Hampton Newsletter January 2016

January-2016a

Warming casseroles, Hampton beef pies and succulent roasts……..

For the first time this winter it’s chilly, frosty and sunny and all our thoughts are turning to beef stews, heart-warming casseroles and delicious steak pies. This is all because our first beef day of the New Year is rapidly approaching on FRIDAY 5th FEBRUARY and we will be open from 10.30am to approximately 3.30pm with fresh coffee, newly baked cakes, glasses of red and sausage tasters. The beef day was originally in the diary for the end of January but with Christmas and New Year holidays at the slaughter house we could not guarantee to hang the carcass for our required four weeks, hence the slide into February. All good things come to he who waits!

We have plenty of delicious dark, red, well hung meat for ordering, from our 10kg family beef bags with a bit of everything, to our bespoke ordering service. Those making large casseroles might want extra stewing and braising steak. That large spag boll will need loads of mince and of course the beat the winter blues barbeque needs steaks and plenty of them. Personally I think that a roast of prime rib is the ultimate for flavour and wow factor which pleases the traditionalists, pleases those in need of seconds, and delights anyone who makes thick flavoursome gravy and loves winter roast veg as an accompaniment. Order at least a double rib for maximum effect.

The best beef news of 2016 so far is that we will also have Hampton Special Beef Pies for sale. Packed with Hampton beef, shrouded in homemade pastry and cooked to the secret Hampton recipe which is always a winner, book your pies now to avoid massive disappointment.

Hampton Herby Sausages and Hampton Beef Bangers are available for ordering and come in handy packs of six. Supplies of Hampton wild venison are low at present but our stalker is out and about all day at this time of the year so this could change at any moment. We enjoyed an oak smoked haunch of Hampton venison last weekend and as always we marvelled at its flavour and succulence.

We also have good supplies of offal if anyone is feeling brave. The liver is really delicious and the kidney will work brilliantly in your own S and K pie.  So please place your beef order by email or over the phone and we will ensure that it is all packed and waiting for you on the 5th FEBRUARY.

The cows and calves look well on their winter diet and are pottering around the driest fields. We will be pregnancy testing all the herd at the beginning of February to check how far each mum is in calf and this gives us a rough calving calendar for the spring and summer. Its not an exact science but should help. The calves are loving the lucerne silage we made last summer which is high in protein and extremely palatable and we drop the round bales into their feeding trailers for a self-service 24 hour buffet.

11,000 hop plants were planted in our new Puttenham hop garden back in early December and Mr Mervyn Carless from Herefordshire will be back in the spring to complete building the new wire work and poles which he started with his gang in the autumn. It’s all go in the hops.

We have planning consent to erect our new hop picking and drying shed which will be a fantastic facility for the farm and will be located midway between Puttenham and Seale. This will help with transporting the Hogs Back Brewery hops which we will pick and dry again this year. However, progress on the new building has been delayed by the planning system, and for our 2016 harvest we will be picking and drying once more in Puttenham. The aroma of Fuggles hops in the village will still be present in September.

In the woods we are coppicing chestnut which makes excellent fencing stakes and hop poles, and we will soon be replanting the areas in Britty Wood and Totford Wood which we clear-felled a year ago. Thousands of new trees have been delivered, a mixture of chestnut and pine, and this is the perfect time to plant.

This is also the perfect time to order your Hampton Naturally Reared Produce, so do have a look in the post-Christmas empty freezer, work out what you need and send over your requirements. Bridget and I look forward to seeing everyone on Friday February 5th and hearing of resolutions, diets, and plans for the year.

Very best wishes to all,

Bill and Bridget

Our Next day is Friday 18th March

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