May is our favourite time of year, with lambing over for another year, most of the cows have calved now and the stock are happily out at grass. But a spring which started off so well, with hot and sunny weather for lambing in March, has made April, and so far, May tricky months. By now, the winter routines of feeding silage and hay are replaced by checking the animals in the fields, but the huge amount of rain lately has made them very wet and we've had to let the animals back onto some of the pasture which Tim had put by for hay and silage. The leaves are later coming out this year, and our cider apple orchard is not the show of heavy pink and white blossom that it was last year. That doesn't seem to worry the little flock of tame lambs who are very happy playing out there, now that they are weaned off milk. There are 25 orphans or lambs from mothers who had triplets and didn't have enough milk to rear them and they take more looking after when they are hand reared than the other 500 or so! The cows enjoy life at this time of year and just have to feed their calves and eat grass! And in another month they'll have to get together with the bull to get back in calf again! We bought a new bull at the South Devon Herd Book Sale in Exeter in March, and he began his career here at Higher Hacknell by breaking through a couple of gates to explore his new home, so we know he's strong but hope he knows his job!
Today I'm off in my white van to the River Cottage Canteen in Axminster delivering a fore-quarter of beef, mutton and pork and meeting their new head chef, Sam. We've been supplying meat, making bacon and Hugh's herby sausages since before Christmas with Hugh's various sausage recipes keeping us busy blending and grinding spices. The other day when chef Tim asked for Chorizo Chipolatas, I realized they hadn't given me a recipe, so he suggested we make one up. Luckily when I asked him if they were OK, the reply was 'bloody lush'. We've got some inspirational new barbecue ideas based on these spicy recipes coming up in July, and for June we are launching the new 'Jubilee' Box, with 10% off, costing just £27 and a great for all your celebrations over the Bank Holiday . Why not add to our selection of steakburgers, sausages and lamb koftas, with some deliciously tasty steaks: :sirloin, fillet, rib eye and rump?. If staying in and chilling out is more your thing on a Bank Holiday then why not try our new dishes, Chicken Masala, Lamb and Squash Curry and Spanish Pork from our multi award winning range of ready meals. They are recommended by the hungry boys from Wolverhampton Wanderers who've devoured Higher Hacknell meals after their away matches all season!
Look forward to hearing from you soon and hope you enjoy your Bank Holiday Jubilee - whatever the weather!
Jo, Tim and all at Higher Hacknell Farm