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Christmas in the Country

Your Monthly Newsletter

Church Farm

Open all day everyday from Thursday 15th November 4 Free Entry & Free Parking 4 Walk the Farm for Free & Feed the Animals 4 Christmas Gift Barn 4 Festive Farm Store, Butchery and Bakery 4 Farm Cafe & Tea Rooms 4 Christmas Lunches & Dinners at the Jolly Waggoner Pub 4 Half Price Meals for Children

Friday 2nd November 2012

We’re Thinking About Christmas Dinner Already!

Come to the Christmas Gift Barn Free Entry & Open Everyday from 15th November - midday 24th December Country Christmas Gifts, Wildlife Soft Toys, Farm Toys & Books Church Farm Gift Vouchers Indoor Soft Play Area Free Christmas Treasure Trail Competition Help the Farmer Feed the Calves at the Christmas Stable

Order Your Christmas Dinner Christmas & New Year Opening Hours Open All Day Every Day 9am-6pm 24th December: 9am-12pm 25th December: Closed 26th December: Closed 27th-1st January: 10am-4pm

Come in store to chat to the butcher, call us, or order online at Our delicious turkeys and geese are reared outdoors to give a full, rich taste to your roast. We also have succulent roast beef, flavoursome pork with crispy crackling, and tender lamb joints, which are perfect alternatives to the traditional bird on Christmas Day, or for other special occasions during the festive period, such as Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

2nd January onwards: 9am-5pm

Christmas Collection & Delivery Choose whichever method suits you best...

Farm Collection

Orders can be collected from the Farm Store, and remember we have a great range of unusual gifts, condiments, fresh farm veg and other Christmas essentials.

Choose from the following dates: 22nd December 9am-6pm 23rd December 9am-6pm 24th December 9am-12pm

Home Delivery

Home delivery within 10 miles of the farm on the 23rd December. £5 delivery charge applies.

Please contact us to order T: 01438 861 447 E: W:

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

A Note from the Grower

It seems to come earlier every year, and it’s always a surprise when it’s that time again. In a way though, we’re preparing for Christmas all year round. Our turkeys, ducks and geese grow slowly throughout the year in our orchards. This gives them a rich, deep flavour come December. As you know, we dry pluck and hand prepare all of our poultry, as it’s tastier and healthier that way. We have to plan long in advance to have this done for exactly the moment when you want your bird ready. Don’t forget, we also do a range of other meat, so why not think of an alternative roast for your Christmas table, or other meals over the festive period. To get your order in early, and ensure that everything’s set for the perfect Christmas feast, call us on 01438 861 447, drop in to the Farm Store, or order online.

Indulgent vs Healthy...what if you could have both? We’ve been sent a delicious looking recipe by the woman behind Including Cake. It’s a great way to use any leftover pureed pumpkin from Halloween: I strive to make cakes that are full of wholesome, allergy friendly ingredients and eliminate refined sugar BUT still taste naughty! You can browse my recipes over at Pumpkin granola topped muffins Makes 8 mini muffins Ingredients 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour ¼ cup rapadura sugar 1/6th tsp stevia Pinch salt 1 ½ tsp baking powder 2 tsp ground chia/flax seed 1 tsp cinnamon 2 tbs coconut oil, melted 2/3 cup pureed pumpkin 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 tbs agave syrup ¼ cup apple/orange juice 1/3 cup uncooked pumpkin granola for topping (opt, see blog for recipe). Alternatively top with chopped pecans and a sprinkling of rapadura.

Method 1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and then add the wet ingredients. Mix together lightly but thoroughly. 2. Spoon the batter into 8 mini muffin or cupcake pans and press the uncooked granola mix into the top of the batter in each case. 3. Bake at 180C for approx. 12 mins until cooked through when tested with a toothpick. 4. Try serving them warmed with a dollop of yoghurt and a drizzle of maple syrup!

