Happy Christmas from all at Yew Tree farm
We would like to wish you all a fabulous festive period and a delightful new year.
Christmas Feast Facts
Turkeys had been brought to Britain from America hundreds of years before Victorian times. When Victoria first came to the throne however, both chicken and turkey were too expensive for most people to enjoy. In northern England roast beef was the traditional fayre for Christmas dinner while in London and the south, goose was favourite. Many poor people made do with rabbit. On the other hand, the Christmas Day menu for Queen Victoria and family in 1840 included both beef and of course a royal roast swan or two. By the end of the century most people feasted on turkey for their Christmas dinner. The great journey to London started for the turkey sometime in October. Feet clad in fashionable but hardwearing leather the unsuspecting birds would have set out on the 80-mile hike from the Norfolk farms. Arriving obviously a little tired and on the scrawny side they must have thought London hospitality unbeatable as they feasted and fattened on the last few weeks before Christmas!
Mince pies were then made from minced meat or chicken instead of the fruit used today.
In 1377 at the Christmas feast of King Richard II of England, 28 oxen and 300 sheep were consumed.
Christmas is a time of plenty and of course it is wonderful to feast and fill ourselves to the brim occasionally.
It has long been part of the Heritage Meats ethos that to do justice to our meat producing animals, nothing should be wasted. It seems that food has become too cheap and almost disposable; this is usually at the cost of animal welfare, the environment and the farmer’s livelihood.
People often suggest that eating ‘ethical’, organic or high quality meat is out of their price range. I encourage you to consider this- in 1960 40% of the average wage was spent on the family food bill, nowadays only 10% is spent on our families’ fayre. Maybe it is our priorities that have changed! I don’t think it was the norm to have several holidays a year, satellite television, two cars etc in the 1960s.
Nowadays 30% of all food is chucked in the bin; this is not acceptable in the same world where millions are starving.
I am not preaching (well perhaps a little) I love my creature comforts too, however I think that we could be a little more realistic about what we are prepared to spend our money on and why. Perhaps we should eat less meat, buy better quality and waste nothing, most westerners eat far more that their healthy helping anyway.
A little support for sustainable farmers by purchasing their food will ensure that we have a secure food source in the future. The food will be from healthy, happier animals, grown on land that is both fertile and supports abundant natural wildlife.
This little Victorian poem is a lovely reminder of this message.
"Waste not - want not"
I must not throw upon the floor
The crust I cannot eat,
There's many a hungry little one
Would think it quite a treat.
My parents take the kindest care
To get me wholesome food,
And so I must not waste a bit
That would do others good.
The corn from which my bread is made,
God causes it to grow;
How sad to waste what He has given:
He would both see and know.
'Tis wilful waste brings woeful want,
And I may live to say,
Oh, how I wish I had that bread
Which once I threw away.