Thanks, and more thanks...

Autumn has arrived and the start of September has been glorious- a good old fashioned Indian summer, and all is busy in the garden, lots of lovely vegetables being harvested and new crops being sown and planted.
The green beans are still thriving - they have been particularly successful this year, as are salad leaves, beetroot, courgettes and onions.

Amazingly the tomatoes, in the poly-tunnel, have been ripening too quickly this year, the complete opposite to last year when we had a glut of green tomatoes which were transformed into the most delicious Green Tomato Chutney by Eira at Inner City Pickle.
Turnips are a few weeks away from being ready and the Parsnips look very promising, we pulled one out last week and the smell of fresh parsnip was overwhelming a little teaser of delicious tastes to come,ready in October/November.

John has sown and planted a variety of winter lettuce along with Land cress, Corn salad, Rocket and two new comers..."Tatsoi" and "Llattughirio".
Brussel Sprouts (another first for us) are looking good and will be ready for Christmas. Its hard to believe we have mentioned Christmas already but as ever John and the growing season are always many steps ahead!

The six piglets who arrived at the beginning of August are proving to be a handful, these are the naughtiest lot we have ever had, escaping at every opportunity causing mayhem nearly as far as Creigiau village! Amusing at first but after an hour and a half the poor Caesars staff  chasing them were beginning to lose their sense of humour, eventually all were returned safely and after extensive re-fencing we hope we have finally put an end to their adventures. A big "thank you" to all involved in rounding them up!!!

More massive "Thank You's" to all who joined us for our annual event at Caesar's Arms Restaurant Sunday 25th August, we raised over £5,000 for our nominated charity Diabetes UK Cymru.
The theme for the evening was Caribbean Night and everyone who partied with us came dressed for the occasion, on arrival they were greeted with Champagne, Pina Coladas and the deceivingly delicious Rum Punch. The steel band "Duo-Flex" were excellent getting everyone into the party mood followed by a superb BBQ and authentic curries. Again our fab staff at Caesar's who worked that evening surpassed themselves they really are an amazing bunch.

Finally just to let you know we are  organising a Halloween week during October half term at the farm shop, including competitions and raffle, we shall let you know more details a bit nearer the time.

As we write we are eagerly awaiting the delivery of more goodies from Inner City Pickle - including Blackcurrant Jelly and Jams made for us from our own home grown black currants so please call in for a visit and have a taste!

Crops, crops everywhere!

What fantastic weather!! Especially the (rather large) drops of recent rain which has helped enormously with the growing!

We have been very busy picking fabulous summer produce, beetroot, courgettes, squash, cucumbers, French beans, red onions, rhubarb and the most 'massive' elephant garlic. Our redcurrants, blackcurrants and blackberries (Black Butte) have been amazing - a real bumper crop this year. They really do make the most delicious summer fruit puddings!  Why not try with Wild Fig Vanilla Ice Cream, also available in the farm shop, mmm…perfect on a sunny afternoon in the garden, Henry Blowfeld on the radio, dozing in and out of consciousness.

Whilst we’re all reveling and relaxing in this fabulous summer weather, our chief grower, John is already thinking about the coming months and helping to keep local families stocked up with some lovely winter veg when the weather turns colder…he’s busy sowing turnip seed and winter cabbages (Celtic and Savoy) ready for the Autumn, as always the planting and growing seasons many steps ahead of us and such tasks cannot wait!

Animal Antics…
The animals are well and contented (fingers crossed!) the alpacas are particularly relieved having been recently sheared by some very entertaining and larger than life shearers all the way from New Zealand and Solva Pembs!!!  It was Lizzie's first shearing and she was impeccably behaved, as usual it was Dilwyn the male who screamed the loudest! Now they have had their annual haircut, they are enjoying this hot weather as much as the rest of us, they originate from South America so this combination of hot and wet is just like home!

BBQ?  Don’t mind if I do!
The shop has been very busy with many customers stocking up on our sausages, homemade burgers, salads and fruits, taking advantage of the super BBQ weather.
And for those of you who fancy something different on the BBQ, we are delighted to announce the welcome return of Greta's Wholefoodies  "Lovingly homemade vegetarian produce." Burgers include ''Curried chickpeas, coriander and coconut', 'Black eye beans', 'Laver bread burgers' and (our favourite) 'Kid's carrot, corn, chickpea and mango'.  Greta also makes delicious 'Glamorgan Sausages' - all vegetarian, vegan and gluten free, and can be cooked from frozen. 

