20th April 2018
As i write this we are finally having some lovely spring weather!
It's been a long cold wet winter for us, but finally nearly all the sheep are back outside enjoying the dry weather and sunshine while they can!
We've nearly finished lambing, the ewes and their lambs are in the fields around the farm, checked by us at least once a day to make sure all is well.
Next out will be the cattle, but the fields need to dry up a little more before they go out, fingers crossed they'll be out in the fields in the next couple of weeks.
Just a gentle reminder if you're out walking with your dog- please do keep it on a short lead when walking on the paths through the fields, we've seen so many tragic incidents where sheep and lambs have been worried by dogs - dogs chasing ( what some might call "playing") is also classed as worrying and any dog is capable of doing it! We can by law shoot any dog worrying our sheep, which we really hate to do .
Over the next few months we will be busy - sheep shearing, silaging , harvesting and lots of other essential tasks, if we are not around in the farmyard when you call in for eggs you can use the honesty box on the table, eggs should be on the table aswell.
29th November 2016
As usual we're busy here at Firs Farm.
Our beef and lamb is on sale at Mr Pickles on Abbeydale Road ,if you want some quality meat with low food miles ! Our geese and turkeys are also available from there, as well as from the farm.
The geese and turkeys are growing nicely ready for a place at a Christmas table!
Along with our geese and turkeys, we also have home made sausages and sausage meat,
beef sirloin (on the bone) and pork loin available to order. Potatoes and seasonal vegetables will be available to buy alongside your meats - order forms available . Contact us for more details.
Unfortunately I won't be at Nether Edge Farmers Market this year in December, but you can still order from us.
Order nowon ambattyebtinternet.com or ring on 0114 2301169 -all messages and emails received will be replied to.
From time to time I'll try to keep you up to date what's happening on the farm.
When customers are collecting their Christmas dinners I'm often asked for advice on cooking, so I'll give some tips on what works for me and my family.
15th June 2018
Finally we've had a few weeks of great weather to help us catch up with spring time jobs and start on the summer work of silaging ( cutting and storing the grass for the winter feed for cattle and sheep), shearing the sheep , cleaning out the sheds, and the goslings have arrived!
The sheep are sheared every year, usually mid June. Each fleece is rolled up securely, packed into large wool bags , and goes to the British Wool Marketing Board at Bradford. The price we get for the wool does not cover the work involved in shearing it, but it has to be done. Our wool will go for making into carpets mainly.
15th October 2016
The good September weather has meant that we have been able to complete our harvest of wheat, barley and oats, and the cereals and straw are now stored in the sheds. We feed all our livestock on home grown feed, and the straw will keep them dry and comfortable when they come inside again until springtime.
Next years cereal crops have now been sown.
It's sheep work that's on the agenda at the moment, getting the ewes (female sheep ) ready to meet the rams ( male sheep) and so begin next years lamb crop!
We have potatoes, free range eggs, and logs for sale. Also we have home made lamb burgers and packs of home made pork sausages and sausage meat, available from the freezer. Packs of half a lamb can be ordered ( cut up to your requirements) .
We've also started taking orders for Christmas .
We will be open Friday and Saturday this week from 9am until 6pm.
1st November 2017
Well its that time of year again- all our corn is safely gathered in , ready to feed our livestock over the winter months. We have ploughed and scattered , just watching the crops grow that we will harvest next summer!
The geese are growing well, they have enjoyed the wet weather of the last couple of months more than most at Firs Farm, they have ponds to dip into in their field which shouldn't really be there! The turkeys are also doing well at the farm.
Potatoes and eggs are on sale, as well as home made lamb burgers and pork sausages (From the freezer)
We have some freezer packs of lamb in the freezer - packed and labelled, around £65 per half.
We are taking orders for Christmas , we have an order form with the full list of goods for sale - we shall have home made sausages, chipolatas, and sausage meat, along with pigs in blankets , using our home cured bacon and sausages.
As usual we will have seasonal veg, beef and pork joints , eggs, and goose fat for sale, alongside our home reared poultry.
To order : Email firstname.lastname@example.org - all emails will be replied to.
Telephone : 0114 2301169 ( Allmessages left will be replied to)
Call in at the farm : Saturdays between 9am and 6pm is best, but if we are working around the farm on other days we will serve you.
COOKING A GOOSE- the easy way!
Six simple tips to cook your Christmas goose to perfection
1. Make sure the oven and roasting tin will accommodate the bird. If a tight fit, place bird diagonally in tin.
2. Use large width tin foil to wrap roasting tin, to avoid spillages.
3. Cover legs in fat and wrap in foil. Remove foil for the last 20 minutes, baste the breast with the fat and pour off the surplus.
4. Siphon off some fat from the roasting tin during cooking, ideally using a bulb baster, and use for potatoes and parsnips.
5.Cooked goose temperature should be around 80 degrees C. Rest for 30 minutes, then carve either from the breast or remove complete breasts and carve across the grain into slices.
Remove the giblets and the body cavity fat. Store the giblets and the goose separately in the fridge.
Allow 15 minutes per 450g / l lb plus 20 minutes.
