As you will know our June beef day has been postponed but we thought a quick update from us all at Hampton to give you a countryside fix without actually visiting might be useful.
Also to point out that we are taking orders for our next beef day on Friday 21st July, do put the date in your diary and we look forward to seeing everyone.
The cows and calves are luxuriating in early summer grass and are a great sight stretched out in the park. We have just fly sprayed them to give protection from those annoying pests which persist around their heads and udder defying the deft flick of a tail.
We have nine cows still to calve in the next month which will take our total to 37 calves this year. This gives us a good supply of male beef animals for future beef days and a great choice of replacement heifers for our herd in two years’ time. We will also sell young stock to other Sussex cattle breeders during the summer which certainly helps cash flow and lightens our numbers for the winter.
Locally we are delighted to be back at The Seale and Sands Show on Saturday 1st July selling Hampton 100% beefburgers and Hampton Herby sausages. Our rolls come from the local Good Taste bakery in Tongham, salad from our garden and add a dash of mayo and mustard and lunch is fixed. We will be cooking from 1pm and the cheffing team can’t wait to see you.
But before then there is the small matter of haymaking which will see us out in the grass fields on the southern slopes of the Hogs Back mowing and turning our meadow grass. The big round bales will give us high quality winter feed for the cattle but we need a good spell of dry weather that will last for more than 48 hours in order to begin. There is a constant eye on the skies.
Meanwhile our Fuggles hops are growing well and our new hop gardens in Puttenham are finally complete. We have erected 9 acres of new hop garden which takes our total to 24 acres, and all the new chestnut poles have been cut from estate chestnut coppice. It is very rare for a farm to be able to do this so most new gardens use imported timber, but luckily our foresters came up trumps with excellent straight home grown poles which should last for twenty years plus.
Inside the wirework the hop plants are flourishing and growing as we hoped, and we are now planning for harvest at the end of August when the new picking and drying facility will come into play. It is a year like none other in the hops as we are changing every aspect of production which has been pretty much the same since the 1960s.
We will report further on this in due course!
But don’t forget that our green hop garlands will be available for sale during the hop harvest and collectable from the new hop oast, a 365 day dried flower arrangement, and we are also hoping to sell small amounts of dried and packaged hops to local home brewers. More news on this to follow.
Our Riding Permit Scheme which allows horse riders access to private estate paths and links with local bridleways and Puttenham Common is becoming increasingly popular. Its aim is to help riders avoid the local lanes wherever possible and allow riding in a safe environment. Do call the estate office for more information as places are available.
Look out for the new biographical film of AA Milne where a Hampton cottage was used for Christopher Robin’s grandfather’s cottage, and also later in the year for the remake of Howard’s End on TV. A riveting car scene was shot in the park and we all drooled over the 1913 Humber which was used, and apparently horrible to drive.
We will send out our July newsletter at the beginning of next month and a reminder for FRIDAY 21st JULY when coffee, cakes, sausage tasters and well informed chat will be the order of the day.
Very best wishes
Bill and Bridget