Saturday, 20 November 2010
So we went along, no l tell a lie, we sent Harry along [Farmer doesn't really like wearing black tie gear] with the promises of good food & a free night out. As he left, he asked would he need to make a speech if we won? I casually assured him that he wouldn't, just shake hands, smile for the photographer then go and sit down.
I didn't hear Harry come in, but over a late breakfast shared with the previous evening's loot scattered across the kitchen table l was informed that a] the food was blurdey brilliant b] the tables were growning with bottles of plonk and c] he had to make a speech and no he couldn't remember what he said. The award evening, Harry proceeded to inform us, were more MTV than School Prize giving.
So we are now proud holders of the York Press Family Business Award 2010.
PS: in the photo Harry is right in the middle of the shot stopping down behind a brunette [girlfriend] & blond who are in the front row.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
It's quiet nice really, the end of the season, a little more opportunity to have 'me' time, relax and generally catch up on things that get side lined during the Summer. The ice cream parlour is now closed on Mondays & Tuesdays, whilst we operate reduced hours during the week, 11 - 4, but remain open as normal during the week end. Don't get me wrong, we are still busy, wholesale orders still come in, farm shops & restaurants busy ordering seasonal & Christmas flavours, best of these seems to be the new winter flavour, damson & plum crumble with Christmas pudding coming in a very close second.
We have some new customers this autumn, with Drewtons Farm Shop holding a very successful opening last weekend with Jenny providing samples of Mr Moo's Real Dairy Ice Cream to the shop's visitors. It's really great to get direct customer feedback and with the new flavours going down an absolute treat! Other major projects this year have seen the building of a new purpose built freezer room, this has made storage a much easier task with easy access to stock & reduced electricity bills! We have also improved the visitor facilities for viewing the livestock. Not content with the freezer room & barns we have also set up an anemometer care of Fastmast, to record wind speeds on the Hill Top field with a view to installing some sort of wind turbine. So you see, nothing just stands still we are always busy with something!
On the farm, the sheep have arrived for winter grazing whilst the red polls heifers & Malcolm the Hereford are now inside for the winter. The sheep today do look pretty miserable as the wind is at storm force and the sharp squally showers seem to resemble water coming out of a pressure washer. The heavy seas at high tide have resulted in large chunks of the SSSI being washed away, ice age peat deposits stand no chance against the pounding waves of high tide. The whole beach area looks as though a tsunami had struck, bolder clay, concrete WW2 defenses being strewn like balsa wood across the sand & clay.
Our seasonal staff have now finished with us until next year whilst Harry & Jenny are starting their Advanced Apprenticeships in food manufacture whilst the rest of us have updated our CIEH stage 3 food hygiene certificates. Some of the photos on food hygiene were pretty gross, the worst being the man from japan who, after eating sushi for many years, had parasitic worms lodged in his brain...............
Well, there go, busy season, sales have gone well with our wholesale customers, we have had some good press coverage in several national publications, and on a whole the summer months have not been too bad. Bookings are starting to come in for next year on the CL site, though we are now an adults only site, with Bank Holidays about fully booked. Wish us luck for next Thursday as we are short listed for in the Family Business category in the York Press Business Awards.