Episode 63 Mark Rogers
Twinways Orchard and Bees

I’ve waited a very long time to interview this weeks guest.  But patience paid off, and I’m utterly sure this programme will blow, or at least open your mind just a little bit more. 

It’s about those tiny little creatures without whom this podcast would not exist, in the sense that so much of the food and drink we eat is dependent on this insect’s ability to pollinate plants.  

Mark Rogers, owner of Twinways Orchard, has immersed himself in the world of bees for years. Whilst I knew bees were important, and I knew they were being threatened, for a very long time I’ve wanted to speak to an expert about what exactly is going on and why we should be concerned. 

Mark will reveal parts of bees lives that sound like they belong to science fiction – and yet they’re happening all around us, without us noticing.    

For instance, I thought being Queen Bee was a nice gig.  It turns out she’s not the boss at all but the hive’s egg slave, being herded around by her inferiors. 

And did you know that honeybees are greedy vandals?  Give them half a chance and they will rip a hole in the bottom of a flower to get to the nectar, leaving nothing for other types of insect whose tongues were designed specifically for that plant and will pollinate it properly.  

And we haven’t got onto the figure-of-eight dance that bees do, and the amazing things it tells other bees, or how long bees can survive in the post. 

When you listen, I hope you learn as much as I did, and I hope that you will never want to spray your roses, or any other plant, again. 

Show Notes: Episode 61 – Andrew Stembridge & Iconic Luxury Hotels

Andrew Stembridge doesn’t believe in panic. His years in Scotland at a time that was arguably the worst for hospitality means that he is no stranger to disaster – and he learnt about 15 years worth of hotel knowledge in just two. Now Andrew has taken all that knowledge into his role as Executive Director at Iconic Luxury Hotels which includes award-winning, produce growing, hospitality LOVING tree house heaven: Chewton Glen.

Show Notes: Episode 55 – Jody Scheckter & Laverstoke Park Farm

Jody Scheckter is truly a fountain of knowledge. From winning Formula One in 1979, to creating simulations for the police in USA, to getting degrees in micro biology and chemistry to find out about the soil and moving back to Hampshire to purchase herds of buffalo and create award winning cheese and ice cream… It’s safe to say life for Jody has been go go go. Now, he is taking some time to rest and teach us about all the amazing details he’s obsessed over to create a sustainable and inspiring business model at Laverstoke Park Farm.

Episode 55 Jody Scheckter
F1 Champion and Laverstoke Park Farm

Two things come up regularly on the podcast.  Firstly, quite a few of my podcast guests have gone through significant career changes to become food, drink and hospitality entrepreneurs.  I’m thinking Rupert Holloway at Conker Gin, who gave up surveying to set up his own distillery, or Claire Burnet at Chococo who swapped marketing for freshly made chocolates.  

As the winner of the 1979 Formula One world championship this weeks guest, Jody Scheckter certainly knows a thing or two about a second career, and in fact even a third!

Secondly, obsession, maybe William Curley creating the very best chocolates or Jethro Tenant and his quest to make the best sea salt.  Jody certainly takes things to the extreme.  He started with such a simple idea.  How to provide the very best, tastiest, food for his family.  That simple seed of an idea has taken Jody on an incredible adventure, learning the most phenomenal amount about every stage of food production, from seed to plate.  In fact, before the seed, Jody and his team of chemists and biologists spent eight years just researching the soil!  As he says, everything we eat, that does not come from the sea, comes from the soil at some point.  So if you have an obsessive nature, are use to winning and always want the best, that is the natural place to start.

Nowadays, as the founder of Laverstoke Park Farm, Jody Scheckter is better known for his commitment to biodynamic and organic farming, and his herd of water buffalo, which provide the milk for award-winning mozzarella and ice cream. 

Laverstoke Park Farm has also diversified into hops and ale; sparkling wine and black pudding. While these products are varied, the vision underpinning them is always the same: to be the ‘best-tasting and healthiest, without compromise’.   

Show Notes: Episode 53 – Andrew Parry Norton & The New Forest Marque

Andrew has what he describes as a ‘bit of a love affair’ for his cows. An incredibly proud-to-be commoner living in one of the most beautiful spots in the UK – The New Forest. This week he teaches us not only a bit of geography on how the New Forest came, but how the animals contribute to keeping it healthy, suitable for the public to go and visit as well as a bit of history surrounding William the Conqueror and rights surround the commoner culture…