Towards the end of September or early October, the daylight fades and the autumn equinox, heralds the transition to the new season, a time which has also traditionally been marked by celebration.
The sun is definitely lower in the sky, there’s a noticeable chill in the air and I know autumn is starting to settle in because the blackberries have started appearing in the hedgerows.
This season, the collection is focused around rich, natural tones, which have been inspired by the plumage of British birds, from dark raven blacks and tawny browns through to lighter snowy whites.
To many people, particularly in this country, the simple act of putting the kettle on to make a cup of tea is a ritual that instantly soothes, comforts and calms. And I confess I am very much of that belief.
One of our core and founding principles at Daylesford is the belief that we need to farm for the future, to protect the land that we work and the soil that nourishes our produce so that we are not the last to feed our families and enjoy its bounties.
In the weather we’ve been having recently, I just want to eat something light and very refreshing in the evening so a simple consommé is perfect. It is also a dish that sums up the way I like to eat in the summer, placing a very seasonal ingredient – beautiful sun-ripened tomatoes – at the centre of the plate to let its flavours shine.
The more I have spent time in India and the longer I practise yoga, the more I have engaged with the traditions and philosophies in which yoga is rooted and their ability to heal and balance the body.
I eat outdoors whenever I can and whatever the weather, so having a picnic is one of my favourite ways to spend a summer’s day. For me, they’re a joyful way to appreciate nature, sitting with friends and family, surrounded by the sights and sounds of summer. And I love the sharing element that comes with all the passing of food and topping up of drinks.
For me there’s no better way to enjoy the season’s produce than plucked straight from the ground or the stalk – that fresh flavour is hard to beat. So every year we open up the farm’s garden so that you can come and pick your own supper from among our organic fruit and veg.
This week is British Flowers Week and we’re joining in the celebrations with a series of special workshops and events at the farm. British Flowers Week is an annual event to showcase the work of the UK cut flower industry.
I absolutely adore jellies and they are particularly wonderful in the summer. They really celebrate the best of the season’s ingredients and allow the purity and intensity of a flavour to shine.
We recently hosted a very inspiring and popular botanical watercolour workshop at our farm in the Cotswolds so I wanted to share some of the beautiful imagery from the day as well as the details of the next, which is being held on Saturday 23rd June.
Today people around the world come together to mark one of the most important days in the UN’s calendar and one that is of particular significance to me and the whole team at Daylesford.
Asparagus has such a short season – a fleeting eight weeks, that I try and enjoy it as much as I can during that time. Our Cookery School has put together this simple recipe to celebrate the asparagus which is still poking its head out the ground at the farm. Paired with our light and creamy Daylesford soft cheese, it puts the asparagus centre-stage and makes a quick and easy and option for a light brunch dish, lunch or supper.
We are just two weeks away from marking Daylesford’s annual Summer Festival. It’s a day of celebration we all look forward to every year as we open the gates to the farm to share our passion for organic farming with stalls, events, workshops, dog shows, baking competitions, craft demonstrations, vintage cars and lots more.
With the warm weather, I’ve been eating outside at every opportunity recently and inviting friends to come and have lunch or dinner in the garden. I don’t really have a sweet tooth, but I do love serving puddings when I’m entertaining, and something fruity and light is a wonderful way to end a meal.
Our teams at Daylesford and Bamford came together last week at a very special night for me: the launch party to mark the publication of my new book Nurture. It was a moving moment to walk into our shop in Notting Hill and see a little of everything that we do on show for our guests.
As more and more people focus on what they put into their bodies via their food, I often wonder how many show themselves the same consideration with the choices they make about what they put on their skin?
Over 40 years ago I started out along a path that I never imagined would one day lead me to this point. But today, as my book Nurture launches, the story of that journey comes to life on the page and that is a very humbling moment.
London Craft Week (9–13 May) is an annual event that showcases exceptional craftsmanship and unknown makers alongside masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands. To join the celebrations this year Daylesford and Bamford will be working with innovative and inspiring craftspeople and hosting a number of events at our London shops.
Vibrant, bright and full of the flavours of spring, this quick risotto is made with nourishing ancient grains and plenty of greens from our organic Market Garden. You can add your favourite herbs and spring vegetables depending on the season and what might be in your garden.
