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Posted by Katy on Monday, 16 January 2017 at 12:51:11
Filed under: animal welfare
As Autumn started the years fawns were weaned in the warm shelter of the barns before being allowed out to start foraging for themselves, and no sooner are the fawns out then the rut starts. The roaring sound of the bucks can be heard all over the Denham and beyond.
Even if the bucks have their antlers taken off for safety you can tell they are very full of themselves at this time of year.
Autumn is also the time for food guides with the Good Pub Guide 2017 having too many of our customers to list in, but special mention must be made to The Beehive in Berkshire and The Cock in Cambridgeshire both of which were awarded the Top Dining Pub in their respective counties. And congratulations to all our customers mentioned in the Michelin Guide too.
A special mention has to be made of Lee Bye, the chef at the local Tuddenham Mill who was awarded the esteemed Acorn Award 2016 and Acorn Scholarship 2017. He has already started work on his plans to help young chefs continue in their chosen career with a Young Chefs Seminar held on 30th January at Tuddenham Mill.
As the weather gets colder the game season starts in earnest first with the smaller birds like partridge and teal and then onto the pheasants, mallard, pigeon, hares and rabbits – game that likes all the good food of Autumn to grow.
Then own shoots start, providing more very local produce and good social gatherings too as most people who attend are old friends who come every season to shoot with us.
Our 2016 Christmas charity was Emmaeus, a charity that does so much for people needing a home and a help up. We had also been approached to see if we could help with the Keech Hospice Dinner again this year. Of course we said yes and what a magnificent total was raised! So happy to have contributed.
A very busy Christmas and New Year came and went in a flash, and here we are, 2017!
A new year with new plans, ideas and stratagems! Watch this space!
Tags: Jan 2017 Update
Posted by Katy on Wednesday, 05 October 2016 at 13:59:54
Once lambing is finished there is a short break to catch our breath and then we are off into fawning season. With a little more sunshine and the early summer grass the fawns soon grow.
Also in June we heard that Lee Bye of Tuddenham Mill, one of our geographically closer customers, had been awarded a highly prestigious Acorn Award from The Caterer. They are only awarded to 30 of the top people in all of hospitality under the age of 30. Huge congratulations to him and his team. You can read more about the Acorn Award awarded to Lee on The Caterer website.
July started with some more customer accolades. The Square Meal Top 100 Restaurants 2016 listed Pea Porridge and 1921, both in Bury St Edmunds, in its listing of restaurant voted for by readers, bloggers and reviewers from all over the country. You can read more about the award here.
A couple of years ago we had a trailer stolen from the farm. This month someone broke through a series of gates and locks to get to where it used to be kept. Since we had changed routine and security since the theft, the trailer was no longer there, but unwilling to go away totally empty handed, they went and stole 5 pairs of antlers instead! Some people just leave you speechless.
August is harvest time and there were vehicles all over the Estate – enormous combines, great tractors, big trailers, huge harrows, large spreaders, a small purple bike. Sometimes you just have to take the transport provided!
We have quite a few flowers around the estate offices and summer always seem to involve quite a bit of wandering around with watering cans, so this year the matter was taken in hand on a more industrial scale with a mixture of tubes, taps, plastic tank and a forklift and it worked very well too.
Posted by Katy on Friday, 10 June 2016 at 08:58:30
Another mixed group of chefs and front of house staff from Galvin’s restaurants came visiting. From seeing the animals and how they are cared for, to a butchery demonstration, it is such a great way for customers to see where the produce comes from and be able to ask any questions, technical or otherwise, and also for us to learn from them more of the full supply chain story; literally from the paddock to the plate.
Later in the month we had a private function in the office – the combined 130th birthday of two of our long serving members of staff. Not used to doing things by halves at the Estate, we had a Champagne and Cake lunch – with our apologies to anyone who phoned that afternoon who thought we were a little more relaxed than usual! We all had a very good time!
I must say that the cake was beautifully made by Sam at Newmarket Catering.
The big farm project completed over the last Winter started to show its benefits. This was the clearing of overgrown trees and vegetation in the Denham Castle moat after permission was gained from both Natural England and Historic England to start work on the scheduled monument site. The remains of the moat had become so overgrown with shrub (mainly Willow), that it would soon be unrecognisable as a moat and would ultimately dry up, so work commenced to mechanically remove the clumps of Willow from the water and clear the banks of brambles. As the site regenerates it is much easier to control the less desirable weeds and scrub and encourage the more beneficial ones to improve the site as an area of both historic and environmental interest.
We were very pleased to find out that Byron Franklin of Clare College, Cambridge, used our Denham Castle lamb to get to the finals of the British Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year 2016. Huge congratulations to him to make it through against very tough competition.
On the awards front, a couple of our customers did really well in the East Anglian Food and Drink Awards 2016 with Tuddenham Mill’s Max Cameron winning the Young Chef of the Year, Tuddenham Mill winning Restaurant of the Year and Pea Porridge’s James Carn-Pryor winning Chef of the Year. Very, very well done to all of them.
The ewes are waiting to give birth!
Another visit. This time from Cyrus Todiwalla and his team. Cyrus has been a very long term customer of ours and it is always a pleasure to see him again. This time they made a film of their time at the Estate. This version is just a rough one (like the winter coats of the deer) – the finished version will be here in a week or so (like the summer coats of the deer).
May is busy. May is for lambs and fawns and blossoms on the trees and fields.
We started a complete and major renovation, inside and out, of one of the Estate rental properties. Huge, overgrown Leylandii hedges were taken out and it was suddenly revealed what a wonderful view out across the fields over to St Mary’s Church and Denham Hall this house actually had!
Jeremy’s Wood has had very little management in the 25 years since it was planted and has become very overgrown. The trees are too close together, not letting enough light get down to the woodland floor. This makes the understory of a wood very bare and of little benefit to wildlife. We have had some woodland experts in to devise a management plan which, once complete, will lead to spending future winter months working to improve Jeremy’s Wood as a natural habitat for a variety of animals, birds, trees and flowers. It will be a big ongoing project.