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Your Monthly Newsletter

Church Farm Friday 2nd September 2011

Let Nature Feed Your Senses This month we’ve hosted five visits through the ‘Let Nature Feed Your Senses’ scheme. The scheme enables people who would not normally be able to access the countryside to do so. Four of the groups to visit where from Elderly Care Homes and several of our visitors didn’t have any family; one lady hadn’t been out since Christmas.

A Note from the Grower

Residents from Highbury Rise in Hitchin, Wisteria Court in Stevenage, Bulwer Lytton House in Knebworth and Bide-A-While in Stevenage all enjoyed their day on the farm. The fifth group to visit was North Herts Sanctuary from Hitchin - a hostel providing temporary accommodation to homeless people, who had a great day even though the weather was terrible. All the groups had a chance to see and touch the week old chicks and ducklings. Tony, the orphaned lamb was carried into the Rural Care shed and walked around so all our guests could give him a stroke. There was cake and tea and soft fruit from the farm to be tasted. There was singing but no dancing! The ‘Let Nature Feed Your Senses’ scheme wants the visits to have a sensory element, so all the activities on the farm focussed on one of the senses. Such as smelling the wildflowers, listening to the sounds of the animals and wildlife on the farm or tasting our lovely produce.

The feedback was great! Hi Ann, just to say a big thank you for making our visit a special day. We were made to feel very welcome and the Rural Care staff interacted very well as if they had always known us. The residents have not stopped talking about it. We will try again to come but for a longer time. Once again I cannot thank you enough.’ Bulwer Lytton House ‘It was a fantastic afternoon with lots of laughs even though the weather was terrible. Our two guides were great.’ Sanctuary Housing If you’re interested in a visit to the farm for a group please contact Ann De Bock on or call 07507890245

Hello, I’m Luke. I have recently joined Church Farm for a Horticultural Internship. Moving here is a radical change for me. After seven years working in the telecommunication industry I left my job because I was not happy. I then spent 2 months in Portugal working on an organic farm and an eco-village and I was inspired by the alternative way of life. On my return I found this opportunity and I was impressed by the ideology of the farm. In a very short time I have learned many things from our Head Grower Kate and the other interns, and hope to learn a lot more. I have been involved with the box scheme and enjoy seeing the whole process through from sowing to growing and from harvesting to delivering. Working on the land and seeing the wonders that it can produce is a humbling and satisfying experience. We are entering the traditional harvest time of the year and with the variety and abundance of produce available from the farm I’m sure we’ ll be busy. I hope you enjoy the results! Luke

Wild Camping at Church Farm

New additions to the Church Farm team

Log Cabins: £25 per night per cabin

Purple beans that turn green when you cook them?

Camping: £5 per adult per night £3 per child per night

Small fires permitted

What’s in my box next week?

Thank you to all our customers and supporters for eating food direct from the farm here. This enables us to farm in a mixed and traditional way and create over 30 full and part time jobs. All the food we produce goes direct to people through the weekly farm box delivery, the farm store, cafe and Jolly Waggoner Pub - it is only by doing this that the enterprise is sustainable. This week, we are welcoming Roxy and Alan as managing partners of the Farm Cafe, have recently welcomed John and Simon who are working with Danny full time on butchery, Jude who is working in accounts and Michelle who has joined the box scheme team.

French Beans, sometimes known as green beans, fresh beans or haricots verts also come in white and purple. When eaten young, with small inner beans, they are crunchy, sweet and delicious. When more mature, they provide dried beans, a valuable source of protein. This week you may find purple beans in your veg box, they’ll keep for about 3-5 days in the salad compartment of the fridge. Aside: Get them out of season from a supermarket and they’re already 3 days old when they get off the plane, yet they last another week in your fridge. How do they do that??? You can cook them by topping and tailing the beans and then boiling them for 5-8 minutes, until tender but be aware purple beans turn green when cooked! All coloured beans are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. Enjoy! Source:

MEAT Farm Variety Beef roasting joint (topside/silverside/ top rump), pork steaks, beef mince, sausages and/or bacon. Old English Cuts Offal, beef roasting joint (topside/ silverside/top rump), pork cheeks, beef mince and/or bag of bones. Premium Selection Beef roasting joint (topside/silverside/top rump), pork steaks, chicken breasts, sausages and/or bacon.


Weekly Farm Boxes

Fresh farm produce direct to your door at supermarket prices! Boxes start from only £8.50

The Perfect Cream Tea


Cream first or jam? Plain scone or currants? Raspberry or strawberry? There are hundreds of ways to assemble a cream tea, but no clear rules on what works best. Not that it doesn’t matter. Don’t imagine that a cream tea is just a frivolous summer treat to enjoy in the garden. It is a serious thing, one that has recently prompted sparks to fly between Cornwall and Devon as both counties claim ownership. Each says the cream tea is its own speciality. Meanwhile dairy farmers, bakers, tea growers and jam makers across the country have their own ideas about how it should be put together. Some things are clear: time should be set aside for this mid-afternoon feast and only the finest ingredients should be used. Almost everything else is up for debate.

Please note that these are standard items and are subject to change. If you have asked not to be supplied with a particular item, a substitute will be provided in your box.

