SUMMER NEWSLETTER 2018
This is a summer to remember, its like 1976 except the dry weather has started earlier. The availability of water has been important for the animals and the lack of rain has significantly reduced the grass growth. The pastures have all turned brown and the grass is extremely dry, almost brittle to the touch.
Amazingly the cows with calves seem to be happy lying in the sun preserving their energy. I have noticed that the herd are now lying very close together literally head to tail alongside each other. This is a terrific way to reduce the numerous flies that are bothering the herd. The flies now have to risk the mass of swishing tails to get into the herd to be a nuisance.
The sheep have a different tactic to deal with the heat, they seek out the shade under the hedge or in the corner of the field where we have planted a few trees. The ewes are also restless as whenever we open a gate to enter the meadow the sheep look up interested to see if we are going to move them to fresh pastures. We do try to move the flocks every 5 days or so as it is good to reduce the build up of internal parasites. During a dry spell the grass becomes contaminated with the sheep’s urine and faeces as the rain has not washed and cleansed the grass so a fresh field is much healthier for the sheep.
The harvest has started the earliest we have ever known; the winter barley is all cut and in the store with the yields being about average. The winter barley straw has been abundant with a lovely golden colour and is valuable as a feed and for bedding.
The winter wheat harvest is now underway with a good yield and very little drying required as the crop is below 18 % moisture content. The wheat grains are small as a consequence of the dry June and July which will affect the feed value of the crop.
On the good side for us is the fact that the price of wheat has risen due to the extra demand created by the drought, many farmers are having to feed their cattle with extra cereal to replace the lack of grazing. Wheat is now trading at £170/ton compared to £130 in August 2017.
News from the shop
The hot weather has seen the butchery team making their popular BBQ meats, we have real beef burgers, tasty pork burgers and delightful lamb burgers available in the step deck.
The grill sticks are extremely popular with our customers at the moment. The Lamb flavours are Royal mint with Rosemary and Mediterranean herbs. The pork sticks are Greek passion or Lemon and ginger with chilli.
The delicatessen has a wide choice of pies and salads available for that perfect picnic on the beach. We also have a superb collection of Cornish cheeses alongside a few of the classic favourites like Cheddar, Gouda and Brie but all made in Cornwall. To accompany the tasty cheese’s, we have a huge selection of chutney one for every taste.
How about a pasty like your mum used to make, try our frozen premade pasties full of Lobbs own beef. There is a small pasty size in packs of 10 and individual medium size pasties, just pop them in the oven and no-one will know they’re not homemade.
To wash down your pasty, why not try the new range of ciders we’re stocking from Haywood Farm. I visited Haywood Farm in May and met Tom Bray who over the last 5 years has propagated and planted 14 acres of orchards. He has carefully selected apple tree varieties for their quality and suitability to the Cornish climate. This has been painstaking work and his orchards were in bloom when we visited and looked pristine. I tried the sweet and medium cider which were lovely and a cider that was blended with elderflower a novel combination which worked really well. It was a great visit with someone passionate about what he’s doing, like we are, about producing meat and vegetables from our farms. We’re stocking Haywood Farm Cider in the shop now, just in time for apple picking season.
Building work at Lobbs
We are in the process of making a few changes to the building which we hope will improve the premises and create easier access. We are creating a new entrance to the Countryside Barn providing access from the walkway.
The courtyard area in front of the shop will be covered in with a slate roof as the existing glass window ceiling has deteriated and requires replacing. The intention is to put in a few rooflights to provide daylight and new doors and porch for the main entrance.
Whilst the work is in progress the entrance adjacent to the delicatessen will be the main access point. The original plan was to complete this work during the winter unfortunately we have had delays to the project which has meant the work now has to be done during the summer.
Please do bear with us and our staff as we try to get through these hopefully short changes at Lobbs farm shop.
Lobbs farmshop website lobbsfarmshop.com
The website has also undergone a revamp and should now be compatible with mobile technology which more of us are using to purchase our everyday goods. Please do have a look and do try the site if that is your preferred route to quality Cornish food and drink.