The Farm is busy as ever, as is Fine Foods. The Show season has begun and we have launched ourselves into it with an exceptionally busy May. We have already covered Exeter Food Festival, St. Ives Food & Drinks Festival, Christchurch Food Festival, Spring Tide Summer Festival, as well as our local and regular Farmer’s Markets. We have a very busy summer ahead of us at Fine Foods. By the time the June copy of the Link lands on your doormat, we will have been to River Cottage Spring Fair, Symondsbury, Bath & West and Ottery St. Mary Food & Families Festival. These events give us an opportunity to showcase our products and give customers a chance to meet the team, ask lots of questions and sample our delicious range of award winning products. They are, in fact, our shop window.
I was at Spring Tide Festival on Sunday with James. What a fabulous event at Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock. The view could not be better, looking over the sea, the weather was perfect and it was great meeting customers, who come on holiday at the same time each year, just to come to the Festival …… and buy our products! James joined Team Fussell a year ago, the Bath & West being his first gig for us. Do look out for him over the Summer months as he will be representing us near and far.
We at Fine Foods have also been busy with our ‘Blooming Rapeseed’ Tours. These have been a huge hit with our visitors. They have loved going down to the Rapeseed Field; standing listening to Andy’s passion for his farm and the reasons why we grow Oilseed Rape in our rotation. Tim then explains how our amazing Press works and we finish with a cooking demonstration, bowl of food and visit to our shop.
Shaun, our Farm Manager, has been very busy on the farm over the last few weeks. After an exceptionally wet winter and spring, we have seen the oilseed rape eventually come into flower. Seeing the fields of yellow make me smile. Yellow is such a happy colour, or I think so anyway! It makes me think of warmer, longer days knowing that harvest is fast approaching. Shaun has also been busy preparing the fields to plant maize into our rotation. It all starts with good old muck spreading which is then ploughed in. I love watching the tractor with the plough behind, turning our lovely rich, dark soil. The seed bed is then prepared with the power harrow. Once ready, the field is drilled (planted) and then rolled to ensure good seed contact with the soil. Germination will happen in 7-10 days, 2 tiny leaves showing first. It is fast coming up now, getting established and you can see the fields tinged with green and the neat rows of planting. This whole process requires skill, patience and experience. Our maize will be harvested towards the end of October. We currently grow our maize crop for a local farmer who uses it for cattle feed. Have you ever thought how many times the tractor goes over a field before the harvest is ready for combining? Then it all starts again!
Soon we will be haymaking, but more about that soon...
These are just some of the things that have been happening on the farm and at Fine Foods. There is never a dull day here!
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