Wild Bird food and Racing Pigeon food

Countryfile

Countryfile

Many children want to be doctors, or bus drivers, or the classic ‘I want to be a pop star’, however, my children (especially Robyn) just wanted to be some kind of odd outdoors person who’s on Countryfile. Finally, success is coming on Sunday! I must admit, every time Kate Humble came on the tele she would turn to Chris and I to announce ‘I could do that’ – lo and behold, she can. For those who don’t know, BBC’s Adam Henson came to us last Tuesday to film a Countryfile segment all about our pigeon corn, pumpkin patch, and Robyn’s ‘soap empire’. It was a truly surreal day for us all, but one we won’t forget! Probably the most odd part for me was the producer saying Chris should keep his holey North Face fleece on rather than getting changed, to look more authentic. The craziest part of this whole thing...

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Its going to be a Spooktacular Pumpkin Season

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    Now, those of you who live nearby, or follow us on Facebook, may have noticed our pumpkin content last Autumn as we did our first ever Pick Your Own Pumpkin season here at Laverock Hall Farm. Well, we had so much fun, and think you did too, so we’re gearing up and getting ready to welcome you all back again this year! The pumpkins are growing, the signs are being repainted, our staff are ready to help, and I’m writing this blog! We had such a blast last year, that we’re going to be bigger than last year, with some surprises to be announced once they’re all finalised!  Since we’re a working farm, we are growing so many fun varieties of pumpkins and squashes too - some we know are great for taste and cooking, others are great for growing big and carving, and some are cute or knobbly!...

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Christmas Opening and Thank you

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Its December already and the days are quickly ticking away to 2021. We’re working hard in the shop and beavering away making bird foods and packing and dispatching web orders too. We have been advised by the courier that the sheer volume of orders since Black Friday throughout the country has meant that there could be delays in customers receiving parcels.  With that in mind we are asking website customers to please place their orders as early as possible to ensure delivery before Christmas. We have a cut off which is Wednesday 16th December and would ask that orders are placed before then if possible. After that date we have been advised that deliveries might not be received until after Christmas. Our shop will be open right up to and including the 24th December but then we will be closed for a well earned rest until Tuesday the 5th January 2021...

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Pheasants galore

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It’s been a while since I posted a blog, life just seems to get in the way doesn’t it? We had our Pumpkin picking last month which was really successful and people really enjoyed visiting our farm to Pick their own pumpkins, as it was our first year and a trial really, we had underestimated just how popular the event would be and amazingly, we sold out on our first weekend. We had so much positive feedback from the event that we have decided to do it all again next year, only this time we will be planting more pumpkins to hopefully keep up with demand, and Covid permitting, we will be able to offer more than just pumpkin picking. Many of you will also know that I have acquired two donkeys, Tom and Jerry, who are settling into farm life really well and are enjoying their new life immensely. They’re...

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Pumpkin Success

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Wow. Just wow. We are absolutely overwhelmed with the people that came out to come pumpkin picking today! We lost count of how many smiling kiddies and laughing parents we saw who had ‘only come for one’ and left with half a dozen! Chris grew varieties of pumpkins that would be accessible to all ages, from the tiny mini ones for younger years, to the beautiful sleek white ones for displays, and the massive ones for everyone – because who doesn’t love a huge pumpkin? All our family unit are involved. Chris and George were sorting the car parking and helping as much as possible, I was on the patch explaining the varieties, Robyn was on the till (and entertaining children in muddy puddles) and Lydia was jumping between every group where help was needed. It’s so lovely for our family unit to help so many other family units. In the...

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Its that time of year again

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August is well through and we will be starting to harvest soon in what has been the most unusual year for everyone in the country, if not the World.  The weather has been challenging to say the least and our crops will be reflecting that, our oilseed rape crop is almost non existent after the 14 week drought during the growing season which has also contributed to the very short straw on the wheat and barley crops.  On the plus side our newest crop of pumpkins seems to be growing very well as they were planted later, and their growing season is a later one, so the rain arrived in good time to save them. We’re really looking forward to harvesting them in late October ready for all your Halloween pumpkins so please keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates. The birdlife has had an amazing year, I have...

