|Autumn on our farm
|Lobbs Farm Shop Autumn 2013 Newsletter
Autumn is a time when we can take stock and plan the next year’s cropping. We had planned to start drilling the 2014 crop of winter barley and winter wheat during the first week of October and if all went well finish before the 20th of October. This would allow the newly planted crops to emerge and grow away whilst there are a few good warm days left. Unfortunately we have had an annoyingly damp autumn with rain at least every other day. We need two or three dry days in a row so that the ground dries enough to allow the tractors to plough and work the soil, which we have not had. Hopefully we will not see too many bare patches where the soil was too wet.
On the livestock side we have got all our cattle in the farmyards on their silage rations.
Terry and I (Ian Lobb) have both recently had to give our cattle tuberculosis tests which went through well without any reactors – Good News.
The ewes have been lambing and there has been plenty of grass in the meadows and pastures because it has been a good growing time for grass. I have just had a busy week with half of my autumn flock all deciding that last week is a good time to lamb. It has gone well though as it is a lot easier to foster a triplet lamb onto a ewe with a single lamb if they are born at roughly the same time. If the lamb is fostered when still wet it is often easy to convince the ewe that the extra lamb is hers as well. Sheep have an acute sense of smell and can spot an impostor lamb once they have the lambs’ scent impregnated on their brain.
Lobbs Farm Shop news
Vouchers We are really pleased that many of you are bringing back your calendar vouchers to claim the 10% discount in November. If you have not got a voucher then please do make a Christmas order from the butchery or delicatessen which will then entitle you to a fabulous Lobbs 2014 calendar which includes discount vouchers for next February and November. The calendar has local scenes taken by local photographers and it is a good way of raising money for local charities as we give £50 for every photograph that we use. This also means that we have a calendar that celebrates the beauty of our local area which we all are so lucky to enjoy.
Hampers are a great present to give a friend, relative or neighbour for that special personalised thank you. Here at Lobbs Farm Shop you can select your own gifts and products which we can then pack into your chosen hamper box or basket. We have chocolates, ales, wine, biscuits, a massive choice of chutneys and preserves all waiting to be packed in to hampers. Many people make a theme of Cornish, indulgence or even a cheese and biscuits box. We really do have a great range of local and West Country distinctive foods. Please do come and have a look.
You may want to come and enjoy the special Christmas shopping nights here at Heligan on the Mondays of 2nd, 9th and 16th of December.
The Butchery will be pleased to take your requirements for your Christmas festivities. We have Cornish turkeys and geese, ducks from Devon and of course our own Cornish beef and lamb. Last year I had a rib of beef which was absolutely delicious. Our meat is well hung and comes from a traditional slow production method. This, in my view, makes a tastier eating meat. We had a large family group where a few people preferred their meat cooked on the pink side and others wanted a more thorough cooking. The rib is so versatile because we took the joint out of the oven 30 minutes before time and cut down between the 1st and 2nd rib. After further cooking this section was not pink but the meat between the 2nd and 3rd rib was still pink – everybody was happy!! We then had meat for the next couple of days which was absolutely great for an easy tea.
Let’s talk turkey!
We have whole, crown, boned, white, Norfolk, organic and bronze.
Whole – A traditional Christmas turkey complete.
Crown Boneless ¬ is the body of the bird boned out so that you can slice right through the joint sold without the legs and wings.
Crown Bone in is the body of the bird including the breast bone sold without the legs and wings.
A Bronze turkey refers to the breed these have brown/bronze feathers and are known to be a better flavour.
A white turkey is white feathered and would normally be slightly cheaper.
A Norfolk turkey is barn reared so will have grown quicker on less feed but will not have experienced the outdoor lifestyle, these will be cheaper to buy.
Of course, just to confuse things, we can crown your whole turkey so that you can slice through the rolled joint and supply you with the legs and wings which will easily cook separately alongside the turkey. This has the advantage of taking less space in the fridge and the oven. Alternatively you can save the legs and thighs to cook at a later date; the choice is yours but please do discuss your order with one of our knowledgeable butchery team.
Lobbs farm shop delicatessen has a range of pies and quiches such as our vegetable feta puff with courgettes, red peppers, red onion and garlic – scrumptious. The chicken, ham, apricot, and leek pie is proving very popular. We also have our Pork pies, Lobbs pasties, bacon and egg pie and sausage rolls.
