A Remote Link

07 April 2020

Much has changed in the last month. Who would have expected the rapid halting of all activity worldwide and the massive disruption to peoples lives? With many of the businesses located on the estate now closed for a period, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding how they will re-shape and re-open in the months to come. We are very grateful to see the support being offered to businesses and employees by the government, without which, there would be irreparable damage to these fantastic businesses.

The local supply chain becomes ever important when distribution and processing is affected by global disruption. We have seen the popularity of home delivery for food and other goods increase and the interest in good food rise further. With many people now time rich and with concerns over health and finance, with limited social contact, the family meal times have become the social gathering occasion.

Bowhouse has set up a new online market Bowhouse Link, to connect producers with customers in the East Neuk and help those businesses maintain direct supply, while the monthly food markets are suspended. The first deliveries will head for the doorsteps of the East Neuk this weekend and online markets will be regular weekly events, with new traders being added as we expand the delivery system.

Bowhouse Butchery also began trading online, selling organic beef and lamb, pork and venison from the estate, while Scotland the Bread have been inundated with orders for not only flour, but mills, baking equipment and sourdough starters. It does seem that we have returned to a time where good food is intertwined with good health.

On the farm, the rhythm of the seasons continues to keep everyone busy. We are fortunate to live and work in such fantastic surroundings and have the distraction of livestock and crops which continue to give birth and grow regardless of the issues elsewhere.

Lambing and calving are over halfway through now, with some superb young animals out enjoying this well deserved sunny, dry period. Planting of spring barley, wheat and rye, are also well underway, waiting for soils to warm up and enable rapid germination of seeds and weeds to be out competed by the growing crops.

Farmyard manure has been spread on the grassland destined for hay and silage, as this is the only form of fertiliser we apply to replace lost nutrients.

Learning to work remotely is something many of us have had to learn in a hurry, but no doubt many of these skills will remain with us and we will be more efficient with less need to travel and a greater degree of autonomy for all as a result. With noticeably fewer cars on the road, planes in the air and industrial processes around the globe, it will be interesting to see if the environmental impact of our activity of the past will change as a result.

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