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It’s that time of the year when we get to do one of our favourite things at Godminster Farm… it’s time to release the cows!
Every Winter we bring the herd indoors to stay nice and warm during the colder, wetter months. Their barn keeps them far more comfortable than they would be in the wet fields and they even get their special mattresses to sleep on at night. By the time Spring rolls around again and the ground is much warmer and drier then ladies can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the fresh green grass… which means when it comes to throwing open the doors the cows are absolutely overjoyed to be outside again! Have a look at the picture… one cow is so happy to be outside she’s been rolling in the grass already
As if that wasn’t exciting enough the team at the farm have been welcoming all sorts of new arrivals. Calves and lambs have been adding to our numbers all this month, with nearly 17 new lambs (including a few triplets) joining the young flock.
Another new arrival is our brand new tractor… stay tuned for pictures of that particular newcomer in later posts!
Godminster’s range of Organic Bries are lovingly handmade by our skilled artisan cheesemakers Malcolm and Steve Dyer in the beautiful market town of Bruton, Somerset. One of the secrets to their great taste is the fresh organic milk delivered daily from our 1,300 acre farm only one mile away from the dairy itself. Enjoy the smooth, creamy ripeness of the Organic Brie when it’s at full maturity or when it’s crumbly and young.
The process of creating our Handmade Organic Brie only takes seven days between us collecting the milk to wrapping the final product ready for sale:
1. Cows milked at Godminster Farm
2. Cheese manufactured on the day of milk collection – one mile from the farm
3. Cheeses are drained over night
4. Transferred to drying room for 24 hours
5. Then transferred to ripening rooms for 6 days which are temperature and humidity controlled
6. Wrapped by hand on day 7
7. Ready for sale. Buy your own Godminster Organic Brie Selection here!
Godminster Organic Brie can be enjoyed at any stage of its life – just take a look at our handy chart below to see what you can expect from your cheese as it matures:
Approx. 4 – 6 weeks prior to Use By Date: Young & Firm
Approx. 2 – 4 weeks prior to Use By Date: Medium Ripe
Approx. 1 – 2 weeks prior to Use By Date: Ripe
It was an overcast Friday morning at Godminster HQ when all of a sudden the heavens opened and snow appeared! It lasted for a grand total of two minutes before the weather changed its mind and opted for blue skies and sun for the rest of the day… A classic example of how surprising a spring day in England can be!
We’ve also had several new arrivals at the farm in the past couple of months, including these beautiful black & white Normande calves. We have nursing hutches designed specifically for our new calves that keep them warm and cosy against any unpredicted snow showers!
We were in the middle of a meeting the other day when we spotted a visitor on one of our ponds… it was one of the first swans of the year stopping by to have a quick paddle and to check out the local wildlife!
As part of our commitment to farming organically we look after 15 diffferent ponds across the farm as well as all the wildlife they encourage.
As the year progresses we’ll keep you updated on any more interesting sightings out and around the farm… Watch this space
In the first of our series on the ‘Godminster family’ – an insight in to our food producer friends – we’re chatting to the husband and wife baking duo behind Godminster’s award-winning crackers and fruit cake…
What’s the perfect Vintage Organic Cheddar without the perfect cracker to go with it? Declan and Ulrika from down the road at Mattimia in Wincanton know all there is to know about what goes in to making the best vehicle for your favourite cheese – they’re the talented bakers who lovingly hand bake every one of Godminster’s extra special Oat Digestives and Rosemary Water Biscuits as well as our juicy and plump Fruit Cake. We chatted to Declan on one brisk January afternoon to find out more…
What is it that makes the biscuits so special?
“For us it’s all about authenticity of ingredients. Take our Oat Digestives for example – we only use real sugar and butter. Everything that goes in to it is carefully selected for its great quality – like our flour for example, which is stoneground at Cann Mill in Shaftesbury (about 20 minutes away).”
Where did the idea for the Rosemary Water Biscuits come from?
“The Rosemary Water Biscuit evolved from the original crackers that Godminster used to have years ago. When Godminster decided it was time for something a little different they asked me for my input. The flavour was inspired by the sight and smell of rich rosemary that I found out grows in abundance all over Godminster Farm. We’ve been working on getting the crispness of the crackers absolutely perfect – it’s all about the lamination (the process of folding the dough back over on itself repeatedly) which gives it that perfect flakey crunch.”
We know that fruit cake and cheddar cheese is a great Northern tradition – what can you tell us about the process of baking the perfect Godminster Fruit Cake?
“I have to say, the fruit cake and cheese combination isn’t my bag at all! If I’m not eating biscuits with my cheese then I would have a nice crusty loaf of bread but I know from the amount of cakes I’m asked to make it must be pretty popular! I do love the fruit cake simply on its own, just for the pure enjoyment of it.
“The most important part of baking the Godminster Fruit Cake is taking your time – we bake them really slowly in a very low temperature oven for hours and hours. The temperature is so low that we actually insulate the oven with sheets of cardboard! All the time and effort we take in making sure the Fruit Cake is cooked ‘low and slow’ is exactly what makes it so juicy. You just can’t rush a good Fruit Cake!”
Want to try for yourself? You can find Declan and Ulrika’s handmade Godminster Oat Digestives and Rosemary Water Crackers in our Party Packs or try the award-winning Godminster Fruit Cake in our Cheese & Cake Combo Gift Sets.
It’s been a great year of growth and success for the team here at Godminster, with exciting award recognition and fantastic new staff joining our ever-growing Godminster team.
Throughout the summer we picked up national and international awards and took the opportunity to meet our customers up and down the country at different shows and events. One of the many highlights of this year was receiving the news that we were one of 130 products (out of a total of over 10,000 entrants) to have won 3* Gold Great Taste awards for two of our vodka spirits this year. To have been recognised by such a prestigious body for our hard work was a great honour and a real boost to the team as we went into the busy Christmas period.
Another highlight was to see our products now being sold in France, Sweden, Hong Kong and even Australia. Sharing the goodness of Godminster with customers around the globe has been a great achievement and we hope for more in the coming year.
We hope you all have had a wonderful and restive end to 2015 and I look forward to a very exciting 2016.
Every year all the local shops and producers come together to throw open their doors for the Bruton Late Night Christmas Shopping event!
Come and visit our shop on Wednesday 9th December between 6pm and 9pm to meet some of our fantastic team and taste all of our award-winning cheese, chutneys, biscuits, vodka spirits… and also try a drop of our Bloody Good Mary!
See you there!
Every week in the run up to Christmas we’ll be giving you a behind-the-scenes peek in to what goes on at Godminster HQ at the busiest time of the year! This week we’re introducing you to Rachel, one of our busy Christmas elves from the sales office…
This is Rachel’s third Christmas as a member of the Godminster sales team and manager of our lovely local shop in Bruton, Somerset. What she loves this time of year is making sure our shop in Bruton looks its best:
“We work really hard on making sure that the Godminster shop display changes with the seasons and that there are always lots of Godminster goodies for our visitors to taste,” explains Rachel. “At this time of year it’s so important for our customers to be able to come in, sample our award-winning cheese and decide whose going to be lucky enough to be given Godminster for Christmas! But most of all putting the big Christmas display up is probably my favourite bit – the products all look beautiful and it really kick-starts the Christmas spirit.”
As well as looking after the shop Rachel also makes sure that our retail and wholesale customers get all their Christmas orders in good time.
“Working with all the farm shops and delis that stock Godminster is so exciting at this time of year,” she says. “The staff at Godminster really come together to make sure that all of our customers are looked after and have everything they need for a successful Christmas. It’s a great feeling.”