We would also like to welcome "The Pembrokeshire Beachfood Company" celebrating the best of Pembrokeshire's produce and specialising in "local sustainable seafood".  Our shop is now stocking a range of their Award winning seafood wraps, local seaweed deli products including potted crab and lobster and the most superb Welsh black butter, all truly tasty and definitely "Seafood on the wild side."  Perfect for an impromptu picnic on one of our gorgeous local beaches…it’s only half an hour from Southerndown!

Please come along and sample some of these delicious products and enjoy the fantastic weather!!

Myrtle gets a Makeover…

The month started quietly with the hope of warmer weather to come and sure enough as the weather warmed up so did everyone/thing here at Caesars leading to a flurry of all began with Myrtle having a much needed 'hair cut'...

The lucky coiffeur was Richard who took a little longer than normal due to her rather rotund build! However, she was ever the lady, extremely  patient and for the first time in ages actually managed to keep quiet for a while...she feels so much better after the "event!" Just in time for this balmy weather too!

 True to form she started eating immediately afterwards...closely watched and followed  by her adoring lambs Maisie and Mayo who are literally growing overnight!!  

Happy Families…
All the animals are getting along extremely well, Little Leo, the baby alpaca, is very nosey and loves having the lambs to play with, much to the relief of the chickens who now aren't being terrorised quite so much! The other news is the arrival or rather 'Hatching' of 11 new chicks who have the benefit of not just one but two clucking mothers! They are adorable and Geronimo the cockerel is a very proud father - but keeping his distance - both mums have ferociously protective instincts and believe me their beaks are very sharp!! 
Farm fresh produce…
After a slow start to the growing season we are delighted to now have produce in abundance! Radish, salad leaves, mizuna, rocket, broad beans and more...all being picked daily and available from the shop.  Do a good deed and pop in and pick up some yourself so your family can enjoy some locally grown, seasonal loveliness!

Elderflower Ooo la la…
Eira from Inner City Pickle has just delivered her annual Elderflower harvest - in bottles......."Pontcanna Elderflower Cordial"  all picked from bushes behind the riding stables.  It is like drinking nectar......... we have a limited supply so please if you haven't tried some before pop into the shop and have a sip we promise you won't be disappointed - add a drop to sparkling water or...if you really want a special summer fizzy treat try with Prosecco or Champagne, the perfect bubbly cocktail to enjoy with friends on the patio.........Amazing!!

Stop the Press!!!

Myrtle becomes a Mother!!!

We are thrilled to announce the safe arrival of the most gorgeous twin lambs (we are biased of course!!) born Wednesday May 1st - hence their names "Maisie" (little girl) and "Mayo" (little boy). All the family are doing well and are an absolute joy to watch - come and see them and we guarantee they will put a big smile on your face!
The alpacas are extremely curious and anxious to meet the new members of their 'herd' especially Lizzie the young one who keeps poking her head through the fence for a quick nip! They have only been introduced over the fence as yet , as Myrtle has proven to be an extremely protective mum - very caring, very bossy and very vocal!!

A Massive Thank You to both Rhodri and Rydian for their wonderful help on the day - ensuring a safe and healthy delivery!
Goats a go-go?  No no!
Joey and Bruiser are truly settled in and extremely happy in their new home - so much so, they seem to have forgotten they are here to work and spend much of their time reclining on their "decking" basking in the sun!  This is the good life!

Spring is Sprouting…
Finally the sun has put his hat on and in the garden, purple sprouting broccoli is being picked as we type. This fabulous vegetable was cultivated by the Romans and grown in the UK since the early 18th century.  It is a wonderful sign of spring and full of goodness packed with iron, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, fibre and vitamin A.  If you’ve not tried it before, come and get some!  Cook delicately, steaming is good, so as not to over cook it’s delicate beauty and 
eat the stems, leaves and heads with anything you fancy!

Also thriving in the raised beds are Brussel sprouts, rhubarb, cabbage, leeks and elephant much to look forward to eating!
In the warmth of the polytunnel the tomato plants are finally catching up along with cucumbers, peppers and courgettes this space!  Before long, they’ll be in the shop ready and waiting for you!

