Newsletter Winter ’22

Written by Admin

28 November 2022

Spring is running away from me, and I haven’t even written our Winter newsletter yet!

Well, let me tell you that this past winter has been one of the toughest I have experienced in 17 years on the farm. Not because of the cold (the previous two winters were much colder), but because of the enormous amount of rain we had in the summer and autumn.

The lands were so wet that we couldn’t get in with the tractors to either make hay or plant pasture. We did manage to cut and bale the higher grounds but couldn’t make enough bales to carry us through winter and for the first time ever I had to buy round bales to feed our girls and boys during the winter months. And without pasture, the milk production was so low. 

In August, a friend of ours offered to help us work lands with his big 4×4 tractor and even with no rain for 2 or 3 months, his tractor sunk and got stuck in mud!

On one cold morning late June, we couldn’t find one of the heifers in the beef herd. After searching for hours, we discovered her stuck between to large rocks at the back of the koppie. With the frost, she must have slipped and landed on her back and couldn’t get up. We managed to drag her out onto the grass, where after a few steps she just collapsed of exhaustion. I wasn’t sure if she was severely injured and called our friends from Cluny Animal Trust, Jan and Dr Elsa to the rescue (thank you for always willing to help!).

We needed to bring her close to home to be able to treat her, so we brought the tractor, made a harness with an old 1 ton bag and drove her back home! Luckily she wasn’t seriously injured, mainly cuts and bruises and also very cold.

For a few days she refused to get up, and just laid under a horse blanket recovering. A few times a day, we were lifting her with a block and tackle to get the blood circulation going, and suddenly, one morning she was up. She spent the rest of the winter with the calves, getting extra food and attention and did a full recovery.

There is never a dull moment on the farm!

Our shop moved to Fouriesburg

With the outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease in the country, I made the decision to move La Fromagerie, our farm shop, to town. I was not prepared to take a chance to expose any of our livestock and at the end of August we moved to lovely premises in the Doherty Centre in Fouriesburg. 

With more visibility, we are now open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. Remember that we will open on other days, by prior arrangement, for groups of 10 or more.

This past winter was also the start of us attending different markets in Gauteng, namely the Banting Market at Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria and Le Marche at Poplar on Park in Sandton (both on the first Saturday of the month). We have also been accepted as an occasional vendor at the very popular Field Market in Parkmore. So look out for us at these different venues.

Customers often ask me what to do with Ricotta, so I came up with an easy and tasty recipe that is also suitable for vegetarians – a Ricotta patty with a balsamic glaze and a fresh colourful salad.

As usual, don’t forget to Like and Share our Facebook page – Jackal’s Hill Fromage or follow us on Instagram – @jackalshill.

Keep well and safe.

Customers often ask me what to do with Ricotta, so I came up with an easy and tasty recipe that is also suitable for vegetarians – a Ricotta patty with a balsamic glaze and a fresh colourful salad.

As usual, don’t forget to Like and Share our Facebook page – Jackal’s Hill Fromage or follow us on Instagram – @jackalshill.

Keep well and safe.

Valerie & the Team

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