The happy couple - Hannah and Mike.
One of our animal stars has just had his view on life improved considerably - by having his hair cut...
Here's Woody sporting a new trendier style!
This week at Bampfield we have seen the arrival of three new baby calves.
When the calf is born, the race is on to make sure the calf gets milk from its Mother within four hours. This is important because the first milk the mother cow produces after giving birth contains colostrum - this is a very nutient rich form of milk which feeds the calf, helps it's gut to develop properly and contains antibodies or things which help the calf to fight disease in the first few weeks of its life. After three to four weeks it will have developed its own ability to produce antibodies but initially it needs help from the substances in its mothers milk if it is to remain healthy and to grow strong.
When the Mum has fed her calf for two days, she goes back to join the herd. The calf goes into the lovely warm shed with the other calves and Farmer Neil or Lynda feeds them with milk twice a day.
Here is a picture, taken in Goodleigh church, of some of Margaret's wonderful pumpkins and onions - part of the bumper harvest of produce grown in the vegetable garden at Bampfield this year.
The onions and pumpkins form the staple ingredients of a delicious soup made by Margaret and shared by some of the older residents of Goodleigh at their monthly "soup and pudding" lunch - a lovely social gathering with plenty of chatting!
Margaret's pumpkin soup is also a firm family favourite so we thought we would share it on the website in the hope that it will become a firm family favourite with you too...
1 onion chopped
1tsp madras curry powder
1 pint chicken stock
1 dessert spoon tomato puree
1/2 pint milk
salt & pepper to season
parsley to garnish
1) Peel the pumpkin. Discard the skin and seeds. Dice the flesh into cubes
2) Melt the butter over low heat in a large saucepan and cook the onion until soft - about ten minutes. Raise the heat, add the curry powder annd cook for one minute.
3) Add the flour and cook for one minute, stirring. Then add the stock a little at a time, stirring. Finally add the tomato puree and pumpkin.
4) Bring to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes until the pumpkin is soft.
5) Liquidize the mixture and return to the pan. Add the milk and gently reheat.
6) Season, garnish and serve.
This is a lovely warming and hearty soup and in case you cant manage it all it freezes really well, too.
With tasty organic Bampfield chicken in Sainsburys this week we thought we would share one of our favourite recipes..
This one is for "Real chicken Nuggets" and came originally from a book called "The Dinner Lady" by Jeanette Orrey. Kids love chicken nuggets and these are so simple and easy to make. There are no additives, and really, they are so tasty and quick to make and cook that neither you nor the family will ever want the shop bought ones again... You could even get the children to help you make them..
Ingredients: (serves four)
225g brown or white bread
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
900g diced chicken
1) Preheat oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas 6
2) Slice the bread then toast it until light brown, Break into pieces and reduce to fine crumbs in processor. Add the garlic powder and paprika and whizz again to combine. Place crumbs in large plastic bag or on a deep tray
3) Beat the egg and milk together. Add chicken pieces in batches. Transfer the chicken pieces to the bag or tray of breadcrumbs and toss evenly to coat.
4) Arrange the crumbed chicken on a lightly greased baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes until browned and crisp and cooked through.
We hope you like them!
British Food Fortnight (21st September - 6th October) coincides with Harvest Festival in Goodleigh, and across the country, farmers and gardeners are celebrating and saying thank you for all the good food which has been grown this year. So let us celebrate with them and here are some of the ways we can celebarte and encourage seasonal British produce:
Buy locally sourced food and minimise the air miles...Support local butchers, greengrocers, farm shops and markets. If they source locally, they will be able to tell you where your food has come from and a little about the person who produced it....
When you are shopping in the supermarket make a special effort to look for the British logo on food packaging - the red tractor (stands for traceable and independently inspected food from farm to pack) or the union jack. If the food you select is imported is there a British equivalent in season?
Spend an hour at a farmer's market where all the food will be fresh and seasonal as well as locally produced.
