June brings with it longer days and this year a considerable amount of sunshine too, starting with the first weekend of the month, where we at Fine Foods were at the Ottery St. Mary Food & Families Festival. A lovely day out with stalls, activities and events taking over the whole town. Many of the residents were involved in some way or another but it also turned into a scorching day with no shade! It would have been great to have the top to our gazebo but unfortunately it was missing from the bag! I was saved by one of the stewards who kindly went off to get me some sun protection but I then had to find someone willing to apply it!
We have since been Bridport Food Festival which again was very successful and also to our long established Saturday Farmer’s Markets in Axbridge, Frome and Keynsham where we have lots of returning customers. Farmer’s Markets have been our regular ‘shop window’ for many years and always seem to have such a buzz about them. We have a very busy Schedule of Shows and Events ahead of us. The Pommery Weymouth Seafood Festival is a big one for us on 14/15 July and the venue alongside the harbour could not be better. Look out for James and me that weekend!
During May we launched our ‘Blooming Rapeseed’ Tours which were well attended. It gave us a chance to share our passion for what we do and why we do it while the beautiful yellow flowers were in full bloom. By the time you read this article, the oilseed rape will be 3 to 4 weeks away from harvest and will have changed from its current plump green pods to dry brown ones.
We have also been busy filming in our Demonstration Kitchen for Fussels TV; do keep up to date with the latest of John Melican’s recipe creations via our website, twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We also have visiting chefs wanting to use our Kitchen and film facilities. It seems everyone is into new ideas for preparing and cooking tasty, inspired and healthy food.
And so to Haymaking …… the many grasses which have been growing at a pace, have now been cut, turned and baled by Shaun our Farm Manager. 30 big bales were made and piled high on Brown’s Ground the day before the Barn Dance. A job well done but as always, keeping a keen eye on the weather. Currently our yard is very busy with the huge hay bales being hauled in and out all via our Weighbridge.
The maize, which was planted a few weeks ago, is now well established and looking good; I love watching the changes in the evenly drilled fields. A friend of mine commented that the field behind the school and playing field ‘was a thing of beauty’ after it had been drilled! That comes with years of experience and skill together with a passion and connection with the land. The barley is already turning a pale golden colour and it will soon be ready to be harvested, around the middle of July. Harvest is the busiest time of year on the farm, as once our Combine Harvester has cut the barley, the inside hedges are cut and the ground cultivated and made ready for planting the winter crop of oilseed rape during August. Time never stands still here at Fussells and there will be continuous late nights and weekends until all the harvest is in, followed by the new seed being drilled. It’s going to be another long summer.
Next month ……. Gathering the harvest!
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