Where did August go?
On the farm we very nearly finished the harvest before the wet weather arrived. We've got about 90 acres of spring barley still to cut but it is spread over 3 farms and 7 fields! We managed to cut the beans before the pods completely shattered and shed the beans on the floor, we did lose a little bit of yield but overall they performed better than expected.
On the whole this year's harvest has been comparatively good. By and large the weather has been ok and we've had better than expected yields, especially when you consider how wet it was when we were trying drill the crops followed by a very dry spring.
The harvest equipment hasn't broken down too many times and the guys operating them haven't had to do too many late nights. Harvest can be an incredibly stressful time with lots of long, hard hours but equally can be very pleasurable and rewarding seeing the end of product safely stored away in the barn.
The main part of Ashlyns' business is supplying the ingredients and preparing school meals. During lockdown we were still feeding the children of key workers but nowhere near the normal level. Our home delivery service took off over night and we were overwhelmed with the demand and positive feedback. Looking back it's remarkable how quickly we adapted the business and continually evolved the products available via customer requests.
All of the team have had access to the lovely comments we've received and at times it's been humbling, to the point of emotional, with the praise and thanks. We feel that we've played a part in trying to keep our local community fed during the some of the most unprecedented times we have ever experienced.
Initially we had toyed with the idea of scaling back the home deliveries in September so as to maintain our focus on school meals, however, having discussed it with the team we've decided to continue but with some small adjustments.
Unfortunately we now don't have the time to collect fresh bread and Cammas Hall fruit everyday. We can keep a stock of fresh bread in the freezer if that helps so please let us know if that's something of interest. The other main difference is that we cannot make any home deliveries on Mondays. Traditionally this is our busiest day for delivering to our schools and we have to ensure those demands are met - the photo's below show just a small part of today's deliveries to homes and schools, and not all of the children are back yet!
Hopefully there will be no noticeable change for our customers and the guys are already thinking about what delicious hampers and gifts we can design with Christmas not that far away. We will be offering local Free Range Turkeys again this year which will be available to order shortly and our butchers will no doubt have some lovely ideas to add to your festive basket.
Thank you again for your support!
With best wishes from the Ashlyns Team.