A Look Forward To 2019
As a new years resolution, I’m aiming to update this section with a couple of posts a month for no other reason than to keep a mini diary of everything we do here at Duchess. Last year flew by and it’s so easy to forget some of the highs (and lows) as we segue into the next activity or project so by doing this I hope I can look back at the end of the year with a sense of achievement and use these posts as lessons to improve and move forward.
After a hectic 2018, we have plenty more to look forward to this year, some we can reveal now and some will have to wait.
This is going to be a new branch of Duchess where we aim to build a regenerative farming model for heritage and alternative grains; from seed to loaf. What does this mean? It means that we will source old varieties of wheat we can grow without the use of herbicides, pesticides, etc. We already do this for E5 Bakehouse in London (http://e5bakehouse.com/) and now hope to increase our varieties to offer a quality product grown sustainably and with the planet in mind. Leading this is Abi Aspen Glencross, go follow her on Instagram @abiaspen
Last year George at Kitty Fisher’s in Mayfair asked us about producing a smoked oil to save him the hassle of doing it himself. So we did some research and found someone who could smoke our oil until we’re able to bring the process in house. The result is a 48 hour smoked over oak rapeseed oil. It is delicious! It’s now a real favourite amongst our customers and so this year we’re looking at releasing one or two more flavours. We have a couple in the works so watch this space.
After the inaugural PX+ in 2018, we saw how the hospitality community came together over a weekend of exquisite food and drinks, and engaged in meaningful conversations on a range of topics. This year we want to do it all over again but bigger and better and we already have the dates confirmed: August 17-19. Tickets are now on sale so head over to the website and get yours: https://www.pxplusfestival.com/
A Million Bees On A Farm
This year we have signed up to plant a bee friendly pollen mix across 10 hectares to promote wild bee populations. In the last 20 years 98% of all the UK’s wildflower meadows have disappeared causing a sharp decline in bee numbers who are incredibly important to our natural ecosystems and even more so for farmers as they pollinate crops. For lots of pictures of bees and snippets of information, follow their Instagram page @amillionbeesonfarm
Oscar took a trip to Uganda in November to help establish a new farming cooperative in line with the Ugandan government’s 2040 vision to fully mechanise the farming system. Oscar toured small, medium and large scale farms to observe their current practices and to identify ways to improve their methods. The overall thought was that the methods currently employed are rudimentary so by imparting some of our knowledge and building a supply chain for farming equipment, it won’t take long to see improvements in both quality and yield. Another trip is planned later this year so stay tuned.