There are few things more important in life than good health and wellbeing, and yet so often these areas are neglected. On Monday 11th September we shall be meeting at our Notting Hill farmshop to talk about different ways to achieve a healthy balance in life.
Autumn is traditionally a time to give thanks for our food and I always try and spend as much time outside as possible, reconnecting with the source of where so much of our food comes from. With an abundance of colourful, fragrant fruits and vegetables in season – such as plums, squashes, pumpkins, cobnuts, hedgerow berries, tomatoes, beetroot, not to mention wild game like venison, grouse and partridge and more – the traditional Harvest months of September and October bring a final glorious display of nature’s bounty before the first frosts of winter arrive.
There is something very special about coming together at the end of the summer to give thanks for what our gardens and pastures have produced and I am looking forward to our Harvest Festival on Saturday 23rd September. Good food and traditional family fun are at the heart of the festival and I am particularly excited about our Honey Show, held in honour of our bees who have been working hard all summer to pollinate the wildflowers and crops on the farm.
Animal welfare is central to everything that we do at Daylesford and I am very proud of the fact that our animals live a happy and content life on the farm– roaming freely in the fields and living of a grass based, organic diet. This summer we shall be considering the subject of meat and the conscious consumer at our Daylesford Discusses evening on Monday 24th July.
On Saturday 20th May we threw open the gates to our Cotswolds farm for our annual Summer Festival. And whilst the weather was a little wet, our spirits were not dampened, as we all came together to celebrate farm life and the Great British Summer. This year’s festival was all about bees and we welcomed a number of experts to the farm, from beekeepers to craftsmen, gardeners and farmers, all of whom share our passion for protecting these vital pollinators.
This Sunday 18th June, we shall be bringing a taste of the Cotswolds to central London at the Marylebone Summer Fayre. From 11am to 5:30pm, the streets of Marylebone will be transformed with live music, dancing, food stalls and fun activities for children.
I am so happy to share with you the launch of our new floristry workshop at the farm. Built next door to our new Garden shop, the workshop celebrates the art of floristry and will be home to a huge variety of floristry workshops throughout the year.
Our Summer Festival is an event that I look forward to every year – a day when the farm comes to life with stalls, workshops, debates, crafts, farm tours, dog shows and, of course, lots of delicious food. This year’s festival takes place on Saturday 20th May and will be a special celebration of bees and the vital role that they play over the summer months.
Exploring the market garden with my grandchildren always gives me great joy and is a wonderful way to teach them about where there food has come from and how it is grown. This Spring, we are inviting children of all ages to come and explore the Market Garden at the farm, from 11am until 1pm on Saturday 29th April.
I am so happy to announce the launch of an exciting new project at Bamford, which celebrates our love of natural materials, traditions and craftsmanship. Our Land to Craft competition invites artists and crafts people to apply for a six week artist-in-residence programme, during which time the winner will create six pieces inspired by nature and the Daylesford estate.
With winter almost behind us, we can begin to look forward to the joys of spring. Easter is a time of new life and there is no place quite like a farm to see this happen. New-born calves are taking their first tentative steps on spindly legs, our chicks are beginning to hatch from their protective eggs, and our lambing season is now upon us, bringing with it a harmony of tiny bleats to the farm.
The Cheltenham Festival is one of the highlights of the National Hunt Season and an event that I look forward to every year. This year we shall be celebrating with a special preview evening at the farm, in the company of an expert panel of racing personalities including Telegraph racing columnist Charlie Brooks, trainers Jonjo O’Neill and Graeme McPherson and jockeys Aidan Coleman and Paddy Brennan.