Jonathan & Denise >
Home baked bread made with home-started sour-dough starter, home-grown rocket, home-grown and home-made quince jelly, and cold home-grown lamb. It looks like a sandwich is being made here, with a bit of everything on the plate!
A homely lunch that exemplifies our values, and one that’s profoundly satisfying ; though on this occasion there’s a special reason for posting that’s certainly not every day, but is a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
This is the last ever plate of hoggett lamb from our own flock of Hebridean sheep – the final cut. The story-line for this finale was written one dramatic (or traumatic) night back in December 2017, and the decision taken in the wake of it. The last lambs were born a few months later, and it’s taken from then until now for the story to play itself out.
That last mouthful ? As ever : tender, tasty, unforgettable !
We still have a small flock of Hebridean sheep : two wedders (the abbatoir closed down for good last year – lucky boys!), and ten ewes. Four of the ewes are 11 years old – the last of the ‘originals’ we bought as weaned lambs in 2009 (we sold most last year) and have earned their retirement and pension ! Then there’s Primrose from 2016 ; and the rest were born 2018. Now we keep them for mainly their wool, though they do now also have an important ‘conservation grazing’ role in the ongoing re-wilding of our croft. We also keep the sheep because we like them : they have distinctive characters, their own life-stories to tell – to those who have the time and are tuned-in. Three ewes – Queenie, Primrose* and Maisie – were all bottle-fed lambs. The four oldest girls (Minnie, Molly, Queenie – and her sister Haughty) have borne lots of lambs over the years, and have certainly earned their retirement pension!
* Reading about Primrose, you’ll learn also how we came to make the decision to stop raising lambs for meat – not a decision we’ll come to regret. It’s not just us that need to move on : since we made the decision, the trend towards a meat-free diet has gained momentum, and now coronavirus has wiped out an entire season of visitors to the islands (to whom 99% of our meat was sold).