Approximate time: Cooked temperature should be around 80ºC
3 hours for 4.5kg (10lb)
3.5 hours for 5.4kg (12lb)
Oven 200 C / 400 F (Fan oven 180 C / 350 F)
Gas mark 6
Aga top right hand oven
A large, deep meat tin with a trivet or rack (mesh tray from grill pan will do fine), foil, salt and pepper and stuffing of your choice.
After resting in cool oven for at least 30 minutes, place on board to carve, take long slices from the breast, or, and I prefer this, remove the whole breast from either side of the bird and then with a short bladed knife carve across the grain into slices. Then carve the meat from the legs.
Extracts taken from British Goose Producers Website - geese.cc .
COOKING A TURKEY
For the last few years I’ve roasted our turkey the way a chef recommended to me, with excellent results.
Remove from fridge an hour or two before starting cooking, to bring up to room temperature.
Use a deep roasting tin; sit turkey in (with stuffing inside and bacon on top if desired)
Put about 1inch of water into the tin, surrounding the turkey
Foil over and seal the turkey in the tin
Cook in oven – fan oven around 170ºc Remember each oven is different but
A 12lb turkey should be cooked in about 3-3½ hours
A 16lb turkey perhaps towards 4-4½ hours
Cooked temperature should be around 80ºc. Lift onto warm plate, and leave to stand for 30-60 minutes
14th November 2017
Think winters arrived!
Had some lovely bright frosty mornings over the last few days , hope it continues as its much preferred than a wet and mild winter!
The cattle are now happily all in their winter quarters inside, being fed on our summer made silage and some of them get some of our home grown corn mix. We collect the spent grains from Abbeydale Brewery on a regular basis, which all the cattle seem to enjoy!
The sheep are grazing on winter pastures home and away , the early lambing group are being scanned today, those early ones should lamb at the end of january.
The poultry are growing well, we are also going to be busy making sausages and pigs in blankets etc - get you
9th November 2016
Think winters arrived at Firs Farm.
The cattle are now in their winter quarters,in the barn, think they were glad to come inside!
The geese had a snowy walk when they went outside today.
12th November 2016
We're featured in the Yorkshire Post today, as their "Farm of the Week" , talking mainly about our free range geese , but also on the farm in general.
Orders for Christmas are starting to come in.
To place an order email me on email@example.com , Ring 0114 2301169 or call in at the farm (Fridays or Saturdays are best days to call in ) .
April 15th 2017
Spring seems to have sprung at Firs Farm- we have ewes and lambs in the fields - some born in February and some over the last couple of weeks . Its been a busy time, the sheep when due to lamb need checking every hour or so , day and night in case they need any help and to move the mother and babies to an individual pen for around 24 hours , after that if the lambs are feeding well the family will be marked with corresponding numbers ( so we know who belongs to who) and moved to larger pens and then outside into the fields when a few days old.
The weather has been good so far, the lambs have had a good start with some dry and sunny days .
Manure has been spread on some of the fields, then John has been ploughing to prepare the seedbed for planting with peas and fodder beet. The peas will be go into the silage clamp with grass for feed next winter. The fodder beet will be for the lambs to feed on in the autumn.
16th December 2016
Still taking orders - a few geese and turkeys left, but going fast!
A reminder that when you've collected your Christmas Dinner from us that it needs to be refrigerated - between 1 and less than 6 degrees centigrade is the storage temperature - your veg and salad will be fine in a cool place (or cool box ) , your meat needs that fridge!!
As promised I've put a couple of our tried and well tested recipes for goose and turkey. They are easy - if you've good meat there's no need to do anything too fancy with it, especially if you're not confident doing so!
14th December 2017
Christmas is fast approaching and we are getting very busy preparing lots of Christmas orders We still have a few turkeys and geese available to order - ring on 0114 2301169 for more details . Can be reserved for New Year also.
A reminder that all meat and poultry will need to be refrigerated after collection from us on the 23rd- needs to be stored between 1 and 6 degrees centigrade. Take your salads and vegetables out of the fridge- they'll be fine in a cool place until its time to cook your meat!
Or get the cool box and ice packs going for extra fridge space.
We've also our usual eggs, potatoes and logs available for sale, call in, there's someone available to serve you 9am till 6pm every day up to Saturday 23rd December.
Christmas time on the farm still means feeding and bedding the cattle every day, and checking the sheep in the fields. We're hoping for a little time for relaxing and enjoying our Christmas turkey!
Thank you all for your support and custom, wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and all best wishes for 2018.
18th February 2018.
It seems to be a long and very wet winter up here on the Sheffield hills. Snow keeps making extra work in the yard, feeding and bedding the cattle and sheep in the snow and cold damp weather we have been experiencing is not very pleasant!
Our "early lambers" have nearly finished producing their lambs, will be off out into the fields in another few weeks, we hope the weather will give us some dry days which will dry the fields up a bit and let us put the ewes and lambs out to pasture. The main flock should be lambing early April. We have some of our cows due to calve in the next few weeks.
We are selling eggs , potatoes and logs - best day to call in is probably Saturdays 9am -5pm or Monday mornings , but we are often around the farm on other days.
We have meats for sale from the freezer-
Half lamb - packed and labelled
Home made pork sausages and sausage meat - gluten free also available
Home dry cured bacon
Fillet steaks and sirloin steaks
Turkeys , large chickens and geese- there are a few of each in the freezer .
I think we are all looking forward to the spring - the snowdrops that are out in the garden show us thats its on its way .