Coming soon to Church Farm Boxes and the Farm Store: Dried Borlotti Beans!! Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans, are offwhite beans with red markings. When you can find them fresh they come in large beige and red pods with colours that resemble the dried beans. In the shell the borlotti’s bright colored pods make a festive table accent. The shell is inedible, but the borlotti beans inside are a culinary treat. Nutty in flavour with a creamy texture, borlotti are popular in Italian and Portuguese cusine. In fact, many of the borlotti sold in Italy are cranberry beans imported from the U.S. Dried Borlotti beans are more readily available than fresh and have a much longer shelf life. Fresh borlotti beans should be used within a week or so, but the dried variety will keep as long as other types of dried beans. Dried borlotti can be soaked overnight and then simmered under water or stock with vegetables and/or meat. When cooked the beans will lose some of their bright markings and turn a light brown colour. Their meaty, chestnut flavour make borlotti a wonderful main dish and a perfect side dish. Not particularly sweet, the beans can be tossed with olive oil and your choice of spices. The next time you’re feeling adventurous, but not wanting to take too big a risk, try borlotti beans!  Borlotti make an excellent cold bean salad; soak for at least 8 hours and cook them as you would any other dried bean (boil hard for ten minutes, then simmer for approx. 30 - 45 minutes), and then toss them with olive oil and a little Italian salad dressing, or lemon and herbs. Rik

Church Farm Christmas Poultry Thanks to all those who have placed their Christmas orders. The turkeys and geese are thriving , our geese have the run of 6 acres and the turkeys a 3 acre pen in the woods. What difference does this make you ask? Why do you call it Real Food / Real Meat? The main differences between ours and mass produced free range birds are: • Our birds are truly free range and able to live naturally • We use traditional breeds - the Norfolk Black Turkey, Aylesbury Ducks and Embden Geese, these are slower to grow and mature • The birds eat a tremendous amount of grass and roughage. Not only does this make them healthier, but the science shows that if you eat animals who have access to greenery, the fats contains more of the “good fats” rather than the bad fats. A happy coincidence! • They are kept in small flocks of 100 geese and 300 turkeys. There are flocks of 30,000 so called free range birds existing on a couple of acres, that are then sold as such in supermarkets. So there is “free range” and free range • All our birds are dry plucked, hung and prepared by hand. • Ranging and getting to maturity enables to the birds to build proper muscles and muscle is meat. Real meat has a totally different texture. Most poultry never move more than a few yards. As well as turkeys and geese, we also have Aylesbury duck in the Farm Store - again these are kept in a small flock and grown to maturity. Did you know that there is one farm in Lincolnshire that produces 7.5 million ducks. That’s 75% of the duck eaten in the UK. These ducks live to about 6 weeks and are “grown” in barns.

In Store Butchery Sausage Offer

Next Week’s Farm Members’ Box

Buy two packs of any pork sausage & get third pack FREE!

Half Term Week Only!

What’s on at the Wags 2nd Nov - Fish Night Featuring seasonal starters and main courses from British waters.

MEAT (small box) Farm Variety Lincolnshire Sausages, smoked bacon stewing beef, Aylesbury duck, lamb mince Lean Cuts (NEW FOR 2012) Stir fry Aylesbury duck breast, extra lean minced beef, skinless chicken fillet


14th Nov - Quiz Night Come along with a team of your brainiest friends.

Extra Small (6 varieties) Potatoes, rainbow carrots, onions, kabocha squash, green tundra cabbage, leeks

16th Nov - Auction of Promises for Children in Need Support this fantastic charity night and bid on the best promises you can afford.


Now taking Christmas bookings. Spaces limited for Christmas Day, book now to avoid disappointment! Call 01438 861 350

Order Christmas Wreaths from Rural Care

Check out the Church Farm Blog

For recipes, growing tips and more info on your food

Keep up to date with us!

