31.12.20: Mayfield Eggs in 2020 – Here is our story….
2020 has changed our farming business, it is now stronger, more stable and more rewarding and that is due to the continuous support from you, the people of Oxfordshire – thank you. We thought it maybe interesting to share our story of 2020.
We started the year midway through construction of our new egg packing building on the farm. The winter was mild, the concrete was poured in February and all aspects of the build were going well. In early March, prior to lockdowns, we received a number of phone calls from head chefs of Oxford University Colleges breaking the news that they would not be ordering eggs most likely through to October.
On a Saturday morning in mid March, Gemma and I sat at the kitchen table, looking out across the fields realising we had lots of eggs being laid every day but had temporarily lost our customers. We were also hearing of people struggling to get eggs either because they were isolating or supermarket shelves were empty – it seemed obvious that we could all help one another. We could feed the hens in the morning, pack the eggs and do a few deliveries in the afternoon, so we decided to reach out, via Facebook, to the local community in Witney to offer a home delivery of eggs.
3 days later, we were getting inundated with people asking for eggs. We worked through the night to clear the backlog of emails. At 1am the emails would stop but at 5:30am they would start again and we couldn’t keep up. We weren’t set up to handle this and then stepped forward Vito, a kind, local gym owner of ‘Weights for Soul’ with a talent for websites, online ordering and payments. 24 hours later, we were up and running….
The past 7 months have been a rollercoaster…. we’ve worked 7 days a week since March, took 3 days off in Centre Parcs (but worked 2 of these in the early morning and evenings responding to emails) and a few times felt exhausted and questioned if we should continue. However, coming in off the farm, opening Facebook and reading the kind comments about our eggs made it all worthwhile. One of the highlights was seeing the delicious cakes and bakes made to celebrate VE day – please keep posting your cakes! Our hens have remained blissfully unaware of social distancing rules and tiers 1 – 4. Instead, they have enjoyed great weather, dust bathing and were thoroughly intrigued by the Lloyds bank film crew. We are happy to report that all the ladies who reached retirement age were successfully rehomed. It’s also been wonderful to be able to offer employment to people in those industries which have been hit so hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, including theatre, travel, tourism and hospitality. Since March, we’ve donated eggs every week to local charities such as the Carterton Covid group, local Food banks, vulnerable people and refugees in Oxford and will continue this in 2021.
We passionately believe in the concept of local people being able to access great quality, fresh local produce at an affordable price. For a number of years, our eggs have been sourced by some of the best chefs in Oxfordshire and the high standards that they demand is part of how we farm. We are committed to working hard to ensure that Mayfield Eggs continues to serve our local community, food charities and our fantastic hospitality industry – all in Oxfordshire.
Gemma & James
27.08.20 Egg Update
Mayfield Eggs customers,
It’s been a busy summer on the farm, we’ve had 3 flocks leave the farm and are now happily enjoying their retirement as pets with families. We have welcomed 3 new flocks which always brings plenty of work getting the hen houses ready for their arrival and settling them into their new home. Yesterday we got our first egg from a new flock, it was a very small egg and these new hens will soon be laying plenty of medium and large eggs. It also felt the right time to share a few updates….
- New website – You can now request a password and log into your account on the Mayfield Eggs website. In the ‘My Account’ area, you can make changes to your egg order, such as:
– Change your payment card details
– Suspend your order – for example, if you’re going on holiday
– Change your address
– Change your egg subscription – The deadline to change your egg order is 2 days before delivery. For example, if you receive a delivery on a Thursday, you can make changes to your egg order up to 23:59 on Tuesday, giving us time to prepare deliveries for the following day.
- More choice
– The minimum order is now 6 eggs (1 box) although we would suggest 18 eggs which is a free delivery (£6 for 18 medium eggs; £6.60 for 18 large eggs). If you order more than £6 in a delivery, there is no delivery charge. For orders less than £6, there is a £2 delivery charge.
– You can change the frequency of your delivery online to every week, fortnight, 3 weeks or 4 weeks.
- Produce updates:
– Strawberries – The strawberry season is coming to an end and therefore our last delivery will be this Friday, 28thAugust.
– Duck & Quail eggs – Duck eggs are available now (6 duck eggs £2.60) and Quail eggs (12 for £2.80) will be available from Monday 31st August.
– XL & Wonky eggs – These eggs are frequently laid by our older hens and as a result of our flock changes, they will no longer be available until early 2021. We will shortly be contacting those customers with a wonky/XL order to ask if you would like to move to an alternative size of egg.
– Other produce – We’re conscious that by offering strawberries this has given some of our customers the opportunity to buy a dozen eggs and a punnet of strawberries and enjoy free delivery to their door. We’re therefore keen to hear your thoughts on what we could deliver now that the strawberry season has come to an end. Please email us at email@example.com with your ideas or favourite local food producers and we will research these possibilities.
- 31st August bank holiday – We are delivering next Monday, 31stAugust as normal.
- Sharing our story – Customers have asked us to share more about what happens on our farm and how we produce a Mayfield Egg. Our plan is to share more on our Facebook page and we’ll add more to our website.
Finally, we genuinely appreciate your support. In March, we lost 90%+ of our commercial customers (Oxford Colleges, restaurants, hotels etc..) and this business remains very quiet. Today, we now serve much of Oxfordshire with our home deliveries, from Bicester to Henley and Lechlade to Wheatley and the majority of villages inbetween. Thank you for buying Mayfield Eggs, you have all played a major part in helping our family farm to survive this difficult year.
Gemma & James