It has been a busy week of site visits and product planning. This sounds very grand...it has actually been a week mainly of spreadsheets and meetings for me!
Jon Fisher from Fisher Modular Construction UK popped in to do a final site check and have a chat with Will & Paul about the installation. All looks good and with a bit of site work our end we will be ready for the grand 'Shop Drop' (my new name for the unit delivery day) in a few weeks time. Fisher UK have done such a great job planning and manufacturing the unit, that it will be ready to go almost as soon as it is installed. What efficiency! Keeping everything crossed for a smooth installation.
With January flying past at a scary rate, it has been a huge relief to welcome Ciara Launchbury to the team. Ciara has come on board to assist us in keeping everything on track and under control with life in general whilst we are all busy with shop plans. She has hit the ground running and what a great job she is doing - welcome to the team Ciara!
On the farm, we had our FABBL inspection which involves the farm and our paperwork being rigorously reviewed by an independent inspector to allow us to keep our 'Farm Assured' status (otherwise known as the Red Tractor scheme) for our Beef, Lamb and Crops. Not a stone was unturned and we were very pleased that we passed yet again. It is well known that the UK has some of the highest welfare standards in the world written into law. And this is something that as a country, our farmers are proud of and are very pleased to maintain. The Farm Assurance standard takes it to an even higher level, and we are very proud to be part of this scheme, ensuring the very highest welfare, ethically produced stock and a well managed farm.
The ewes are getting bigger and we are having to keep a close eye on them if they get stuck on their backs whilst having a snooze out in the field. With all that winter wool and with good broad backs, pregnant ewes can easily get stuck on their back which can be fatal if not corrected quickly - it's known as being 'cast'. It can of course happen to other animals (including Will after eating a large Sunday roast!), but is particularly common in sheep this time of year. The farm terriers Tash & Teasel are certainly enjoying the extra walks out with us to check them.
We are looking forward to another busy week ahead, and I am going to spend some time in the kitchen trying out some exciting new recipes I have found that may well find a place in the shop. We have roast Muntjac on the menu for Sunday Roast tomorrow. It's one of my favourite game meats and something that is in plentiful supply living wild in the woods & spinneys here at Waterperry. It is such sweet, delicate venison - what a treat!
Hope you all have a good weekend - thanks for following our progress and hope you will come and see us when we launch our farm shop at Easter.