Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Delicious mutton

We're just back from the butchers and our mutton is looking amazing! Have a look at these photos of some diced and loin chops. Such a rich, dark colour which needs to be cooked slow and low.... Somehow it doesn't feel quite right talking and thinking about stewing meat at this time of year but as I look outside it is still overcast and more rain is forecast! Having said all that about the mutton the new season lamb looks pretty yummy too and we're sure the chops, cutlets, burgers will go down well at tomorrow's market in Henley.

We had Lou Hannan from BBC Radio Oxford join us this morning, to record a piece for next Thursdays breakfast show. We chatted about what is involved when people come and be 'shepherds for the day' with us, in particular focussing on the corporate days.

We are still waiting for a few clear days of rain so we can crack on and cut our hay, Roly is beginning to get a bit twitchy, but is trying very hard to be patient!

Camilla, Roly, Molly, Boris and Belle

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Teambuilding down on the farm

We had a lovely time when the Ceres PR team joined us to be 'shepherds for the day' for their teambuilding day. We got them busy straight away with identifying their favourite cuts of lamb over a cup of tea and then we headed down to the farm to set them up for their challenge! They practiced working Belle and gathering a group of sheep into our fixed handling pen and we talked through what we look for when selecting lambs for market. We stopped for lunch, lamb and mutton burgers of course, then we let them loose on our mobile handling system which they had to put together and then ask for Belle's help to get 90 lambs into the handling area to then select 8 lambs for market the following week. The team all did really well.

We really enjoyed watching them all work together, but we found it quite hard taking a back seat! Their day ended with us giving them a selection of lamb to take home to share with their family and friends.

'The days objectives were met very well – the day was very well thought through, well managed, good fun and I learnt loads.

The building exercise was great fun – it was really interesting as well to see how the team worked together outside of our normal working situation – some insight and surprises as well for me with the team so very informative from that side of things.

Fantastic hosts, extremely approachable, could ask them anything - both Camilla and Roly were extremely welcoming, it was a very relaxed atmosphere which was great and certainly contributed to a very enjoyable day so thank you very much'. Kathryn Race, Ceres PR

We had another group join us to be 'shepherds for the evening'. They call themselves the Warborough Challenge and get together once a month and take it in turns to organise a different activity. Their destination is kept a secret to them until they arrive but they were briefed to wear flat caps and ginger sideburns, I got the giggles when they arrived! They all soon got stuck in and did a condensed version of the full shepherding day before heading off to the pub!

If you think this type of teambuilding day might be of interest to you and your team, please get in touch with us.

New season lamb is proving popular on the bbq's now that we've finally had some sunshine. We are putting together some special bbq packs so put your orders in while the sun is still out!

Camilla, Roly, Molly, Boris and Belle

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Meet Basil

We've been shopping - meet Basil, Camilla's birthday present! Basil is a 14month old Oxford Down ram. The Oxford Down breed originated in the 1830s after crossing Cotswold rams with Hampshire Down and Southdown ewes. Basil is what we call a 'terminal' ram, which means his offspring will be for meat. The other type of rams we have are 'maternal' rams, which we use to produce future breeding stock. In rugby terms we compare 'terminal' ram to a prop forward, and 'maternal' ram to a fly half!

We will let you know how Basil gets on.

Camilla, Roly, Molly, Belle and Boris