It has been a crazy and exciting 8 months for The Baker’s Pig. Back in April 2018, we started major renovation works on an old disused outbuilding here at Ty’r Cwm Farm. We extended the block built stables, replaced the dilapidated roof and converted the inside to a ‘state of the art’ production facility. Help and support from the Rural Business Investment Scheme and Business Wales enabled us to relocate our production facility from a small industrial unit in Ammanford, to a purpose built butchery for manufacturing of our award winning charcuterie products. Consolidating our production into a single on-farm site has also been great for reducing our carbon footprint. We can now boast that our final products are genuinely farm to fork with almost zero food miles. All our heritage-breed pigs are bred, reared and butchered on farm. The use of rare-breed, free-range meats provides us with the highest quality primary products from which to produce traditionally crafted, Artisan foods. In addition to developing and sustaining local food production we are currently developing links with other local businesses to source complementary ingredients that help boost our regional identity and create truly unique Welsh products. We currently source wild venison from Dinefwr Country Park to produce our fantastic Cacciatore (hunters) salami.
Let the games begin
Work started towards the end of April 2018 with the clearing of the site ready for the builders. An old lean-to wood store was demolished that stood alongside the existing block built stables. A dilapidated stone wall had to be removed, along with an array of overhanging trees to provide better access to the site and surrounding area. The workmen arrived on site and set about digging the trenches for the concrete footings.
Heavy rainfall quickly turned the building site into a mud bath in no time. A mixture of heavy rain and poor ground drainage prevented us from pouring the footings for quite a while. A battle ensued with water pumps working flat-out to empty the trenches before the concrete could be poured. As fast as we emptied the trenches, they filled up. For a short while the area looked more like an out-door swimming pool than a building plot. It was a crazy stage in the project, but, after a lull in the poor weather, we managed to pump out the water and discovered our very own underground spring. A flash of Heath-Robinson and a rush for some old sewage pipes, saw the mountain water heading away from the footings just in time for the concrete delivery – relief! Once the concrete was poured we had a week of sunshine – perfect timing.
However, the battle with the weather was far from over. As soon as the builder arrived back on site to start the footings we found ourselves running back for the water pump. It was a strange month beset with a healthy mixture of chaos and head-scratching. But to all those involved it felt like a major milestone when the footings finally reached ground level. Despite running behind schedule, I think everyone was somewhat relieved to get the project to this stage. It really felt like there was no going back now.