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New Students at Rural Care

Job Available at Rural Care

Well, September has been a very busy month for Rural Care indeed. North Hertfordshire College students are back after a long summer break. The animal care course they take here is running for a second year, for which several new students have joined us. Some students don’t even go in to college, but do all of their learning on the farm.

From mid February 2013 Rural Care has an opening for a full-time (term time only) position. The job is Activity Co-ordinator and Support Worker within the Care Farm.

We’ve also been joined again by new students from vMarriots, Pinewood and Greenside School. It is great for all of our year-round co-farmers to be joined by new people. Plus, there’s always so much work to be done on the farm, that we can always use more help!

For more information on the position and to apply, please contact the Director of the Care Farm on


Sign up to a meat box for free sausages for a month

Order yours at

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.

Jolly Waggoner

Sign up to a veg box for a free loaf of bread for a month

Large (12 varieties) Cauliflower, mooli

Red Pippin apples, oranges, bananas plums, grapes, figs

Real Ales: Real Food Warm Welcome at the

*Sign up by end of September 2012 to take up this great offer

Medium (10 varieties) Chilli’s, green peppers

FRUIT (extra large box)


To find out more about Church Farm boxes, and make your order, call 01438 861 447 or visit today.

These beautiful Christmas Wreaths are always popular, and they’re made to order by our Rural Care co-farmers! At only £7.50 each, they’re great value, and a fantastic way to support the work of Rural Care over the holiday season.

Small (8 varieties) Green kale, swede

Recipe of the Month

Beef and Vegetable Casserole Serves 4

Your free Church Farm sausages are made on the farm by Danny and his team using our rare breed, high welfare pork. We do not add water to meat, routinely use antibiotics or feed GM soya or any of the industrial food chain chicanery - just real meat from healthy happy animals, traditionally reared and butchered.

Premium Selection Aylesbury duck breast, lamb chops, sausages, back bacon

6th Nov - Barman Jonathan returns Ex Jolly Wags barman returns for a night as a guest landlord.

Extra Large (15 varieties) Salad bag, beetroot, komatsuma

1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan then add the onion, carrot, leek, celery and garlic, and cook gently for 5 minutes, do not brown. Add the mushrooms and cook everything for a further 5 minutes then remove from the pan. Heat a little more olive oil in the pan, add the beef (in batches if necessary) and brown all over then stir the flour in well. 2. Return the veg to the pan and add the thyme, stock, purée and Worcestershire sauce. Season and mix well. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook covered for 1 1/2 hours until tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with jacket potatoes, rice, pasta or mash.

Sign up to our local Farm Box scheme and get a free loaf of fresh bread or 6 traditional sausages in your box for a month.* You’ll also get FREE delivery within 10 miles of the farm! Your free Church Farm bread is lovingly handmade on-site. Our bread is GM free and we do not add flour improvers or additives.

Thanks for supporting us by eating Real Food!

Olive oil 1 onion , diced 1 carrot , diced 1 leek , diced 2 celery sticks, diced 2 garlic cloves , crushed 75g mushrooms , sliced 500g braising steaks , cubed 2 tbsp plain flour 3 sprigs of thyme Beef stock , fresh, cube or concentrate made up to 750ml 2 tbsp tomato purée A dash of Worcestershire sauce

New Box Member Offer

The only problem that comes from having so many co-farmers working here is the mysterious loss of right hand gloves. There are so many co-farmers using the gloves that it’s hard to keep track, and somehow it’s always the right hand ones that disappear. To try and solve this, every co-farmer, student, volunteer and support worker is now given their own pair of gloves with their name written inside. This gives the co-farmers more responsibility, and we hope it will also solve the mystery of the missing right hand gloves! The co-farmers have also been helping with harvesting potatoes and courgettes, and weeding carrots.

Church Farm Monthly Newsletter - November 2012  
Church Farm Monthly Newsletter - November 2012  

Check out our monthly newsletter, with information about the produce, farm store and cafe and updates from Rural Care