We have been lucky enough to visit the Cathedral twice this week – once to mark the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest (a very nice evening and dinner) and secondly as part of the Tennyson celebrations – again a great evening and raising the question did the Massingberd-Mundys and Tennyson ever meet in the Isle of Wight?
Our local pub (The Massingberd Arms) did us proud yet again by providing lunch for twenty young farmers who came to the estate as part of a two day exercise to develop further agricultural business and technical skills run by Kite Consulting for Coop Farming Pioneers. They arrived from all parts of the country including Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland and were quite tired when they arrived at 10.30am but being youngsters they quickly rallied and enjoyed their lunch followed by a tour of the estate. They were keen to learn new farming techniques and to share their own ideas which they presented to us on day 2.
More young people have been working with our architects to produce designs in the manner of James Paine. They studied the architect’s (who was responsible for the front part of South Ormsby Hall built in the 1750s) work and subsequently produced their own design for bridges, follies and bird hides that might potentially become part of our parkland. It was great to go down to London and meet some of the students and see their innovative approaches
Jackie Dickinson, our new Brand Manager, has settled in well. We have enjoyed getting to know her and she is going to be a huge asset to the team. She worked for Channel 4 and The Royal Automobile Club before taking a break and exploring India for a couple of years. Jackie returns to us refreshed and excited to share our Vision and help take things forward. Her diverse range of interests includes yoga and wine and she used to live on a Dutch Barge in London! Jackie has a passion for the Wolds and Lincolnshire and loves walking the family dog, Muffin, at Snipedales and Gibraltar point.
This week we welcomed another new member of staff. Joe Blissett has joined our team as Community and Business Manager.
We had quite a lot of interest in the recipes we showed last week and of course its British Food fortnight at the moment (23rd September to 8th October) so here are two other recipes we tried using fruits and vegetables for the estate.
The parsnip and apple soup was easy and tasted luxurious and creamy. We softened apples and parsnips by cooking in a pan with butter for 10 minutes before adding chicken stock, sage and cloves and simmering for 30 minutes. After that we removed the herbs and spices and added cream and heated gently. Crispy croutons complimented the velvety texture beautifully.
The cider apple pie was good too – basically all we did was peel and slice the cooking apples and mix these with grated lemon, soft brown sugar, a teaspoon of spice and a little flour. The mixture went into a shortcrust pastry case and a woven lattice of pastry top was placed on top. Sweet cider was reduced down and poured into the centre of the pie before baking.
parsnip and apple soup cider apple pie
We have been doing our bit for the environment this week by finding self-planted saplings and digging them up. They are then being re- potted to grow on. They will be placed in their own growing areas and once established (this takes between 2 and 5 years) – they will be replanted in the parkland. As trees they will be self-sufficient but whilst young they require a bit of TLC and regular watering. We are trying to encourage a variety of species including beech, yew, sycamore, lime and ash.