Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter January 2019

We wish all our wonderful customers and friends a Very Happy New Year and hope that you will all continue to enjoy Hampton naturally reared pasture fed beef throughout the year. If everyone is being urged to eat less red meat then an excellent and easy to stick to resolution for the year will be to eat only the best red meat available locally. Hey presto, you are already doing this and you are way ahead of the curve. All you need to do now is to place your order.

Our first beef day of 2019 is on FRIDAY 25th January and as always we will be open from 10.30am with fresh coffee, cakes and biscuits and will have your order ready for you. How about a warming wholesome stew with some braising or shin? How about a rich casserole with some stewing steak or diced? How about restocking generally with a Hampton 10kg Family Bag comprising steak, joints, braising steak and premium mince? Every order is special to us and we don’t mind at all if it’s large or small, we simply want you to enjoy the best.

Hampton beef pies are definitely on the menu this month both large and small however they will be prime minced beef for a change. Hampton Herby sausages and Hampton Beef Bangers will also be in good supply. All sausages come in packs of six and are delicious hot with mash, or cold in a sandwich the next day with a little English mustard on the side.

Hampton wild venison stocks are improving daily and do order this ever so tasty meat if you are keen to impress your guests and enjoy the best natural flavours. Our Roe deer graze on shrubs, young trees, grass and berries throughout the Estate and therefore enjoy the most balanced and natural diet imaginable. They always look so serene on the edge of a field or in a wood and disappear gracefully into the undergrowth almost silently once disturbed. They will quickly decimate a young plantation of trees if the tastiest ends are within browsing height, and are totally wild, and this is the reason we need to control their numbers.

The cows are all enjoying this mildish weather living in dry fields at the top of the park and feasting daily on straw from our summer cereal harvest and hay from last year’s hay making. Our next tasks for the herd are firstly to blood test each cow to check their continual high herd health status and secondly for the foot trimmer to trim each cow’s feet. This is an annual event and ensures that hoof health is tip top and that all hooves are well shaped and hard. A bovine pedicure, carried out by a very skilled foot trimmer from Kent.

The hop gardens have been receiving lots of attention since the end of harvest. All broken or rotten hop poles have been renewed (150), all old growth on each plant has been cut back by hand, all the hooks on the wire work have been straightened or replaced and all the farmyard manure has been spread over the hop gardens to increase fertility and humus. Before we covered the gardens in farmyard manure we gave them a light weed killer spray to suppress unwanted extras. And now we are ready to string the gardens with special coir yarn which will give the young hops a framework to catch onto and hold to as they wend their way up the strings to their dizzy height of sixteen feet.

Stringing is an extremely rewarding and satisfying job and we have room for anyone who would like to try. We offer full tuition and kit and are looking for anyone who is reasonably fit, wants to work outside, enjoys the weather (and its vagaries) and can commit to a time period. Traditionally we begin in early February and finish in April by which time the hop shoots are forcing their way out of the ground. If you are interested or know anyone who might be please let me know via the estate office. It’s great for an early spring tan.

Cottages and houses around the Estate are all fully let, but we have two lovely offices available to rent at Shoelands Farm Offices. Excellent Wi-Fi, excellent parking facilities and well behaved dogs very welcome.

Please put Friday 25th January in your diary, pop your order over to Helen by phone 01483 810465 or email helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk and come and see us for coffee , cake, chat, catch up, and that all important Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce.

Very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

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