We are great followers of the old sayings which year on year seem to be a more reliable forecaster than the latest meteorological data. However as March 'came in like a lamb' , we've been expecting it to 'go out like a lion' but it seems we've been blessed with almost perfect weather this month! It makes such a difference when newly born lambs and their mothers can go straight out to grass and you see them skipping about the fields instead of huddled up sheltering under the hedges. It's so much better for us farmers too! Trudging back and forth to check constantly on the sheep in wind, gales and mud is no fun and wearing T shirts instead of layers of waterproofs is a lot nicer too!
We had a welcome shower of rain last night which will help the recently planted barley to grow and the grass seeds to germinate. Another saying - 'A speck of dust in March is worth a King's ransom' meaning that it's worth a lot to be able to get crops in the ground early on in March - also comes to mind! The cows are calving now, a bit earlier than we wanted, because we try to get over the lambing before calving starts, but Tim couldn't hold our new and very eager bull back last year! The cows seem to be having the heifer calves OK on their own but we've had to help some of the ones with large bull calves. Then we have to keep a good eye on them to make sure they can feed from their mothers and that cows don't have too much milk for them.
Easter is a busy time in the butchery as well, Christmas come early! Lamb is the traditional favourite, either legs and shoulder joints for roasting or our great value lamb boxes. The chickens have been growing well, so hopefully we'll have some large ones for Easter and we even have some (frozen) turkeys if you've got a houseful to feed. Following Easter is the extra holiday for the 'Wedding', and if you are throwing a party, why not barbecue some proper sausages or try our bumper BBQ box!
If you're not having your own celebration, do come and see us at the annual Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink 29th April to 1st May where we will be cooking our delicious steak-burgers and have a great selection of meat!
Please note that delivery dates due to the holidays are different from our usual days. In Easter week all deliveries will be made on Wednesday 20th April, no deliveries on Thursday 21st or Friday 22nd, so I would very much appreciate your orders to be made by Monday 11th.
With very best wishes for a Happy Easter.
Tim, Jo and all at Higher Hacknell Farm