Newsletter October 2018

Mantel Farm is a family run garden farming business located in the heart of the East Sussex countryside
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Mantel Farm Newsletter - October 2018

Integrating Chickens Into A Flock, Beekeeping Notes, New 2019 Craft Training Courses, Verm-X Special Offers & Promotional Products

big ducks

Our "big ducks" enjoying lots of space in the pig pen


It’s time to plan for next year! I just can't put it off any longer - thinking of next year always feels like we are writing off the end of this year, but once done it should give us time to enjoy the autumn/winter months knowing all is under control! (An unlikely thing at Mantel Farm!)


We should also be thinking about Christmas! My Nan always made her Christmas cake in September so it had time to soak up lots of Brandy, a far better way than baking on the 22nd Dec, making marzipan on the 23rd and icing on Christmas Eve - as has become a bit of a tradition here! So if you also put off your planning for Christmas and the New Year, why not make things a little easier by buying your friends and family a Mantel Farm Gift Voucher? Or booking them a place on one of our 2019 Training Courses?


We have some lovely new courses taking place at Mantel Farm next year, led by some fantastic craftsmen, full of enthusiasm and experience in their craft. Our new Beekeeping Experience Day and Traditional Mead Making courses are available now to book on our website, or in our shop (more details below) as well our popular Beginners Beekeeping and Chicken Keeping Courses.


We are also really pleased to be working with Richard Ely to offer you an exciting chance to learn new skills in greenwood working, starting in spring 2019. The courses will include:

An Introduction to Greenwood Working

Wood Turning on a Pole Lathe

Making a Sweet Chestnut Gate Hurdle


Richard is a local greenwood working craftsman, with many years’ experience making greenwood and coppice craft products in and around the Battle area. Richard started out doing apprenticeships in 2005 with greenwood legends Mike Abbott (Living Wood) in Herefordshire and Ben Law (of Grand Designs fame) in West Sussex and has since worked full-time as a greenwood craftsman.


Our full course details will be available very soon, but you can register an interest in these courses by contacting us and we will then send full course details as soon as they are available.


We are also working with other craftspeople to offer more rural craft courses, so if these courses are not for you, please look out for new courses appearing on our website and in our newsletters soon.


Last month we attended the Hop and Honey Festival at Scotney Castle, we have been battling the wasps around our Apiary (see Graham’s article below), enjoyed our first Mead Making Course, moved our ducks into the pig pen and got out and about installing chicken pens. Next month there are more pens to build, courses to run and animals to look after in our boarding pens (don’t forget to book soon if you are going away over the October half term as our pens are now getting booked up quickly).


poultry facts and info

Jason's Help And Advice Sheets

Introducing New Birds To A Flock

Introducing new birds is not easy! You certainly can't just chuck them all in together and let them get on with it, there will be a natural process of establishing the pecking order. For top tips to look for and actions to take, be sure to read Jason's latest "Introducing New Birds" check lists and fact sheets.

Verm-X Healthy Poultry Pack with Worm Count Kit
Buy Now...

Check And Treat Your Poultry For Worms

A Special Offer On Our Recommended Products

With the long hot summer, several customers have reported a worm infestation within their flock. We recommend Verm-X Healthy Poultry Pack with Worm Count Kit. It can sometimes be difficult to spot the early signs of chickens having worms, so this month we are offering the kit at a reduced price of just £14.95 - a saving of £7.00!

wild wallflower

Amanda's October Beekeeping Notes

Tucking the Bees in for Winter & Planting for Bees

The bees should all be fed, treated and tucked up for winter now. Because of the good summer, I have not had to do much syrup feeding. I also had some winter stores rescued in the spring, stored in the deep freeze, to give back to a couple of colonies... read more about Amanda's bees and planting for bees in your garden.

beekeeping experience day
Book Now...

A Beekeeping Experience Day

Sat 30th March and Sat 13th July

This course has come about from many conversations with our customers saying how interested they are in beekeeping, would love to know more, but do not plan to become beekeepers; so this beekeeping experience day gives the chance to simply learn all about bees, see inside a beehive and take home some lovely bee goodies.

traditional mead making course
Book Now...

Honey Wine - Traditional Mead Making Course

Saturday 26th Jan 2019

A fun course making this traditional drink, with all the equipment and ingredients provided, it just leaves you to take home a gallon of mead and the patience to wait just a few months before enjoying. Taking place in January, a place on this course makes the perfect Christmas Gift.

pest control tips

Graham's Pest Control Tips

Time to put up Wasp Traps and Protect Bee Hives

Believe it or not Wasps are a helpful creature to gardeners earlier in the year when they eat a wide range of pests including aphids and caterpillars. However the problems start in the autumn because unlike the Honey Bee, wasps have not developed methods of storing food for the winter.


So as the wasp nests begin to collapse at this time of year, and the adult wasps become increasingly starved they look for any sweet liquid. The honey in a bee hive is very attractive to wasps and so they will attack weak colonies to obtain the honey stores and any larvae they can find which can result in the complete destruction of the hive. By this time the queen wasps have left the nest and mated and are searching for a sheltered spot to spend the winter. The queen will then normally emerge in mid-April to start another colony all again.

gift vouchers
Buy Now...

Gift Vouchers

Money Vouchers Available For £5, £10 & £20
Training Vouchers For £48, £98, £148 & £198

Our vouchers make lovely gifts. The money vouchers can be used for any item in our shop, from honey and beekeeping equipment to hybrids and bantam hens, or even go towards purchasing training courses. Our training vouchers can be redeemed for half day, full day or weekend courses.

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