Pick your own - what could be fresher and more satisfying than picking the fruit or veg yourself?
Encourage your local school to run food related activities so that children will learn more about where food comes from and how to prepare healthy locall sourced meals.
The National Farmers Union campaign slogan is "Make it British. Make it Local. Make it happen". The message is that Great British Farmers produce Great British Food - you can be sure of what you are getting and you know where it has come from.
Incidentally, this week in Sainsburys' Organic chicken aisle you may find Bampfield Chicken for sale - but only while stocks last!
To enable you to take full advantage of your Bampfield Organic Chicken we have posted one of our favourite recipes - why not send us yours? Enjoy!
This week, Farmer Neil has been making preparations for next year - overseeing the preparation of the ground and drilling (sowing) grass seed for a new crop of grass. A contractor cultivated the ground with an einbock harrow, drilled the grass seed and put fertilizer on the ground. The field has been rolled and now we are just waiting for some lovely rain to germinate the seed!
The really good news for this week is that our dairy cattle herd have passed their tuberculosis test. Cattle are routinely checked on an annual basis in the South West for bovine tuberculosis. If cattle are found to react to the skin test then the herd can be placed under movement restrictions - they are not allowed to be moved or sold until the whole of the herd are once again tested to be clear. Farmer Neil is very happy that he can sell cows and calves at the market again!
On Tuesday night the chickens we have been rearing on the farm since they were a day old are being collected to go to the factory. They are now 10 weeks old and their average weight is 2.34 kg (the boys are always heavier than the girls) - quite a difference from the little chicks we photographed on arrival..
So, still plenty going on to keep Farmer Neil busy...
We told you they loved being out in the fields - this cow is positively smiling for the camera as she chews her favourite meal!
You may remember we asked you some time ago to vote for a name for our third lamb?
Well the result of the poll on Facebook is in....
Here is a picture of our newly named "Nugget". As you can see she's too busy eating to be impressed!
Last time we posted some pictures of the new milking parlour - well last Wednesday we introduced the cows to it for the first time.
At first it didn't go well - like all of us when faced with a new system or situation they had no idea where to walk or to stand! One week on we are happy to say that things are much smoother - the cows are much happier with the new system and they love to go out into the field. For us its a really satisfying sound hearing them munching happily on grass.
We need to make sure the cows are getting the right amount to eat so Farmer Neil has been using a plate meter to measure the grass. The plate meter measures the height and the density of the grass as you walk the field. With the information that the meter yields (Farmer Neil has to calculate something called "dry matter per hectare") we can work out how much grass we need to allow the cows access to on a daily basis to make sure we get maximum milk production.
Lynda has been preparing the chicken shed for some new arrivals - on Tuesday 7480 day old organic chicks arrived on the farm. Did you know that day old chicks can travel for a day without food and water as they are still sustained by the goodness from the yolk sac? When they arrive with us, the shed must be very warm - 33 degrees C. We must have water readily available and their food is placed on the floor, on paper, to make it easier for them to eat. Lynda carefully nurtures the chicks in their nursery shed for three weeks, after which they are moved out into sheds in the fields surrounding the farm, where they continue to grow.
We've had a bumper year in the vegetable garden - and this is one of the busiest times. We have been harvesting runner beans, squash and courgettes - all of which have been in abundance. We have been making chutneys, jams and especially apple and mint jelly to store for the winter.
The swallows are gathering on the phone wires chattering away and making plans for their winter migration. Seems it won't be long before they go in search of sunnier climes...They are making the most of their last few weeks here and the same can also be said for families - they have had to squeeze in as many days on the beach before the return to school.
As we wave goodbye to the swallows, understanding that they crave the sun, we can't help feeling they miss out on a little, leaving North Devon in the Autumn...The trees will begin to take on their gorgeous colours, mornings will become crisp and atmospheric..Why not take advantage of our September and October special offers and come and check it out for yourself? Or maybe you could recommend us to a friend?
The days might be turning colder but there's always a warm welcome at Bampfield.