Get in touch with Nature…
Our restaurant garden looks really pretty this year, the daffodils may be fading but the tulips are blooming! Indeed everything in the garden is rosy so please do come and visit.   Enjoy some lunch on the terrace, take a stroll around the garden, marvel at the animals and take home some goodies from the farm shop, what better way to spend a sunny afternoon?  Even if it’s raining, transport yourself to sunshine in the restaurant with some delicious fish and a refreshing glass of rose.

Mystery of the Month...Calling all Nature Detectives!

And finally…can anyone out there identify the person/animal who is determined to burrow and dig in one of our raised beds, despite being constantly filled in by John???  It’s too big for a mole unless it’s an absolute monster and not a rabbit because there is no 'evidence' left behind!  Any suggestions gratefully received!!
Have a fabulous month of May and we look forward to seeing you again very soon!

Easter Eggscellence!

We hope that you all had a lovely Easter and got to enjoy some quality time with your loved ones!  Congratulations again to all our Easter colouring competition winners.  We were thrilled to receive so many wonderful pictures which are still on display in the shop and have been brightening up the walls even with all the cold weather.  Here are some of the talented winners with their prizes.  Well done!!

More support for DiabetesUK Cymru
Congratulations also to Kerry who won the raffle and a big thank you to everyone who bought a ticket, we raised an amazing £102 which has been sent to Diabetes UK Cymru who we know will be thrilled.

Here Comes the Sun…
Well, thank goodness today it feels like Spring is finally arriving and not a moment too early!  Following the freezing temperatures, growing has been very slow in the veg garden this year so far with John being reticent to 'plant out' due to the cold nights.   We have been taking it slowly to ensure we don't harm the seedlings, but thankfully now we can go full throttle as the warm weather puts everything right again!

Even inside the polytunnel the tomato plants are coming through but way behind where we were this time last year!  All the more reason to snap them up when you see them!

The lettuces and cabbages are cwtched up under the fleeces and doing well, no doubt they will be under the sun very soon, ever the optimists…

Thankfully the herbs are doing well…bursting through are Mint, Coriander, Oregano and a new one for us this year, Tarragon.  Did you know that herbs are full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and may even boost metabolism?!?
Just one teaspoon of Oregano has as much antioxidant power as three cups of chopped broccoli!  But don’t skip the broccoli…have them together as our Broccoli will be ready to pick this week…or you could wait for some of our tomatoes and slice them up, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over oregano for a delicious, health boosting snack!
Goats Galore…
Since we last wrote, we have welcomed two new arrivals in the form of Bruiser and Joey the goats who have been given a home on the understanding they will do some hard graft and as I type, they are busy tackling the forest of brambles.  It has to be said that so far they are earning their keep, unlike the alpacas who were obviously far too busy to chase away the nearby fox seen on the prowl the other day.  As a result, the chickens are now guarded by an electric fence to ensure we don’t have a massacre!

We are still watching Myrtle (our expectant mother Ewe) with baited breathe to see if we will hear the sound of baby hooves….no signs yet, not helped by the fact her normal size is barrel shaped anyway!  Maybe she’s hiding triplets in there…

As always we look forward to seeing you in the shop soon!

Spring Stirrings...

What’s Growing?
Well…even though it may not feel like it with these sub-arctic temperatures, Spring will be with us soon…she has assured us by sending some Daffodils and there are signs of Tulips trying to push through the frozen ground.  It’s been a hard Winter but the veg growing goes on all the same..

Broad Beans are currently bursting through under the shelter of the polytunnel and herb seedlings are starting to warm up in their trays.  We’re also rather excited to have a new addition to this year’s crop in the form of Brussel Sprouts, can’t wait to try some of those!

The Shop
We celebrated St. Dwynwen’s & St. Valentine’s day selling Cariad Chocolate Lovespoons which (following a romantic meal at Caesars, of course) proved to be the perfect gift as well as lots of pots of our Caesar’s beehive Honey – what better sweet treats to snuggle up and share with your loved one?

Caesar’s Prime Pork
We have recently stocked up on fabulous legs and loins of pork as well as bellies, chops and sausages all produced from our very own Gloucester Old Spot stock…all of this pork is absolutely delicious, why not try a leg for a sensational Sunday roast or a few packs of sausages - the perfect affordable treat to enjoy any day of the week.  If you’ve not tried traditional rare breed meat, this would be the perfect introduction, we are sure you won’t go back…tastes like pork used to taste! 

