Welcome to our March newsletter, to our March beef collection day on FRIDAY 24th MARCH and to the most fantastic backdrop of Hampton snowdrops which seems to be getting better and better.
We look forward to seeing lots of customers on 24th March for our fresh steaming hot coffee, home baked cakes and biscuits and a warm Hampton beef banger taster. We also love the chat and discussion that takes place and that ranges from Scottish Island hopping to Seale church flower arranging via the outlook for early chitting potatoes. And we haven’t even mentioned the Hampton grass fed, naturally reared lipsmackingly delicious beef.
Our ever popular 10kg family bags and our smaller version 4kg bags are currently available to order with a whole variety of joints, cuts, steaks and prime mince. So too are our 100% beefburgers which come in packs of four and are freshly made to order.
For those with more specific requirements please put together your own order. These vary from a kilo of prime Hampton minced beef to a rolled sirloin joint to feed 14, 8 packs of Hampton herby sausages and a kilo of stewing steak. The bovine world is your oyster when it comes to ordering. Carvery rib joints are so delicious and look fabulous. A double rib will feed four to six and it’s so well worth cracking open a bottle of the best red, (a deep Spanish always works well), and life can’t get much better.
Or order a rolled brisket, pop it into a low oven overnight with pepper and salt on the top and you will have the most delicious and cheap lunch imaginable.
Pot roasting a topside or silverside joint is very popular and having browned the meat on all sides add onion, parsnip, celeriac and a leek and tip in some red ( not the deep Spanish) and let it all bubble away for two or three hours. Lots of pepper and salt is needed and it’s hard to go wrong with this sort of cooking and the results can be spectacularly good.
We will have plenty of prime Hampton mince available, so look out your lasagne, shepherd’s pie and spaghetti bolognaise recipes as they all benefit from the best ingredients and fill up both tummies and freezers very quickly and easily.
We have some supplies of wild Hampton venison ready to order and I often think that a venison haunch really is the best meat possible. Its fat free and deliciously gamey. We also have prepared some venison steaks which cook brilliantly in or on the oven and have minced and diced venison available for your Hampton bag.
The new Hampton mugs have been ordered and the 2017 model has met with universal approval from the select band of mug testers who drank countless cups of tea and coffee in their quest for the perfect design. It still features a hop design and the new mugs will be available to buy in due course. Similarly our 2017 aprons will be a new khaki colour with the same Hampton logo on the chest and we will be ordering enough to have spare for anyone to purchase. They are a specially large size to accommodate me and have nice deep pockets which hold all manner of stuff which is extremely useful.
We have been judged Highly Commended in the Countryside Alliance Awards South East 2017 which we were delighted to learn we had been entered for. Thank you to a kind customer for putting us forward, as it gave Bridget, Will and I the chance to tell the judges a little more about the Hampton ethos and our way of doing business. Oddly we were put into the Tourism Enterprise Category but the citation reads “we received over 7,500 nominations this year and your commendation is a testament to your importance within your community’. We were in the final judging of five in this category though are still mystified by the tourism category.
On the farm we have started the hop stringing programme and thanks to everyone who responded so speedily to my call for help. I’m delighted to report that five fit and active new hop stringers are now gainfully employed in the Puttenham hop gardens which are being skilfully strung. The young hop shoots are now visible and will soon start to grow so it is vitally important to create the string trellis for the hops to grow up in the next few weeks. Do look at the webpages on our website for more hoppy information. www.hamptonestate.co.uk/hops
And by the time we reach our beef day on 24th March we hope that the first of the 2017 calves will have arrived. The first mother is due to calve on 6th March and we will then be calving until mid-May, although the bulk should all arrive by mid-April. We will leave the cows to calve by themselves, outside in a dedicated calving field although we will be checking them very regularly three or four times a day to ensure that all is going according to plan. The Sussex breed make very good mothers and very soon after calving the calf has been licked clean and has been nudged towards Mum’s teats and is drinking. It’s all wonderfully natural.
If the sun continues to shine and weekend walks are on the cards then why not drop into The Manor Farm Craft Centre in Seale for tea or coffee, cake or lunch in The Tearooms?
You will also see the recently opened Seale Natural Health Centre and they are holding an open day on March 25th http://www.sealenaturalhealth.co.uk/events and everyone is most welcome.
Please put Friday 24th March into your diary and order your Hampton Naturally Reared produce as soon as possible. Rib joints will invariably fly off the shelves but at the moment we have good supplies of everything. We will be open from 10.30am and really look forward to seeing everyone and discussing Scottish islands, flower arranging and chitting potatoes!
Our next beef days will be on Friday 28th April and then Friday 26th May, by which time we will be selling BBQ bags.
Very best wishes
Bill and Bridget