Creating Fire & Feast
A little more about what we are doing and why....
Fire & Feast is an idea that has sat in the back of Judith's mind for decades (we won't tell you how many!) Ever since university she has loved the idea of cooking for people on the farm, a sort of modern day, British version of the French table d’hôte (Host's Table) idea. As a very keen camper, Girl Guide and fire cook she also wanted to help people experience the brilliance of cooking on fire so there really was only one way to go about it... Fire & Feast!
But Judith isn't the only one with grand plans, her husband, Chris, and children have all been involved from the very start. As a proud farming family it is vitally important to us all that we champion local produce and suppliers, it's also crucial that we do all of this in a thoughtful and sustainable way.
We created the Fire & Feast Campsite on a corner of the farm in 2021, this patch of land had previously been rough grass with no real purpose so it was just right for us to develop. After some back breaking stone picking we sowed a wild grass and flower mix so the site can sustain birds and insects as well as campers. Each year we 'harvest' the meadow using our combine harvester so we can re-seed it at the right time for the next season. It is amazing in summer to hear the hum of insects watch the butterflies and even hares enjoying the site!
All around the sides of the campsite you will see hedges and small spinneys, theses have been planted in small corners of the farm for the past 10-15 years they help to improve diversity by creating wildlife corridors as well and providing food and capturing carbon. Our campsite is run on solar power (when the sun is shining!) and in 2023 we installed an electric car charging point to help us continue to move towards the most sustainable Fire & Feast possible. We are now working with the Woodland Trust to plant more trees and hedges around the site to continue our work on biodiversity.
Our farm was originally bought by Chris' father Russel in the 1950s, he farmed it with his brother Roy who ran their original farm at the other end of the village. Back then the farm had arable crops, turkeys, blackcurrants and even pigs!
Now a days the farm focusses on turkey production in a small sustainable way, something Judith and Chris committed to 15 years ago when they first joined up to a tree planting scheme. We are part of the countryside stewardship scheme and in the last two years have put 60% of our arable land into the programme. We are growing food and cover for birds and insects, reinstating old hedges and planting trees to create habitats for a range of animals and capture carbon. Our next project is to look at water capture and use on the farm.
It's probably no surprise to you that we are PASSIONATE about local produce at Fire & Feast from our tiny campers shop to our biggest Tipi feasts every bite of food is as local as we can make it. This is important to us for a number of reasons, firstly we want to support other amazing local producers and help sustain our local economy. Secondly by supporting local suppliers we know the story of the food we offer where it came from, who made it and how they did it, that means we can make sure our food is environmentally sustainable as well. Finally having been a Suffolk based supplier ourselves for over 80 years we know how great our local food is so it's a no brainer really! If you've enjoyed our food so much you would like to know about our suppliers take a look at our list here.
We live by the field to fork ethos here at Fire & Feast which is why as part of the campsite and Tipi we have created a Potager garden and are working on a veg patch.
Potager means “for the pot,” in French, basically what is growing in the garden can be served at the table. We grow as much produce as we can for our kitchen and even offer up any left over for campers to buy. From herbs and funny looking pink fir apple potatoes for our dinner menu to plums for our cordial if we can do it ourselves we will.
Our veg garden in currently in the works, we are using a no-dig method which helps to improve soil quality. We are also currently working on a small orchard full of heritage apples and a bank of blackberry and raspberry canes.
Started in 1934 by Percy Alan, P A Mobbs & Sons is our family turkey business, we have been growing free range turkeys in a traditional way for over eighty years. Although much has changed in farming over the decades we are proud that we still grow and prepare our turkeys in the traditional way and we mill our own turkey feed from the grain grown on the farm.
Field to Fork is not a new concept for us its the way we have always reared our turkeys we know exactly what is going into them and can change their diet according to their needs, this makes us nearly unique today when most producers buy their feed ready made. Fire & Feast may be a departure from the traditional farm but our values haven't changed at all, we even use our turkeys at Fire & Feast, they feature in our Sunday Brunch Menu as Turkey & Pork Sausages and sometimes can be found on the Saturday Dinner menu. If you would like more information, or to order a charismas turkey take a look at our P A Mobbs & Sons website.
We are a proud part of the local Cratfield community, that is after all where Fire & Feast started! Before the Tipi Judith tested out her culinary skills cooking food for locals at the pop up pub. That is one of the reasons we offer anyone that walks or cycles to the Sunday Cafe a 5% discount (its also hopefully an incentive for people to travel sustainably!)
As a part of the Framlingham Business Association we also collaborate with other local businesses as much as possible, the Roadii fire grills on our site are designed in Woodbridge and the picnic benches on each pitch are made by Suffolk Picnic Benches. We love booking local artists and groups for events in the Tipi and we take time each season to support local charities including regularly attending Walk with a Fork and in 2023 we will be hosting a charity dinner for the Framlingham scout & guide's new headquarters, check out our Instagram page for what's up and coming!
We are a close knit team here at Fire & Feast, Judith, Chris and their daughter Fran do most of the day to day running of the campsite and the Tipi with the two boys Alan and Graham helping out when they can. The rest of the team are all locals (some are even ex-guides from when Judith was a guider) who come to work at the farm twice a year... Fire & Feast in the summer and Turkey time in the winter!