more concreting, and a chance to repair the broken roadway leading to the loading ramp which does not usually get such a rest.

Harry on a break from academic life contemplating his father’s concrete habit as he helps dig another hole.

The loading ramp ( along the hedge ) is on the edge of the farm buildings close to the road which is good for biosecurity as it means the lorries do not come far onto the farm.

View from the loading ramp to the road taking in the finished hole awaiting repair.

The current on- going project is still ( and will be for a while ) the transformation of shed No 7into a workshop large enough to house a tractor. The roof along the road was completed at the end of the summer and attention moved to the side wall along the feeding passage to the boar yard.

The old shed wall on the right looking towards Looking away from the road; keeping the few

the road; boar yard feeding troughs on the LHS. beams which haven’t rotted & rebuilding the

wall with a concrete block base.

Vertical studwork designed around windows which we were given. Such gifts are always gratefully received and always seem to come into use eventually; though what purpose a 2m diameter, 4m long plastic pipe will eventually find remains to be seen.

The state of play as of today, and the focus of attention has moved inside to the floor now it has been re-discovered after the removal of nearly 40 years worth of ‘I’ll just put it in No7’.

Inside ‘No7’ (11/1/12) and a freshly laid concrete pad – apologies to those of you who have had enough of concreting pictures, but the old beams show up well and they are much improved just with being air cleaned with the compressor. Hopefully Mr & Mrs. Woodworm and family will have got the message they are not welcome.

A farming newsletter is not complete without a mention of the weather; exceptionally mild for the time of year. Not a complaint, merely an observation with the pleasant thought that if the temperature does drop at least it shouldn’t do so for an extended period. We do need a cold spell though if only to kill off the ‘gribblies’ (technical term learnt studying the crop pests and diseases module at University ) which are responsible for the disappearance of some of the re-seeded grass.

The cattle came indoors to their winter full board and lodging residence in November, the cows still suckling their calves which were born 10 months ago.

‘Bullseye’ a first time Mum coming up to 3 years old is patiently allowing her rather huge son to suckle.

We are as ever, impatiently waiting for the cows to be pregnancy tested.

The lambs born last March are also indoors as they are ‘soft’ compared to the ewes who are hardier and appear to be maintaining condition on just grass.

The ‘new’ flock are laying well and usually give 48 or 49 eggs from the 50 hens, but they have reduced the grass to mud in under 2 months and have an annoying habit of standing on the door flap when you have to shut it with one hand whilst balancing the day’s production in the other.

WTM Shop news:

The next fresh beef ; a 4 week hung Angus cross, born and reared here is available from Wednesday Ist February and at Colchester Farmers’ Market on Friday 3rd Feb at the Arts Centre. Please let me know by Thursday 26th January if you would like to reserve a ‘box’ or a specific joint. Due to an error in my calculations it will have hung for 28 days ...... your thoughts on a comparison to the usual 21 days would be welcome.

The ‘mini beef box’ – over £50 worth of beef for £45. This will include 2 joints of your choice ( topside, silverside, rolled rib or brisket ), a couple of steaks and some mince, plus burgers or braising / stewing or sausages ...... as you wish. Email back to reserve yours!

Pork :

In quantity we can sell you anything from a single chop to a half pig. I often get asked what half a pig looks like ...... so please see picture below, with the calculator in there for scale. The pork is butchered to your requirements and the most common choices are listed on the ‘Interested in half a pig’ leaflet attached. In this instance the hand and belly were turned into sausages and the total cost was just under £100. It will keep for 12 months in the freezer.

January & February Offers

4 packs of sausages for £5

4 sausages / pack ( 7 ish if they are chipolatas )

Usually 10 flavours to choose from including beef, pork and lamb.


B.O.G.O.F ( buy one get one free ) basket in operation – stock regularly updated.


20% off frozen bacon – back and streaky, smoked and ‘green’ ( unsmoked).

All offers available while stock lasts.

Opening times : Fridays and Saturdays 10am – 5:00pm and all other days when the sign says OPEN, please ring if you are making a special journey. Fresh meat is back every Thursday, you are welcome to call then but service may take a bit longer as we are labelling up.

Fresh meat weekly and a free local delivery service.

We stock chicken from Essex Birds with weekly fresh deliveries – all other meat is born and raised here.

To find us - turn in at the black pig off the B1026 !

For all enquiries, orders or a price list contact Kate Gladwin 01206 735 694 07790 095 052

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