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June's Flying through

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The month of June has seen a definite change in the weather, at last we have had rain although the temperatures have dropped somewhat too. The birds in our garden must have had rather a shock to their systems, although the colder weather has meant that the grass and plants have sprung away, and everything seems to have ‘greened up’ massively.  The fledgling birds have been lining up at our feeders, enjoying the chance to feed themselves along with their mums and dads, I’ve especially enjoyed seeing some of our resident blue tits bringing their new babies to our bird table.  They are lovely little balls of fluff and are so lively and noisy too, I expect their mums and dads are glad that they’re off so they can enjoy some peace until they raise their next brood. We’re not too busy on the farm itself, although crops must be walked...

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May-hem

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    Well, May is almost over and still no rain here on our farm - it’s been thirteen weeks now without any rain of any significance. We have had a couple of showers, but, to be honest, the wind at the time was so strong that it barely hit the ground. My poor little pumpkins for our Pick your Own Pumpkins later in the year are desperately in need of rain, as are all our crops, including the grass for hay for our horses. As well as making bird foods we have been assisting Robyn, our daughter, with her new venture, she’s making soap using oilseed rape from our farm plus some lovely scents and colours too. She’s also making a pure soap with no scent or colour at all, its pure white and has been tested on the whole family without any incidents at all.  The soaps are in...

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Floods & Finches

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What a week weather wise! I don’t know if you’ve had floods, freezing temperatures, driving wind & rain where you live, but we certainly have up here in Northumberland. The crops are soggy and battered whereas last year they were droughted off and suffering with extreme heat. We’re hoping that the weather will stabilise a little this week so we can make our haylage crop for Winter horse fodder for our Livery stables, but there again we hoped we could do that three weeks ago. The gardens are so green & the water baths for the birds most definitely have not needed filling, although the keeping the feeders filled has been a constant job. I’ve been watching soggy little sparrows just out of the nest lining up at our bird table (thankfully a covered one) being shown by the adult where the easiest grub is. The poor birds were struggling to...

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Is the grass always greener?

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Come for a walk he said. How romantic I thought, but how wrong could I be. My first indication should have been when I wasn’t allowed to take our 2 dogs. Into the pickup we went, strange when we were supposed to be going for a walk. When we got to an outlying field, I found out why I had been invited for a walk. Blackgrass. One word but it can mean ruin to cereal crops. Last year Chris found a rogue patch of Blackgrass which appeared in the corner of a field, he rogued it which means walking up and down the rows, pulling out the rogue grass, by the root and then burning it well away from other crops. As it had been raining it was apparently an ideal evening to check for blackgrass as the rain would mean that the grass would be easier to pull out and...

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8 Seeds, 8 generations, and 8 reasons why Laverock Hall Deluxe is my choice!

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Our original Wild Bird Food Mix, Deluxe has 8 different seeds,pictured above is Robyn (8th Generation), so here’s 8 reasons to buy your bird foods from us! Deluxe Wild Bird food, like all our bird foods, are made here on our farm in Northumberland by Chris & the team. Chris is the 7th Generation of the Hogg family who have farmed here so he knows a bit about crops & seeds, and if you come into our shop you can meet the man who makes your bird food! 2 All of our Laverock bird foods come in a strong woven polypropylene bag which is so strong it can be used again for e.g., garden waste, storage or even as a growbag – I have seen a picture of one filled with compost and holes cut into the sides to grow strawberries or potatoes! 3 We only use top grade ingredients in...

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And Breathe

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Well, that’s Harvest over for another year, and what a year it has been! 2018 has to go down in History as one of the most extreme years as far as weather is concerned. The snows of the Beast from the East seemed long forgotten while we sweltered in some of the highest temperatures we have ever had, especially for a Northern Summer. The last of the Spring Barley was cut on the 2nd September, in a more usual year we might have just started to cut wheat, but could not even have envisaged being all completed as far as corn cutting is concerned. The hard work hasn’t finished yet though as the fields all need to be prepared for sowing next year’s crop as soon as possible although cooler weather isn’t so much of an issue for ploughing or cultivating. As usual it has been a swings and roundabouts type...

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Hot Harvest 2018

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And so it begins, Harvest 2018 in the most unusual year of our farming lives. After the Beast from the East in March 2018 we are now experiencing the hottest summer since records began if this hot season keeps up throughout August. We have begun by cutting the Winter barley, then Winter oats which were a very dry and crisp crop which is mostly droughted off but we will get what crop there is and it most certainly will not need to be dried as I’m sure there is so little moisture in the grain that it will be fried to a crisp. We use the same farming contractor every year and his new combine is fitted with tracks as you can possibly see by the photos, although I don’t think that they will be needed this year like in other years when we have been almost flooded out! The cutting...

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