January 2018 - Farm Update

Jan 05, 2018

Firstly, all of us up at the farm would like to wish you a very happy new year and thank our loyal members for supporting us in 2017. We also would like to extend a warm welcome to any new members joining us.

The most notable change on the farm over the last month has been our decision to totally stop milking the goats as the milk yield became so low. This is giving both us and the goats a welcome break from the daily milking, bottling and delivering routine. The low milk yield coincides with the exciting fact that our herd of nanny goats will hopefully all now be carrying next spring's kids. 

As many of you know we are totally off-grid up on the farm which presents additional challenges in winter when we have more requirements for light and warmth. This especially affects our young chicks, which we raise from 1 day old. With little sunlight to power the solar panels and generate electricity through the winter and what often feels like an endless supply of wind, we are now planning to explore the options for erecting a small wind turbine to put the grant money we recently received from CASE (Chagford Action for Sustainable Energy) to good use.  

Other plans on the farm for the coming months will include getting our new butchery facility up and running, to be used to butcher our own pigs, and putting up new fences around additional paddocks for the growing herd of goats. After spring's kidding our herd will reach approximately 45. This will mean that by the end of the year we will be able to supply goat meat once again.

We also have plans to start milling our own animal feed this year, hopefully using cereals grown on local organic farms. We are already working on reconditioning a second hand feed mill and just need to construct a grain storage bin to get the process started. The direct advantage in the short term will be reduced food miles in relation to the bought in organic feeds that complements the forage our animals eat from the fields and woods.

Our pork is especially tasty this month as the autumn pigs had free range over one hectare of woodland rooting for additional nuts and acorns and feasting on the apples we used for the harvest festival cider pressing.

From Seb (on behalf of the Chagfarm team)