March 2021 at Stourton

Logs and Landscaping News

We are now sold out of logs until Autumn and will no longer be able to take any orders.  We’d like to thank all of our log customers, both old and new for your business over the winter season, you’ve certainly kept us very busy!

We are now focusing on our landscaping products and we are in full swing.  We have good availability and lots of stock at the moment. If you are planning some work in the garden or are laying a play area or chicken run please take a look at our full range of products.

Delivery of our landscaping products is free up to 20 miles from our farm postcode, LN9 5PB. If you live outside of this area please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirements.

 

Have you tried venison yet?

If you fancy trying something different this spring why not try a joint of venison?

We have both haunch and sirloin joints available.  Both have a lovely flavour and as its venison is a very low fat choice. All of our venison is reared to the absolute highest standards and welfare and sustainability is always at the forefront of our minds.

We have produced a little video full of hints and tips to cook a venison joint. You can find it here.

Our fresh vension boxes will be available for delivery from 8th/9th April.  Our Imperial and Royal boxes are proving very popular and we can deliver these across the UK.  We always include recipe cards in the order to give you some meal ideas and handy hints if you are worried about cooking venison for the first time. Don’t miss out, place your orders now.

Last month we launched our first meal box in conjunction with the Wolds Egg company, TW Produce and Saucy Cups at the Elder Tree Inn.   We have received some great feedback from our customers so thank you! They said;

 We loved the simplicity of the starter, easy to follow instructions, really tasty venison, great presentation, good value for money and particularly pleasing”

and

 ‘a good introduction into how to cook venison, given me the confidence to do it again!’ 

We will be producing another meal box at the end of April which will be full of more seasonal produce from some great local suppliers.  Keep an eye on social media for more information once its available to order.

 

Events are On?!

We are cautiously optimistic that after 21st June we will open the estate for open days, opportunities to come camping and hopefully launch some events towards the end of this year.

We are working hard to put plans in place, ensuring we are Covid secure as well as completing ground works needed and we will share these dates with you as soon as possible.

We are delighted that we have some private bookings for weddings and parties taking place in June and we look forward to sharing our venue and celebrating these special times with those people.

 

Deer Diary

We are delighted to announce that we have had planning permission approved for the construction of some new housing for the deer within the woods.  We will imminently begin ground works for the construction of a roundhouse which will provide some extra shelter for our deer herd during the winter months or for necessary handling activities to ensure the health and welfare of the herd.

The design of the round house is open sided with a stretched canopy roof which is fully recyclable and has low visual impact.  The roof has a centralised open area that provides excellent ventilation and the structure creates a very low stress environment for the deer.

We will begin work very soon and will make sure that we post lots of pictures both during and after construction.

Images used here are for illustration purposes only.  Taken from the website roundhousesolutions.co.uk

 

On the Farm

We’ve had a few bits and pieces going on since the last blog post to say the least!

Our 2020 sugar beet crop was finally lifted early in March and delivered into Newark factory during the first half of the month. Sadly, while our root yields were ok given the difficult season, our sugar content has left a lot to be desired. Virus yellows, circospora and late frosts have left us licking our wounds as far as sugar beet is concerned. We are amongst the ‘lucky’ ones this year as our overall yield is down by just over 10% compared to our 5 year average. The national yield has been affected by 25%, with some growers sadly losing up to 80% of their usual yield!

Landwork and spring drilling have been going a pace during March. Rotationally a lot of our ‘easy working’ land is in with spring sown crops this season. This has helped our progress no end, we have now completed putting in our spring barley and spring oat crops. By the time this blog ‘goes to press’, our next sugar beet crop will be in the ground as well, to be ‘drilled up’ by the end of March is almost unheard of here. Thanks go to the hard work of all involved, it really is much appreciated.

You may or may not have read in the press about the emergency derogation given to beet growers to use a neonicotinoid insecticidal seed treatment (as long as a number of strict conditions were met). Well, due to the sustained period of cold weather during the latter part of winter the number of aphids which carry virus into the crop has been reduced by comparison to last year. This has meant that the ‘virus modelling’ thresholds set by the British Beet Research Organisation have not been met. This in turn means that the 2021 sugar beet crop will not be treated with the neonicotinoid seed treatment after all. In my opinion this is a triumph of integrated crop/pest management, demonstrating for all to see the way our industry takes a robust, evidence based approach to such significant crop protection decisions. While the modelling suggests a low risk year for aphid vectors of virus I am hoping our beet crop will have reached 12 true leaves by the time any aphids migrate. At this point the plant will have developed ‘adult plant resistance’ to virus infection and any impact will be significantly reduced. Read more about the neonicotinoid decision here.

Now the spring crops are safely in, our attention turns to taking care of their nutritional needs. The barley and oats will both receive a fertiliser supplying their needs of Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash and Sulphur. The sugar beet will receive it’s first dose of Nitrogen and sulphur.

Our winter wheat crop will imminently be receiving its first fungicide of the season to protect the crop from a number of plant diseases. Our main focus at this time of the year is to keep the crop clean from Yellow Rust and Septoria Tritici. These diseases move into and through the plant at an incredible rate if left unchecked; causing a large reduction in green leaf area. Retaining green leaf is incredibly important as the crop moves through its growth stages, thus allowing the crop to intercept the maximum amount of sunlight for photosynthesis. Read more about wheat and barley diseases here.

 

There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel and we really hope that we can welcome you back to the estate very soon.

 

Antony & Helen

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