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A Week on the Estate: Runner-Bean Wine, Maps to Bacon Baps & Vain Chickens

As we roll into October, the weather has taken a decidedly autumnal turn since the last burst of summer warmth we enjoyed in mid-September. Winter is certainly coming and historic properties need to be well prepared. Repairs and maintenance of the front-porch roof and pillars of the Hall got underway this week.

On the land, there’s always plenty of work to do. Last week, while the sun shone, the third and final silage cut was rowed up ready for baling over at Brinkhill. This field will be brought back to arable cropping and sown with winter barley. This week, JSE Systems spread gypsum to help balance pH levels in the soil.

Green Beans grown at the Estate's walled garden

Closer to home, we found a recipe for the more intrepid gastronauts out there: runner-bean wine. We harvested the last of a mighty yield of beans, shelled them, used them in a meal and set aside the leftover green pods. We cooked the pods for an hour then put the green-brown dirty water in the brew bucket, with the remaining pods in a net at the bottom of the same bucket. We added sugar, waited for the mixture to cool down and added yeast. We’re hoping it tastes a lot better than it smells.

Damian Furlong has been out and about delivering our popular walking maps, some of which guide the hungry walker to local cafés. Damian found a lovely bacon roll at JJ’s Café in Hagworthingham, and a coffee – and some friendly Lambretta fans – at Ulceby Cross. Our maps must be very popular at cafés as Damian keeps popping back.

Tristan discussing Distillery Gin with the Bluebell Inn owner

Massingberd-Munday Distillery Manager Tristan Jørgensen found new converts to his Burrell’s Dry and Marie-Jeanne artisan gins. Darren Jackson, landlord of the Blue Bell Inn, Belchford, got a good talking-to at the distillery and is now serving these classy beverages. Sharon Davies, landlady of the King’s Head, Louth, also received Tristan’s passionate pitch.

Last weekend, the Saturday Club worked hard and covered a lot of ground in cool, wet weather. They tested out Short Walk 4, notching up 2.2 miles, cleared branches brought down by strong winds and picked carrots from the garden. Not a bad morning’s work!

Finally, we congratulated Isabelle Clarke. She was a runner-up in the ‘Young Wildlife Photographer’ category of The Collection Museum’s Wildlife Photography Competition 2020. Her image of a vain chicken, titled ‘This is my Best Side’, was taken on a photography evening with Damian Furlong at South Ormsby Estate last year.

Damian was impressed: ‘Well done, Isabelle! To have a photograph in an exhibition does wonders for your confidence as a photographer. To get a placement in a competition shows you’re on another level, especially in wildlife photography which is a difficult genre. I look forward to seeing more of your published work.’