We're in the mood to celebrate as we head into September, after the best summer here at the farm that we can remember. The harvest is in, the grass is cut and baled, and the livestock are looking very well. As well as an extra glass or two of cider, we'll be offering plenty of deals on our organic meats this month, and doing tastings at the farmers market as part of the Soil Association's Organic September campaign, so keep a look out each week on our website www.higherhacknell.co.uk.
Now it's time to sort out the sheep and get them ready for tupping at the end of October. Tim's weaned the lambs and they are now literally knee deep in clover, so not missing their mothers too much! The ewes have to be 'dried off' for a period before they go to lusher pastures, and Tim is off to select a couple of new Lleyn rams for the flock tomorrow.
We are very proud to have won another Great Taste Award, this time for our Lamb and Squash Curry ready meal, so if you haven't got time to make your own, you could happily pass ours off as home made-with the judges commenting that it has 'a generous amount of lamb with excellent piece size. The aroma is good and the curry has a home cooked taste.'
With a slightly more autumnal feel in the air now, I've enjoyed getting back into routines again and spending more time in the kitchen. We've been making the most of our ripe tomatoes and cucumbers, and to compliment them I got inspired to make my first ever pork pie. Although I was immensely pleased with myself (especially when I didn't drop it coming out the oven, it was heavy), it was such a labour of love, making lard and stock, as well as the pastry, that I'm not going into production any time soon! However I'm very happy to share my recipe, and also pleased to receive any of yours, so do send them to me by email or comment on our Facebook or Twitter pages.
In the meantime, do make the most of the offer on our delicious South Devon organic beef and get some casseroles made and put away in the freezer while we are giving 1 free 500g pack when you buy 5x packs of beef stewing steak. Just order 2.5kg of beef stewing steak, and then write in the comments box at the end 'special offer'.
There's an old farmers saying about the harvest that 'if you haven't got it, you won't need it'. I hope it's not true in reverse, because for once we have plenty of hay and silage, and a long hard winter isn't something I'm looking forward to. We wish you a beautiful autumn, and may winter be a long way off!
With best wishes
Tim, Jo and all at Higher Hacknell Farm