Today is an exciting day for the Bamford Grooming Department – our Bamford collection of skin and body care for men – as we open our first stand-alone store in London. The collection is a collaboration between myself and my son George so I am especially proud and delighted to be working together again for the launch of our first retail outlet.
It is now over 40 years since I set out along a path which has led to the creation and the growth of Daylesford. It began with a desire to challenge the way that my family were farming; we couldn’t continue to farm using pesticides and chemicals – it wasn’t right for the planet and it wasn’t right for my family’s health.
Our Haybarn spa is set within the tranquil greenery of our Cotswold farm, and for me that setting is what makes it so unique. After a restorative treatment, you can savour the calm and relaxation in your body and mind by sitting surrounded by nature, connecting with its sights and sounds.
Safeguarding the future of our planet has always been one of our biggest drivers at Daylesford and we are constantly striving to be as sustainable as we can in everything that we do. Individual efforts, even making the smallest changes to our habits and choices can lead to real change on a wide scale.
April is my favourite month for foraging, and this simple gnocchi recipe is the perfect celebration of springtime’s bright green shoots, combining heady wild garlic and tender nettle leaves. Finishing the fluffy gnocchi off by pan-frying in a little butter gives a wonderful textural contrast to this simple yet stunning dish. Just the thing to tuck into after a morning of foraging.
For as long as I can remember, I have been following and embracing the principles behind a Japanese philosophy known as ‘wabi-sabi’. It is a concept that’s hard to define precisely but at its core is a celebration of the beauty in the imperfect.
Planting trees in hen fields may sound like a strange thing to do but it’s the first important step in our latest undertaking on the farm – our agroforestry project. Agroforestry is a means of managing combinations of trees, crops and livestock so that not only do you get better results from your crops; above all, and as was my main intention in launching this project – you enhance the welfare of your animals.
From the food on our plates, to the clothes we wear and the air that we breathe, nature is all around us. Yet today’s fast-paced world of technology and machinery has distanced us from the earth’s resources. Many of us have disconnected ourselves from nature and we quickly forget all that it provides and the miracles it performs every day.
A year on a farm is marked by milestones – the appearance of the first spring shoots, the cows going out to pasture, the harvesting of the orchard’s apples and the bright autumn berries bursting out of the hedgerows. But one of the most joyful times for me and one I look forward to every year is lambing season. It’s a very busy time on a farm as we welcome the abundance of new life.
The welfare of our animals and the respect we show them has always been at the heart of everything we do at Daylesford. Our animals are free to roam our organic pastures and the state of their health and well-being is closely monitored by our farmers throughout their lives.
For the past 40 years, we have been striving towards sustainability at Daylesford. Everything we do, whether on our organic farm or in our farmshops and cafés, is with this core value in mind, for the benefit of our environment, our soil and our future.
On cold wintry days, this is a recipe to warm and nourish the body and soul. Lentils are a fibre-rich staple for winter larders, full of the vital mineral magnesium which promotes good sleep and helps keep us calm.
Shrove Tuesday – or Pancake Day, as many of us know it – is something we celebrate with great enthusiasm on the farm. But for me, this Tuesday is also an opportunity to reflect on the origins and meaning behind the celebration.
Since launching our first Haybarn spa in the Cotswolds, my aim has always been to focus the treatments and classes we offer around healing. From soothing massages and cleansing facials to restorative pilates and meditation classes, our spas are sanctuaries of calm – places to nourish and restore your well-being holistically.
Sustainable consumption applies to so many areas of our lives, but for me, I think it is meat that is one of the most troubling areas. ‘Eat meat, but eat less, and of a higher quality’ has always been my view, but for many people, poorly produced meat is a daily staple, consumed each day with little thought for the detrimental impact on our health, our animals or our planet.
I am delighted to share our new eBook for January, which brings together wellbeing philosophies from our organic farm at Daylesford, and the holistic Haybarn Spa at Bamford.
I am incredibly proud of the fact that Daylesford is one of the most sustainable farms in the country. Since the very beginning we have set out to farm, grow, produce and sell food according to sustainable principles and every year we learn new ways to work in harmony with nature and get one step closer to our ultimate goal of being 100% self sufficient.
Daylesford Discusses is a series of events held every other month where we bring together a panel of experts to highlight and debate a variety of issues around food, health, well-being, sustainability, balance and conscious choices.