As August draws to a close some of the barley has been harvested and the muck spreading has been done. The suckler herd is grazing happily outside with Max the bull. Two of Frankie's kittens have gone to new homes and the third, Jinx, is remaining here with us to keep Frankie company.
Frankie's three kittens are growing rapidly and enjoy racing about all over the place before collapsing in a heap for a long sleep snuggled up together. Pictures of the kittens are posted on the Terrick Beef Facebook page. A wild duck has had ducklings and they are seen waddling about the farmyard every day.
The suckler herd is happy outside with Max the bull. The younger heifers have not been turned out yet as they will be artifically inseminated this month with semen from a British Blue, and then they will be turned out.
The sun is shining, the grass is growing, the cows have started calving, the sheep have started lambing and the spring barley has been planted! It's a busy month.
One of our customers has written very kindly about Terrick Beef in her food blog: http://missreevesrecipes.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/locally-sourced-good-value-great-taste-isnt-that-what-its-all-about/
Frankie and Benny - two tiny little black and white kittens - have arrived on the farm. To see pictures of them go to our Facebook page.
Terrick Beef lasagne has been added to the Terrick Beef ready meals range.
The first calves have been born on the farm. The first to be born was a set of twins, born to a heifer in calf to our Angus bull Cuthbert. The mature cows have also started calving, proving that our new Charolais bull Max, who arrived on the farm last summer, has done his job. Well done Max.
Geoff was delighted to learn that Terrick Beef has won the 2012 Countryside Alliance Local Food Award in the South East and is now a 'Rural Oscar' winner! Pictures of Geoff with his award and special green apron can be viewed on the Terrick Beef Facebook page. He is extremely grateful to all his loyal customers who voted for Terrick Beef.
December got off to a very exciting start in the Grove Farm household, when Geoff's wife took a trip to Buckingham Palace as an honoured guest of her dear school friend, to witness him receiving an OBE for services to social care and dementia research.
Geoff had a very happy December shop day, greeting all of his valued customers and wishing them a very Merry Christmas. Regular farm and shop updates, with pictures, can be found on the Terrick Beef Facebook page.
Geoff was pleased to receive a Food Hygiene Rating of 5, the highest rating, from Wycombe District Council.
Geoff's nephew Ben, who is studying at Oxford University, joined the family for lunch to celebrate his 21st birthday. The main dish was of course Terrick Beef!
Thanks to the very kind support of our customers Terrick Beef has reached the South East regional finals of the Countryside Alliance Awards in the Local Food category.
Terrick Beef has now been on the menu at the newly reopened Russell Arms in Butlers Cross for several weeks and chef Matthew Hiscoe tells us it is extremely popular, attracts many favourable comments and is selling out every Sunday. Geoff is delighted to be supplying the local pub. He is a firm believer in local produce being availabe to local people, and loves being a part of the success of the Russell Arms.
The month has got off to a very busy start. The wheat has been harvested and the oil seed rape has been planted. Geoff is now bringing in the straw. He also managed to fit in a visit to the Livestock 2012 event at Birmingham NEC.
The bull's house is being renovated and repaired in preparation for Max coming in for the winter in a couple of months time.
The barley has been harvested and the straw brought in. Geoff and his wife celebrated their Pearl (30th) Wedding Anniversary by going into Aylesbury Market Square with their daughter to see the Paralympic Flame at the start of it's journey to the Olympic Stadium in London. A couple of days later they enjoyed a day out at Bucks County Show.
Geoff and his family had a belated birthday celebration party for his son who became 21 in May whilst he was still studying at university. This month also saw Geoff's son graduate from the University of Nottingham with a 2:1 in Computer Science.
Geoff's children are both home for Easter and his daughter helped out serving in the shop this month. Sarah-Jane's delicious chocolate bars sold well as usual, but this month superb hand made Easter eggs were also available and proved to be extremely popular.
The three Terrick Beef ready meals were also very popular.
Customers found themselves being filmed as Geoff's wife and son are making another YouTube video, this time focusing on the farm shop. Every customer who appears in the video has given their consent.
The first calf was born this month - a heifer calf. Terrick Beef ready meals are back on the menu! Terrick Beef Tagine was available for sale on the March shop days and sold out immediately. Two new recipes will be available next month. Geoff was helped by two of his actor friends from Wendover Theatre Society on the Friday shop day. Caron helped him out in the shop, and Taran held the fort on the farm, feeding the suckler herd.
During the month four sets of twins have been born to suckler herd cows in the space of six days. This is very unusual. In the past thirty years Geoff has seen a handful of twin calves born in his herd. On speaking to the vet he was told twins born to suckler cows have been quite common in the Vale this year. The reason is because last year April was very dry, and then during May and June there was a lot of rain which made the grass grow lush and quickly. As this coincided with turn-out for the herd with the bull, the cows were experiencing rich lush grass during conception time, which had the effect of flushing their eggs and in some cases, two eggs were released and fertilised, resulting in twin calves.
Twin calves is not as good as it may sound. Unlike sheep, where twins are encouraged, twins in cows can produce difficulties during the birth and in the aftermath. Fortunately, three sets of the twins are doing very well. Sadly, the vet delivered one set stillborn as they had got very tangled up inside their mother.
The vet has been to pregnancy test the suckler herd. Only two cows are not in-calf. Calving will begin in March. Geoff and his wife are busy rehearsing for the annual pantomime with Wendover Theatre Society.
Geoff is very saddened to learn that, following more alterations to the proposed HS2, the line will now run right through one of his fields.