Friday, 26 April 2013

A fond farewell

Today marks the end of an era at the Ginger Pig, as we say a very fond and slightly teary farewell to office manager David, leaving us today after more than five years of service. It's hard to put our sentiments into words without underselling him or sounding cheesy, so we'll just say that David has been a very large part of the quiet glue that sticks everything in place here. He'll be sorely missed - both for his cheerful demeanour and for his hard work and dedication, though we are wondering whether he can yet tell the difference between a lamb chop and a leg steak :-)

Here he is - probably his career highlight - with the lovely Gizzi Erskine at his side.

Good luck, David!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Shopping spree

Saturday April the 20th was the 2013 Spring and Summer Longhorn Cattle Society show and sale, and we had our sights set on two prize heifers - young females, intended for breeding. But before we get to the show we'll go back to the beginning; spring 2012, when our prize bull, Dynamo, sired the most fantastic bull calf we have ever seen.


Dynamo is quite the legend on the farm, and at over 1,000kg he's an animal you definitely don't want in a China shop (or anywhere but a farm, behind a sturdy fence or gate). We periodically buy new Longhorn bulls - majestic males, our fantastic breeding stock - in order to keep the herd bloodlines nice and clear; we need to retain the characteristics and purity of the Longhorn breed, while ensuring that we're not diminishing the gene pool by inbreeding. So with a new bull - full of his father genes - we need to look outside of our own herd for mating females, which is what brought us to the show this Saturday.

One of our mature cows

Newly minted Longhorn calf

Our visit to the show didn't quite go to plan - but we've all done it, haven't we? You go in for some sausages and come out with steaks; a lunchtime browse around the internet leads to two pairs of jeans and some shoes or a holiday in Prague - it's easy to get carried away. Boss man Tim, who has never much cared for jeans or Prague, arrived at the show with his eye on two fantastic heifers, but came home with...wait for it...twelve. This year was one of unprecedented quality, and if there's one thing Tim has learned, it is that you buy good livestock when you see it.

A selection of our new girls
So we welcome twelve fine females to begin a whole new herd; may their lives with us be long and happy (and our bank manager soon forgive us). 

Newton Wine Gum
Tanfield Lace
Tanfield Munchkin
Tanfield Medlar
Tanfield Martini
Kedleston Lupin
Kedleston Laburnum
Kedleston Maisie
Kedleston Miranda
Kedleston Mahonia
Nobut Willow
Courthayes Mahonia