The cheeses we have in stock currently include the lovely Cornish Camembert and the goats cheese Capricorn these are both lovely when warmed in the oven before serving. We also have the Cornish Gouda and Cornish crumbly two terrific cheeses well worth a place on your cheeseboard. Cropwell Bishop, Dorset Blue Vinny, Cornish Blue and Devon Blue are all available each is different and special in their own taste and flavour which is your favourite blue? Not forgetting Montgomery’s cheddar which is a terrific unpasteurised Somerset cheese the real Mc Coy of cheddar cheese.
The pates in the deep freeze section are numerous with many flavours ideal for that Christmas treat either a on its own or as an accompmiant to other meals. It is rather good smearing pate on to your steak just before serving ummmm! Choose from Wild Boar with Liver. Venison pate or Chicken liver with Rosemary and Thyme. Festive Duck pate or Tequila and cranberry pate.
Please do order your requirement before Christmas to ensure availability just ask at the delicatessen counter with your selection and choose your day of collection.
Newsletter - Summer 2013
News from the farm
Summer has been really good to us this year; so many days of glorious sunshine it has been perfect for the visitors to Cornwall (and all of us lucky residents) being able to enjoy our wonderful countryside, beautiful beaches and fantastic farm shops!
Down on the farms As the old saying goes “make hay when the sun shines!” and the farm has certainly had a busy and prolific summer so far! With the perfect conditions, Richard, Terry and I, Ian Lobb, have been busy cutting hay and although the quality is excellent, the quantity has been reduced due to poor grass growth during the spring. We have also just cut a second crop of silage to help replenish silage stores emptied after the long hard winter. This year’s cereal crops are looking fair and we are hoping for good yields of corn and straw. Terry and his son, Darren Lobb, have oiled and prepared the combine harvester and now we are chomping at the bit – waiting for three consecutive dry days – to be let loose in the fields or as they say... “Thunderbirds are Go Go Go”! You may have seen us walking the cereal fields with a bag in hand pulling and collecting wild oat plants - a job we call “roguing”. These are pernicious weeds that have the remarkable ability to thrive in farmers’ crops despite our efforts to prevent their growth. The plants are tall, with 4 to 8 stems on each plant and up to 20 seeds on each stem; thus a staggering potential of 160 seeds grown from one tiny wild oat seed! These clever seeds have two hairs on the seed which twist when the seed dries or becomes wet, resulting in the seed being able to push itself into the soil. Nature really is amazing!
The chemical companies are able to supply us with a spray that will reduce the population by 95% in good conditions, but that leaves 5% able to survive and to grow in the following crops. If the control was 100% then the companies would not be selling the product for many years! By roguing, however, we have kept the infestation of any seeds spread by birds, machinery or even the seed we buy in new each year to a low level. Although roguing is tiring work, it is good exercise for us and it does reduce the amount and the expense of chemicals that we use on our crops, as well as maintaining the health of our soils, crops and my waistline.
During July we have begun generating electricity from our PV (solar) panels; it will be interesting to see how much we can reduce our electricity bills from the grid by using our own renewable resource instead. The field is also currently being grazed by my young ewe lambs and during the recent hot weather the lambs were very happy to rest under the shade of the panels and get out from the midday sun. In September, these ewes will be introduced to the rams and they should have their first lambs in February.
Farm shop news
Alongside lots of our old Cornish favourites, our delicatessen has had a few new exciting products this summer, including a new creamy cheese “Devon Blue” (it had to bring its passport!) and a new range of scrumptious “Pate-in-a-Jar” from Patchwork! The “Devon Blue” is an excellent blue cow’s cheese with a moist, slightly crumbly texture and is made by Robin Congdon of Ticklemore Cheese on his farm by the banks of the River Dart. Our new Patchwork “Pate-in- a-Jar” includes the varieties of Mediterranean recipe chicken liver pate with spiced chilli and Italian recipe chicken liver pate with apple and walnut - a most yummy addition to any picnic!
Pigs, wonderful pigs!
The pork that we sell is specially sourced from a credible Cornish Supplier; it is cut into joints by our skilled team of butchers who can also bone, roll and stuff these joints to your every need! We offer the COMPLETE pork range: So if it's a quiet picnic for two in the garden, or and on-the-go barbecue to fill the small hungry tummies after a day on the beach, pop into Lobbs for the best grub to complement these gorgeous warm summer evenings!