FeedAugust 31st, 2020
At this time of year, the Somerset landscape changes from golden stretches of oats and barley, to fields dotted with bales waiting to be stored away for winter. The sound of combine harvesters permeating the hazy, still warm air.
This week we harvested our own field of barley; sown in the spring, now being put to good use by farmers Jim and Andy.
One of the earliest cultivated grains, barley is an edible crop grown in temperate climates all over the world. Destined for use in cereals, soups and stews, brewed into beer or kept as nutritious animal fodder.
We grow ours using organic methods (although we’re not organically certified), with wild oats often cropping up in between. Packed with nutrients and minerals, barley is a rich source of protein – just right for our herd of large British White cattle, who are fed on green pasture for most of the year.
The warm summer and recent rainy spell have been particularly good for this year’s pasture. But as temperatures get lower and days draw shorter, it will be up to this small but precious crop to ensure our cows stay healthy, warm and well fed during the colder months.
The British White is a traditional native British cattle breed – one of the oldest in fact, their family tree linking back to the ancient indigenous wild white cattle that once roamed the land. Their pure white colour flashed with delicate black markings on their muzzle, nose and ears, with heavy lashes and tufty tops.
A hardy yet docile breed, British Whites are known for producing good quantities of milk and high quality, well-textured beef. They are also known for their strong mothering instincts – both individually and collectively, taking turns to watch over groups of calves while the rest of the herd grazes. Ours is a suckler herd, meaning calves are left to naturally wean from their mothers until around 9 months old.Barley now separated and stored away, the grain will be used for their feed and the straw for bedding, making sure nothing goes to waste. We’re busy planting up more fields of oats and barley for next year’s harvest, to feed our cattle and ourselves.
Makes 12 bars
Pack in your bag ready for a day’s exploring…
- 500g Estate Apple & Walnut Granola
- 100g butter (plus extra for greasing)
- 3tbsp honey
- 75g light muscovado sugar
- 100g fresh or dried berries (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 160°C, butter and line a 18 x 25cm baking tin.
Add the butter, honey and sugar to a saucepan and place over a gentle heat, stirring until the butter has melted and mixture is combined.
Stir in the granola and berries (if using) and mix until everything is evenly coated.
Pour into the tin and press lightly to shape. Bake for 30mins before cooling in the tin and cutting into bars.
Visit the Mobile Newt to shop online from our Bakery and Butchery, with free next day delivery.