Cow 493, waiting to calve…………..
Beef days are coming thick and fast and our next day will be on FRIDAY 28th MARCH when our Hampton Special Beef Pies will be back on the menu.
Prime Hampton stewing steak and shin is mixed with the finest onions and lashings of our freshly picked walled garden herbs plus a good dosh of good red and this makes up the filling. Handmade pastry is rolled on top and gently browns in the oven to a golden hue. Each pie is individually crafted by our expert chefs and they come in family or individual sizes. Wrapped and ready to freeze they make an ideal standby for that “Oh no, the larder is empty” moment. Our market research tells us they are loved by all ages from toddlers to great grandparents.
Of course prime beef is also available on the 28th from selective joints (don’t forget that Easter is looming large) to family bags of 10 kgs. Why not order a roasting joint of 2kgs for lunch, a kilo of steak for that special supper and two kilos of both mince (freezable lasagne) and stewing steak for the casserole you’ve been meaning to make since Christmas? Simple.
Hampton Herby Sausages will be available plus our increasingly popular Beef Bangers both of which come in handy packs of six. We still have some stocks of Wild Hampton Venison which is mouth-wateringly good meat if you have never tried. Our venison is Roe deer, possibly the most tender and flavoursome of all venison and they roam freely around the estate nibbling on young shoots, which are invariably our recently planted trees. By culling we make sure the estate herd is healthy and at a manageable level, and the meat we have to sell is of the highest order.
Earlier in the week we moved the most pregnant cows from the hilly parkland to a smaller field near Myrtles Courtyard where we can check them at least three times a day. I have my money on cow number 493 to be the first mum of 2014 but they tend to have a mind of their own and I’m sure she will outwit me. Most calvings take place at night and we let nature take its course, not wanting to get in the way. However every year we will need to give a helping hand at some point to the occasional cow and the skill is in knowing the timing of this human assistance.
Our foresters have been busy cutting chestnut coppice on Britty Hill where the view looking south is absolutely stunning. We will use much of this in our biomass boilers on the estate and also make fence posts and gateposts from it. They are also much in evidence on Lower Puttenham Common where silver birch is being thinned which we will dry and process for logs for the autumn.
And in our hop gardens in Puttenham we are spreading manure and starting to put up the strings for the young hops. With this very mild winter the young purple shoots are already in evidence.
Following that quick estate tour please don’t forget to put in your order for any of our naturally reared produce and Bridget and I really look forward to seeing you on 28th March for fresh coffee, cake and sausage tasters.
Our next beef day is on MAY 2nd, AFTER Easter, so do stock up if you can, and don’t forget the pies!
Very best wishes
Bill and Bridget
PS Our annual Ride in the Park takes place on Sunday 18th May. Walk, cycle, scoot, rollerblade the estate drives in safety, visit the garden and enjoy Sunday tea. Doors open 2pm. £3 admission for everyone.
Check our website for details.