All Church Farm scones are lovingly made by hand in the farm kitchen by Wendy Waygood. We use organic butter, flour and sugar and the freshest Church Farm eggs. Try our Farmhouse Cream Tea in the Farm Cafe for just £5.95. Two hand-made scones, organic butter, tipsy strawberry jam and clotted cream served with a pot of tea for one.

Extra Small (6 varieties) Potatoes, onions, carrots, runner beans, pepper and sweetcorn. Small (8 varieties) Tomatoes and chard. Medium (10 varieties) Celeriac and spring onions. Large (12 varieties) Brassica and salad bag. Extra Large (13 varieties) Extra portions of staples

Apples, strawberries, raspberries and plums.

Farm Butchery Choosing and cooking cheaper cuts of meat Once slow cooked, cheaper cuts of meet taste wonderful. Perfect for the autumn. Many restaurants caught on early that old-fashioned cuts of meat, such as shoulder, neck and shin, cost less than the swanky fast-cook fillets and sirloins, but still deliver glorious flavour... And it’s a trend that more of us would like to be able reproduce at home. The key is in understanding that the meat is taken from areas of the animal’s anatomy that work harder, hence they contain more sinew and therefore require longer cooking. But any old cheap cut of meat will not do. In our test kitchen, we did a side-by-side test of a recipe using stewing steak. We bought a bog-standard pack of pre-cut meat, and meat from one of our favourite butchers. There was hardly any difference in price and we cooked the exact same recipe, same method, same cooking time. No surprise to us, the butcher’s meat version turned out darker in colour and richer in flavour. Cheaper cuts such as shin and shoulder will be fattier, so it’s worth cooking them in advance then chilling, which makes it easier to spoon off the fat before reheating. They will always taste better, anyway, if cooked the day before serving. Here’s which cut does what! BEEF Silverside and topside - Roast rare or use for pot roasts Mince - Burgers, ragus and meatballs Shin - Slow casseroling Chuck - Pies and casseroles PORK Belly - Slow roasting Collar or neck end - Often made into mince but also used for casseroling Shoulder - Slow cooking and casseroling LAMB Neck - Slow cooking and casseroling Shanks - These need slow cooking Scrag end - Usually made into mince Breast - Boned, rolled and slow roasted; trimmed and used for kebabs, or minced

Farm Store

Product of the Week

Ex-lawyers turned chocolate entrepreneurs, Helen and Simon Pattinson, founded Montezuma’s in 2000 hand making their chocolate with one little machine and one shop in Brighton. “Since the first moment on the first day of the first shop, we saw the reaction of our customers to the small range of chocolates and knew we had done something right and the risk was worth it. Along the way we have had many great products, some OK products and some awful failures. But we have never been scared of experimenting and listening to our customers.” Check out our range of organic Montezuma’s chocolates in the Farm Store!

Watch Live Rugby World Cup Footage with a Church Farm Breakfast at The Jolly Waggoner Pub

For all your butchery needs please do visit Danny, Simon or John in the farm store butchery Source:

Farm Butchery Special Offer Buy 2 packs of beef mince and get 15% off

Starts 10th September

Autumn Equinox Campfire Weekend Saturday 24th September

Celebrate the first day of autumn on green and pleasant land at Church Farm, Ardeley. There’ll be camping, jamming around the campfire and camaraderie. Feel free to bring your own BBQ, games and entertainment. Compost toilets, shelter marquees, straw bales, water and big bonfire provided. Showers and conventional toilets available from the farm. Please bring everything you need for your comfort and survival.

Did you know?

At Autumn Equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night are nearly equal in all parts of the world.

All customers and people of good nature are welcome - suitable for all ages. Limited spaces available so please book in advance.

Book your Party at Church Farm, Ardeley

Set in green and pleasant land, Church Farm is an ideal location for you to hold your parties and celebrations. Whether you prefer an informal celebration with music, campfires and marquees in one of our fields, or a more low-key get-together in our Jolly Waggoner Pub, Farm Cafe, Education and Events Centre or Rural Care area, we can organise the perfect event to suit you! Remember - all food provided is freshly prepared and comes from the Farm. Give us a ring to find out more!

We can cater for: 4 Christmas Parties 4 Birthday Parties 4 Weddings 4 Christenings 4 Wakes 4 Anniversary Parties 4 Office Parties and Away Days 4 And more....

Contribution: Adults £10, Under 16s £8, Under 2s £2. Free for musicians and farm members. BOOK NOW! Pop into the Farm Store, call 01438 861 447 or email

Norfolk Black Turkeys Norfolk Black turkeys are a popular choice remaining much closer to the wilder strains of turkey. Norfolk Blacks are slow to mature and lead active lives, giving a deeper flavour and more tightly grained meat than the intensively reared alternative. Let us know if you’re interested in booking your Christmas turkey today!

Please cut out to redeem

# FREE FEED THE ANIMALS VOUCHER Please bring this voucher to the Farm Store at Church Farm Ardeley and collect your free bag of animal feed


Feed the Pigs or Chickens. This voucher can be redeemed for one Box of Food


Church Farm, Ardeley, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG2 7AH, T: 01438 861 447 E:

August 2011 Church Farm Monthly Newsletter  

Check out our weekly newsletters - published every Friday - which include information about the Farm, Café and Store and events and workshop...