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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 Monday, 22 February 2016 at 17:59:24
The warm(ish) winter weather has given us an opportunity of continuing the general maintenance on the estate like the fencing, of which we have some miles!
We also needed to repair a water leak which was, of course, right in the middle of the car park and much further down than we thought. Matt was allowed out of the hole by Christmas, though.
But when the weather did get colder and frostier the morning view from the office window was wonderful.
We were really honoured to be asked to be involved with this year’s Zest Quest Asia (http://www.zestquestasia.com) by our friend and long-time customer Cyrus Todiwala. We supplied venison for the Shammi Kavaab at the events gala dinner (Shammi Kavaab- venison cooked with yellow split peas and spices, ground to a smooth paste, formed into patties, filled with chutney and pan-fried – now say you are not hungry!) and Cecilia, who was invited to the event, can vouch for all the superb food.
On the night Milton Keynes College pipped rivals Doncaster College, University College Birmingham, University of West London, and former champions, Farnborough College and Westminster Kingsway College following a cook-off held at Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, the signature restaurant of the Hilton London Heathrow T5. All 6 colleges did so well to get to the final as the competition was very stiff. Congratulations to them all!
The winning entry from Milton Keynes College
We were also a happy contributor to Merlin Labron-Johnson’s residence at Patty and Bun (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/patty-bun-residence-with-merlin-labron-johnson-portland-restaurant-tickets-19906993353) to raise funds for the refugee charity 'Calais Kitchen'. This amazing group of people provide free food to thousands of starving refugees in Calais every day and any help is gratefully received.
Posted by Katy on Thursday, 25 July 2013 at 17:57:10
We Managed to Get the Rams Shorn in Time for the Hot Weather.
Here is one of our Southdowns before:
And here he is after:
Practically a different animal!
The Denham Castle lambs are growing apace and have now been weaned onto silage aftermath (that's three weeks of fresh growth after silage has been cut, basically a fresh, clean un-grazed field).
With fawning now finished the bucks have reached full antler growth and will start to shed velvet in the next two weeks.
All we need now is the weather to dry off a bit and then harvest will start next week which will keep everyone very busy!
Posted by Katy on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 at 17:55:51
We are now about half way through lambing and Neil, our stock man has had a chance to take some photos.
The pregnant ewes are kept the lambing shed for warmth and comfort and so they can be closely watched. Once they have given birth they are moved to their own private rooms for a couple of days to make sure they are fit and well and then they can be released out into the fields. With the weather being how it is this Spring, each lamb is equipped with its own coat which keeps it dry but is mostly to protect against the cold wind.
You can view more pictures in our photo gallery.
Posted by Katy on Monday, 23 July 2012 at 13:53:45
Filed under: farming
Dry at Last!
Today, following two whole days without rain, the farm yard was full of life at a ridiculously early hour and we are delighted to finally announce HARVEST HAS STARTED! The next few days will be very, very long for Matthew and his team as they rush to get as much gathered in before the next predicted rain (Friday). Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly.