In November, a few of us lucky Veg Heads were welcomed by James Devonshire and James Heartfield into the Daylesford Cookery School to film three delicious ‘winter warmer’ recipes using Daylesford’s very own fantastic organic pork.
A day at Daylesford
The day began with a walk across the farmyard to the beautiful Market Garden. All the ingredients used for filming throughout the day are in season and picked either from harvest storage or directly from the garden itself, like this vibrantly green kale and fresh celeriac.
Head Grower Jeff and his team work hard all year to grow a range of fresh produce on this site near Kingham in Gloucestershire, which is then sold in the farm shop, Daylesford’s London cafes, and used for classes held in the Cookery School.
After a couple of hours of filming in the Cookery School and the aroma of warming Ginger & Lime Meatballs floating out of the kitchen, we were treated to lunch in the cosy café, which felt particularly idyllic as we watched the flames curl from the fire pit on the patio. Whilst chatting over pizza from the wood-fired oven, we learnt that Daylesford are really ramping up their focus on sustainability, with the aim of using 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2019.
Daylesford’s conception was based on a desire to return to sustainable farming, and they have been careful to tread lightly on our planet ever since, something that is visible as you wander through their farmyard: the organic milk collected from their happy herd of British Friesian dairy cows travels only 50 yards to the creamery next door, and is then packed in the innovative Ecolean pouch, significantly reducing the milk’s carbon footprint.
A tour of the extensive farm, which stretches further than the eye can see, shows the beauty of what Lady Bamford has created here. Solar panels on roofs of barns are helping towards the goal of being 75% energy self-sufficient by 2020, while all food waste from the café, restaurant and farm shop are returned to the soil via huge silos. The rich, nutritious soil of the organic Market Garden means that plentiful fruit & veg is grown here all year round, including the juicy apples used to make the cider that features in our delicious Bay-Salted Pork recipe.