Clarkson’s Farm: Trailer for season 2 of Prime Video series
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Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson, 62, has opened many viewers’ eyes to how tough farming can be. However, the presenter has admitted in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk that he was just as clueless about the tricky realities of the industry before getting fully involved in working on Diddly Squat Farm.
Clarkson’s Farm fans have seen Jeremy battle several issues on his land in the Cotswolds, but he has revealed one of the biggest surprise foes he has encountered are vegetarians.
When quizzed on the challenges farmers face not being well-known by the general public prior to his Amazon Prime Video show’s debut series, Jeremy told Express.co.uk: “We didn’t know [either].
“So it was a big surprise for me to find out just how unhelpful councils and the government are.
“And the weather, and rabid vegetarians, and so on.”
Jeremy has found a way to avoid as many run-ins with his new business, by venturing into using his farm produce to create Hawkstone Lager.
The car enthusiast explained: “This is easier, because the brewery already existed.
“A few friends got together and now run the brewery using my barley to make the beer, and then Kaleb [Cooper] got involved by getting his apples to make them the cider.
“So it’s all kind of quite local, and you have to try and do things that don’t involve the government, or the council, because as soon as you involve any form of authority, they just say no.
“Every farmer will tell you the same thing.
“There’s plenty of farmers out there, if you ask, ‘Getting any help from the council?’ They’ll all say, ’No, none at all’.”
Jeremy took on the council and vegetarians simultaneously with his idea of opening a restaurant at Diddly Squat Farm.
His plans for the eatery were initially blocked by the council.
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When he finally managed to open the doors of the restaurant in July 2022, Jeremy insisted the venue wouldn’t “cater to the faddy”.
On the reservation website OpenTable, it states: “Before making your booking, you should know it’s small, mostly outdoors and very rustic.
“Ordering a beer or going to the lavatory isn’t as easy as in your local pub and we don’t cater to the faddy.
“We’ve done our best to keep you warm and dry, but this is England. On the upside, the view is enormous and almost everything you eat was grown or reared on our farm, so it’s fresh with minimal food miles.
“There is no menu as such – we simply serve what’s available that day. But worry not, your table will be given a selection of snacks and starters followed by a roast and a pudding.”
However, Jeremy’s decision to open the restaurant angered West Oxfordshire District Council.
The council ordered Jeremy to cease trading in his eatery, as they claimed the business “continued to operate outside the planning permissions granted” and that “advice has been ignored”.
Fortunately, Jeremy’s lager venture is still going strong, and has expanded into a festival-style event for subscribers – the Hawkstone Session at the Hawkstone Brewery.
Hawkstone is available to consumers directly through www.Hawkstone.co and the Diddly Squat Farm Shop. Consumers can also order Hawkstone from Amazon.co.uk.
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