Due to popular demand, Leslie, our Shop Manager continues to make the most delicious Beef and Pork burgers and you can rest assured, the only horses you’ll find at Caesars are in the stables across the road!  Interestingly, local butchers have seen sales rise following the horsemeat scandal and it’s no surprise!  You can see what you’re getting and be happy in the knowledge that you are supporting local producers and suppliers too, it’s the way to go!
What’s more, we now have 100 Welsh Mountain ewes grazing in our extensive pastures across the road and we are looking forward to the first of their Spring Lambs arriving, such an exciting time of year!

The Alpacas and Myrtle our lovely lamb have been moved into a new paddock as all the rain and snow caused havoc with the land which needs some time to recover.  Lizzie, our youngest Alpaca recently celebrated her first birthday and when the weather warms up a little will be having her first shear, exciting stuff!!  Being such a youngster, her fleece will be super soft and will be hand spun: Details to follow!

It turns out ‘Geronimo’ our gorgeous cockerel has some new kids on the block looking to take the medal for top boy!  It has been such fun hearing ‘Rollo’ our Polish Frizzle finding his voice along with another demure black and green beauty…it’s like x Factor in the big chicken house!  Geronimo, being the Gentleman he is, is taking it all in his stride but everyone knows, he’s the boss!!

We hope you’ve been keeping warm and cooking up some tasty meals…we’d love to see you in the shop soon and always love hearing from you!

A new year...

Well! We've certainly had our fair share of snow along with everybody else!  So much so that we actually had to close both shop and restaurant...thankfully only for one day! Everything looks so beautiful covered in snow and the animals have great fun playing in it, although the chickens are not so wonder when you consider they originate from the jungle!  Our dedicated staff have been in every day making sure the animals have fresh water (as it keeps freezing)! Plenty of food, a little more than normal to keep them warm and clean, fresh bedding to keep them cosy!
With all the snow, there's not been much going on in the planting department but just before it's arrival,  John was busy preparing the soil ready for action with our very own compost, lovingly created and nurtured throughout the year using manure from our obliging horses!
 Compost is actually quite amazing stuff!  We can tell you as we've been very involved with it this year...not only is it an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical fertilisers, it also builds good soil structure and texture, increasing the levels of air and water in the soil...even more amazingly, it distributes nutrients in the right quantities depending on the size of the plants, amazing!  Mother Nature really is quite remarkable!

We've been harvesting lots of Winter Mizuna (perfect for this time of year as it hales from the mustard family and has a peppery little kick) and Lambs Lettuce which have been sold in the shop and used for the salads in the restaurant.
Having been tucked in under fleeces through the winter months,  we are already starting to get some early broad beans, elephant garlic and broccoli.  

Meanwhile in the warmth of the polytunnel, we have various seedlings coming along nicely but we'll have to wait for some warmer weather before we can transfer them into the beds.

Christmas was our best yet with hundreds of happy customers enjoying their meat and other lovely festive produce ordered from the shop...we've had some fabulous feedback and are delighted to have played a part in so many customers' Christmas feasts and festivities.  We're now busy restocking the shelves and have some exciting new jams and chutneys for you to come and try!  It's also the perfect weather for cwtching up at home in front of the fire and getting some lovely soups and stews on the go, we have everything you need here to get cooking...

Back to the animals and we are very glad to announce the welcome return of Myrtle, our beautiful sheep this week.  For those who don't know, she's been on a prolonged 'healthy break' as a result of which, we hope to hear the joyful pitter-patter of baby lamb hooves in early Spring!!  Watch this space!  She certainly enjoyed her holiday and has been very vocal since she got back, telling the alpacas all about her adventure!  Needless to say, they gave her a warm welcome back :-)

We are all looking forward to celebrating Lizzie, our beautiful baby Alpaca's, first birthday at the beginning of next month.  We can't believe it's been a year since she arrived (somewhat unexpectedly) one very cold February morning.  She's a feisty little Madame, the spitting image of her mother although, fortunately, a little more friendly!  Why not come and see her in celebration of her birthday?  We'd love to see you!

Well, as I sign off, the snowfalls again, so please call and check if you are planning to pay us a visit.  Keep yourselves and each other warm!