Organic Beef & Lamb

01 August 2019

July Bowhouse weekend saw the first appearance of Balcaskie trading on a stall with our own Organic Beef and Lamb. Experiencing the market from a new perspective, we welcomed over 4500 customers and sold over 50% of the Beef and Lamb joints. The remaining meat has been sold to our own customers at Balcaskie from the residents, business occupiers of our commercial units and staff, and finally the Kinneuchar Inn preparing to open later this month.
Speaking to customers directly provides us with an understanding of how choices are made when it comes to purchasing red meat. In the current climate where red meat is under pressure from environmental reputation and health/welfare concerns, it was encouraging to see that the Organic status and the way we manage our farm is well received on both these counts.
Duncan Travers, who has been Head Gardener at Balcaskie for the past three years is retiring this month. In a short space of time, Duncan and his team have regenerated the gardens and delivered the framework for a spectacular landscape in the policies. We wish Duncan and Maria a very long and happy retirement.
Our apprentice for the past 13 months, Hunter has moved on to pastures new, having achieved his level 3 SVQ in Rural Skills, he will be replaced in the coming weeks by a new recruit and we hope that we can continue with this programme in future. Playing our part in training up new recruits into the industry and providing them with skills learned from our existing skilled team, the apprenticeship provides a platform which formalises qualification, prepares for working in the industry and enables a young entrant to gain the skills required to move on to the next step,
July is a good month to take stock of the past season and prepare for the next. We recently held our annual Estate meeting which includes all staff from every area of the estate. It provides a chance for the departments to report on what they have achieved over the past year and for us all to discuss the future plans, objective and remind ourselves of the important safety issues facing the rural sector. With deaths in the workplace on the increase in agriculture – we must not become complacent and need to take a moment to consider if there is a safer way to tackle a task.
The Luing Cattle Society Open day was held this year at Balcaskie, with over 250 farmers and visitors being driven on trailers around the livestock. We were lucky to dodge the heavy showers and showcase the cattle. Interest in the mob grazed cattle was clear, with the increase in our use of this technique demonstrating its success.
Lunch was provided by Screaming Peacock who is one of the young businesses we have encouraged at Bowhouse with funded places. They produced a fantastic lunch with burgers from our own beef. Judging by the number of people who had several burgers – the proof of a good lunch!

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