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Ruminations on Grazing (Bridport Times, June 2018)

We write monthly for the magazine Bridport Times. To see this article as originally published, view the pages on Issue.

There’s an old saying that “the best manure is the farmer’s boot”, meaning that careful and frequent observation of your fields and crops is the key to farming. Every day, come rain or shine, we visit our grazing animals spread around the farm to see them all and make sure they are well. We observe how many are relaxing and chewing the cud, whether they look well-fed and contented or whether they are noisily complaining to us that the grass looks greener Continue reading “Ruminations on Grazing (Bridport Times, June 2018)”

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Biochar Bonfire Night – Saturday 27th October

An evening of fire, food and fun!

Join us for the chance to learn about Biochar: the latest and oldest soil-improvement you’ve never heard of. We’ll show you how to easily make this special kind of charcoal, and what it can do for your garden.

Advantages of Biochar:

  • Less watering
  • Less disease
  • Suitable for all soil types
  • Up to 30% better yields
  • Long lasting, never needs reapplying
  • Locks climate-damaging CO2 in the ground

Read More

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Knitting and Wool – Saturday 6th of October

To coincide with British Wool Week and the Campaign for Wool, a join us for a walk and talk showcasing our beautiful organic knitting wool.

From the middle of the 13th century the wool trade was the primary source of wealth in England. It generated the capital to build the magnificent stone churches in Somerset and formed the basis for international trade and in due course to the development of the British empire and colonies. With the recent resurgence of interest in natural fibres and in the crafts of knitting, crochet and felting this is a lovely opportunity to find out about wool and reconnect with our history.

With 5 different traditional breeds of sheep (Dorset Down, Shetland, Hebridean, Jacob and Herdwick) we now sell balls of organic wool in many natural colours and 4 thicknesses, as well as the excellent lamb and mutton. We will meet the sheep in the fields,

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The Importance of Bread – Sunday 16th of September

Discover the story of our flour, from soil to sandwich. See the wheat and rye growing in the fields to tasting samples of the finished loaves, with a demonstration of the milling process in between.

We have been milling and selling our organic stone-ground flour to home bakers for about 20 years now – come and see how it is grown and prepared and share ideas for using it. Flour will also be available to buy from the shop.

The walk will last between 2 and 3 hours, and will include a cup of tea to finish. Children will be welcome; it will not be arranged specially for them but they will have plenty of space and their questions, like yours, will always be addressed. Dogs may come if calm and on a lead, but this walk is less suitable for them. As always we will try to accommodate anyone with

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Open Day – Sunday 26th August

Once again, we would like to invite you to our Open Day. Visit us on the farm, discover what we offer and ask us any questions you have. Drop in for 10 minutes or 2 hours: join us just for a cup of tea and a chat or stay for a full farm walk and lunch.

  • There will be tours around the farm to see animals, crops and wildflowers
  • Adam will demonstrate the milling of our flour with bread samples to taste and recipes to discuss.
  • Ellen will be showing off the luxuriant sheepskins and our range of Continue reading “Open Day – Sunday 26th August”
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Ellen’s mutton Pie

Our mutton comes from ewes at the end of a long and comfortable life and so is perhaps the most ethically acceptable of farmed meats. It has the richest flavour of any meat and when enclosed in this nutty pastry made from rye flour makes a delicious and substantial meal.

Pastry

  • 500g wholemeal rye flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt (adjust to your preference)
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs or 1 tsp garam massala (optional but recommended)
  • 250g fat (I use part organic sunflower oil and part butter but anything will do)

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Tamarisk sour-dough bread

Sour-dough breads have long been common outside Britain, particularly Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Germany. The process is akin to that of making yoghurt from milk in that the flour is partially “digested” by the sour-dough culture and this is claimed by some to make it easier for us to digest and better for you. Some people who have problems eating conventional yeast breads find this acceptable. We love the distinctive flavour although for some it is an acquired taste. You can use wheat or rye flour, but it does particularly bring out the best qualities of rye, especially if you add a little caraway seed.

Ingredients

  • 500g wholemeal rye or wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to your preference)
  • up to 300 ml warm water (about 45°C )
  • 1 tablespoon sour-dough culture
  • 1 or 2 teaspoon caraway (or any other seed of your choice)

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Basic machine loaf

The breadmaking machine might be condemned as the lazy way to bake but the current fashion for them is encouraging a lot of people to eat better, healthier and fresher bread. Load the machine in the evening and set the timer instead of your alarm clock. Waking up in the morning to the smell of freshly baked bread has got to be the height of decadence!

Ingredients

  • 500 g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 280 ml water

Continue reading “Basic machine loaf”

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