Archive for September, 2009

Turning out the Ram

In some ways this is the start of the shepherds year.

When we turn out the Ram for tupping tomorrow it signals that start of the whole process of life on the farm. From now on new life will once again be growing on the farm.

This year I bought the champion Ram lamb from the national Wiltshire Horn Show and Sale. He cost a pretty penny and looks a million dollars. We will only put him to 20 ewes this year as we don’t want to work him too hard in his first year. The sense of anticipation you get when turn them out is great.

Will his offspring live up to their illustrious father? Will they be easy lambing and quick to stand/grow?

Doric on the run…..We’ll find out in the spring.



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Alzheimer’s concerns grow


Alzheimers Research TrustThere is plenty in the news at present about the risks of various forms of dementia to an already ageing population. The number of people with dementia in the world is going to double every 20 years. There are obvious concerns about who is going to pay for this NHS care in the future and how to reduce the instances of dementia in the future.

Many studies now point to Omega 3’s being vital in reducing the risk of dementia, some studies into Alzheimer’s show upto a 70% reduction in risk for people who regularly eat oily fish.

As a result there has been a major campaign to promote Omega 3’s in our diet (you may have noticed). However, are we asking the right questions? Why not address the behaviour that is causing this imbalance in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids – not to mention many other essential fatty acids for so many people – THEY’RE CALLED ESSENTIAL FOR A REASON.

So what is the cause of this imbalance?

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Meat for Fuel


Having recently read about Dean Karnazes and his amazing feats it strikes me that the Omega 3 balance must be absolutely vital for athletes. In fact on his site he has a really good section on nutrition. Yet again he makes the classic mistake of thinking organic is related to nutrition when it is primarily about soil protection and the environment.

He would do well to get in touch with Ted Slanker and get some grass fed beef rather than organic corn fed beef he might be eating.

If you run 50 marathons in 50 days then I’m thinking that when your body needs to restore the muscle and body tissue it would be better to provide it with the natural balance of essential fatty acids as these are the building blocks of every cell in the body.

remember also that the right fat is good for you

See Deans Blog here for some great insight on Nutrition and all things running


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Marcus the Sheep Lives!!! Not….


After reading this story in the Telegraph I’m really heartened.

Thank goodness we still have people in our school system like this head mistress.

Thank goodness the children at this school had more sense than the wonky do-gooders with misguided intentions who were out to make a point, regardless of the consequences to the education of the children.

In my humble opinion anyone who eats meat who is not willing to be party to its death is a hypocrite and a coward.

Well done Kids.


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Butchery versus Flavour

Lamb CutletsI’ve just come back from a very helpful “meet the Cheff” event run by HEFF.

Part of the event was a butchery demonstration by a master butcher. I’ve cut up plenty of meat but this guy was really good.

The thing is he was cutting up half a lamb that was bought at a livestock market – so it was a commercial lamb, bred for production not for flavour.

We used to produce commercial lamb and were part of the EBLEX better returns programme. Basically we were producing lean meat as cheaply as possible that tasted like cardboard.

Part of this agricultural revolution also did for the rare breeds as they had a higher fat content for finished beasts. But as we know the fat is where the flavour and the nutrition is.

Something the butcher said really struck with me: “new regulations meant we had to pay to dispose of the fat we trimmed off the joints so we worked with EBLEX to design animals with less fat on”

When the motivation for producing food is not nutrition or flavour but fat disposal regulations quantity and shape the result is not good food.

With food you reap what you sow!


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Worcester Feast 2

farmers marketHaving just attended our first food festival it’s good to reflect on the show.


We had loads of helpers from the family from my 7 and a half month pregnant wife to my mum and dad. 

Friday was really quiet for all the stall holders, with many complaining about a lack of coverage in the press leading up to the event. Saturday and Sunday saved us really and, being local, it was a great shop window for us. I’ve already had several enquiries and orders.

If anything it underlined my belief in producer integrity over organised branding. Everyone who bought from us could ask us anything they wanted about our products, and we also encourage people to visit the farm if they can. What better recommendation is there than that?

We were next to Top Barn in the food tent. They are pioneering Care Farming and show how local businesses can make a real difference in the community. Why not visit their harvest shop.



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Worcester Feast

We are off to our first food festival on Friday. Very Exciting.

We have also changed to a new butcher for all our cutting up. Tony Checketts  of Checketts of Ombersley used to buy and kill my grandfather’s livestock. So it’s history repeating itself.

More expensive but worth the quality.


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