March 2014 NEWSLETTER
We've had some wonderful sunny days just recently and it's finally stopped raining. Dare we say 'yippee' or is that premature? We'll certainly say 'yippee' for the snowdrops and the daffodils; and for the tulips and hyaciths which are poking their noses out of the ground.
It has been well documented nationally just how wet it has been this winter and you'll see from the photographs below that Great Berwick has taken its fair share of the River Severn being unable to cope with the volume of water being thrown at it. Whilst this is fairly normal for this time of year, the big difference is the sustained length of time we've had land completely submerged. (Sam has calculated that approx 800 million cubic meters of water flowed past the farm between Christmas and the middle of February!) Only time will tell whether the grass and clover will properly recover. We're optimistic that it will, but our thoughts are with farmers in the West Country and elsewhere who have experienced unprecidented flooding and distress.
Sodden ground conditions means that this is the first time we've had the whole herd inside since the beginning of December. We're fortunate to have space to bring them all into our large sheds and onto lovely straw beds. It is a wonderful sight seeing them all looking so content, calm and dry!
As we've said before, happy cows equal great tasting beef.
Roll on spring and all the joy that it brings.
WIth kind regards
Sam and Claire
Flood, flowers and fresh air
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This is a field of winter wheat, which is being mechanically weeded by our neighbour and fellow organic farmer, Ed Brettel. The machine is called a Robo crop and it uses a camera to differentiate between the crop and the weed. It then
cleverly rakes in between the wheat plants and down the rows. We'll use this machine at least 3 or 4 times between now and the crop being ready to harvest. It beats chemical sprays any day.
We've also been muck spreading over
the last week, thereby replenishing the soil nutrients and essential organic matter. Once spread it is quickly ploughed in to help reduce the pong and try and keep the neighbours happy!
Dates for your 2014 Diary
We're very much looking forward to this season's Festivals where we'll be in full swing selling chilled beef and our roast beef rolls. Please make a note of the dates:
Ludlow Spring Festival 10 & 11 May http://www.springevent.org.uk
Shropshire County Show 24 May http://www.shropshirecountyshow.com
Shrewsbury Food Festival 28 & 29 June http://www.shrewsburyfoodfestival.co.uk
Ludlow Food Festival 12, 13 & 14 September http://www.foodfestival.co.uk
British Pie Week 3 - 11 March 2014
Did you know that we are in the middle of British Pie Week?! In order to mark this auspicious occasion we are offering boxes of 10 of our individual, cook from frozen, pies for £25.00 (normally £30.00). This special offer is open until midnight on Monday 10th March, so if you're interested please hurry!
Organic Spring Lamb
Once again we are offering half and whole lambs for sale through the butchery
and on line http://www.longhornbeef.co.uk
. All the joints and cuts will be individually vacuum packed and labelled ready for your freezer. Half lamb (approx 8kg): £75, whole lamb (approx 16kg): £150.00. If you fancy a change from beef, it's perfect timing for Easter!
Nigel Slater's Cow Crumble
This savoury crumble uses a delicious mixture of diced chuck, skirt and shin (all of which we have available from our butchery or on line) to create a casserole which is then topped with grated potato and parsnip. Tried and tested by at least one of our customers and it's certainly a firm favourite in the Barker kitchen. The recipe can found by clicking http://www.longhornbeef.co.uk/recipes/
Thank you Nigel!
If you have any beef recipes you'd like to share, do please let us know.