Sally our breeding sow has done us proud delivering eleven beautiful piglets right on time.
I am in debt to @Jos_Nursery for the newborn photo as we were actually on our family holiday in the south of France when Jo tweeted me the news from Coombe Mill. Taking a family holiday when you run a holiday business is no easy task. For years we have taken our children away in term time for an out of season holiday, but since last year when the eldest of our children entered the serious GCSE stage we are forced to go without a holiday or find a way to cover the business in peak times. Thankfully we managed to sort the ‘A team’ of Amber, our first hospitality apprentice, Old Farmer Ted from the village and Farmer Gill who is new to the farm this year. Our break had to fit around their plans and this left us with the very last week of August, Sally’s due date!
We left a heavily pregnant Sally in the hands of our holding farmers. Ted has worked with us for years after first holidaying at Coombe Mill and has seen plenty of pigs give birth so we were confident he would be fine. Last year Sally was a teenager when she gave birth and not even fully grown herself and we were thrilled with how she took to motherhood so we were hopeful for a successful and easy labour this year.
All our guests staying the week we left were hoping they would be the lucky ones, I had updates from @SimplyHalyley and @SarahGlenister so I knew Sally was still holding on by the weekend.
It was Monday evening with new holiday makers, Ted was doing an evening check of the farm when one of the guests raised the alarm that the pig was giving birth. Sure enough there were 2 piglets out and Sally was very much in full swing. Ted kindly called round all the houses, as it was still a sociable hour, to see if anyone wanted to pop out and see. Quickly a crowd gathered to watch this magic time, just as we had done last year.
Sally managed everything all on her own and 11 healthy piglets with no stillborns was a tremendous result. I enjoyed a celebratory drink in France to toast Sally as Jo’s tweet and Instagram photo came though followed by a text from Ted to say all was well.
Rolling into Coombe Mill in the dead of night on Thursday we collapsed into bed excited to meet our new arrivals the following morning. Nick was once again Farmer Nick and I was out with my camera to capture our magical piglets, their proud mother Sally and the joy on the faces of those staying with us as they watched and held the beautiful newborns.
They grow so fast it takes my breath away each year, but thankfully they couldn’t have been born into better weather and I can see already they will be plenty big enough to survive the chilly days of autumn still to come.
We have availability again now the school summer holidays are passed if you fancy a farm break and meeting one of these adorable bundles.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.