The Farm and the surrounding area
Carmichael Farm is in an enviable central location with fields in Angus, Perthshire and Tayside, making it a great base to explore these beautiful Scottish regions.
Carmichael Farm was featured on the Channel 4 programme, Food Journeys. Here is a link to Episode 3, Eggs and Raspberries.
There are wonderful walks from the doorstep of Carmichael Farmhouse and in the surrounding area. The farm has lot of mature hedging and grass margins with wildflowers mixed in which make for good walks leading to the top of the farm. From the top of the farm there are stunning views across the Carse of Gowrie and the Silvery Tay to Fife and on a good day you can see as far as Glen Devon to the West and the Lomond Hills to the South.
If you stay at Carmichael Farmhouse, you will have easy access to Dundee (approx. 2 miles away), Perth ( 16 miles), St Andrews (20 miles) and Edinburgh ( 55 miles away). For those that love skiing, we are about an hours drive from Glenshee ( 40 miles) and we are lucky enough to have three championship courses within an hours drive, St Andrews, Gleneagles and Carnoustie.
There is a small fruit shop on the farm open during the Summer and Longforgan, with its village shop and Post office is less than a mile away.
On the farm itself we grow strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in tunnels and also feed wheat, malting barley and bean crops. We also let out ground for potatoes and turnips and we have 50 beef cows that we calve from February through to the start of April. There is always something going on at the farm!
The Cows next door!
The cows in the field next to the house are Blue Grey heifers. Blue Greys are bred by crossing pure Galloway cows with `White Shorthorn bulls. They have been bred since the middle of the 1800s for their longevity and hardiness, they also make great Mums. Although the breed have quite small frames they have, as a genetic trait, quite a wide pelvis and this results in less difficulties during calving. The heifers in the field next to the Farmhouse are in calf for the first time and will calve sometime in March.
The heifers are quite jumpy and easily unsettled. As they get older they become calmer and easier to handle, although some cows remain perennially hard to handle and difficult to get close to. None of the cows have names but those of us who work with them know their characters, the ones that like a scratch, the ones that are wild and the ones that are completely unapproachable when they have a new born calf. They are big animals and should be treated with respect. For best results they should be treated as gently as possible and if so they are a pleasure to work with.
- Feeding cattle.
- Calves that have been inside are sold.
- The shed is then cleaned and made ready for calving.
- Calving starts. We keep a close eye on them in case they need a hand. We have CCTV so we can do this through the night without getting up each hour. If we have seen the bull serve the cow during mating then we know the date the cow will calve. A cow gestates for 283 days.
- We start to trim back dead foliage on the strawberries, lace up the raspberry canes and also plant new raspberry cane. Start spreading fertiliser on fields.
- Continue fertilser spreading and start sowing arable crops.
- Calving continues throughout the month. After a few days building their strength and bond, cow and calf are taken out to grass. This is a healthier place for calves to be. In case the weather is harsh we provide shelters in the fields for the calves.
- Skinning of polytunnels starts.
- Planting potatoes and sowing turnips.
- Strawberry plants are flowering. We separate the flowers from the foliage for easier picking. It take 1.5 hours to perform this task on one side of one row. There are over 900 rows of strawberries that need flower separation. With flowering starting on all fruit crops, we put beehives in all tunnels to ensure good pollination.
- Skinning of tunnels continues.
- Calving is finished and all cows and calves are out at grass.
- 20th April bulls go in with cows.
- Start picking strawberries and raspberries.
- Cows and calves are being rotated on grass.
- Skinning tunnels continues.
- In the first 10 days of June most of our fruit pickers arrive on the farm.
- We start to pick blackberries.
- We start planting Autumn strawberries on watering beds and carry on picking strawberries and raspberries throughout the month.
- Start feeding the calves barley in addition to Mother’s milk.
- Cut the first silage.
- 30th June the bulls are separated from cows.
- Finish picking Spring strawberry crops.
- Remove this crop and bring in the new plants from watering beds.
- Finish picking blackberries and raspberries.
- Flower separating in new strawberry crop.
- Cutting out raspberries and blackberries.
- Start picking blueberries.
- Finish picking rasps.
- Start pruning raspberries and blackberries for next season.
- Picking late strawberries.
- 2nd cut of silage if required.
- Combining spring barley followed by wheat.
- Blueberries finish.
- Combining barley and wheat.
- Continue harvesting late strawberries.
- Harvesting beans.
- Wean, worm and weigh the calves and bring them inside.
- Feeding cattle.
- Prune plants.
- Lift potatoes.
- Unskinning polytunnels
- Harvesting beans.
- Feeding cattle.
- Dismantle tunnels.
- Bulls, Justice and Willie, brought in for the Winter.
- Feeding cattle
- General husbandry continues.
WHAT OUR GUESTS SAY
Some lovely comments from a recent visitor:
Just spent a very relaxing weekend in the absolute luxury of Carmichael Farmhouse. It has been beautifully and tastefully decorated with every detail attended to; the very best showers, cooking facilities, beds/bedding, entertainment and countryside views…and the most luxurious dog quarters I’ve ever seen!
To read more click here: Visitor reviews
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