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Your Monthly Newsletter

Church Farm Friday 4th November 2011

Calves and Lambs

Calf 99 was born this week - the 99th since the herd came to Church Farm in March 2008! She was born naturally in the field during the night. The 5th of November is known for fireworks, but it’s also going to be a very exciting time in the sheep field. This is when the rams have their annual meeting with the ewes. If all goes well, then we’ll have lambs arriving on the 1st of April.

A Note from the Grower

Premium Meat - Frozen Sale Gammon was £9.99/kg now £7.99/kg Chicken was £5.59/kg now £3.49/kg Lamb Shoulder was £12.00/kg now £8.99/kg Turkey was £10.95/kg now £6.99/kg Pork Leg was £9.99/kg now £5.99/kg Stock up your freezer today!

Butchery Did you know? The key to roasting a free range chicken versus a conventional chicken is to cook it long and slow. It needs to be at a lower temperature so that the meat remains tenders and is full of flavour. Anne, who maintains all the plants in and around the cafe amongst many other things, recommends the following method for a 3kg Church Farm chicken. 1. Pre-heat oven to 150F (300C, gas mark 2) 2. Remove giblets from cavity. Wash bird, including giblets, in a bowl of cold water to which 1 tablespoon of vinegar has been added. Drain, then rinse in a bowl of cold water. Drain and dry inside and out with kitchen towel. 3. You will need some extra-wide kitchen foil. Arrange two large sheets of foil across the roasting tin, one lengthways, the other widthways. Place the chicken and giblets in the middle. Bring one piece of foil up and fold both ends over to make a pleat along, but well above, the length of the bird’s breast bone. Repeat with the other piece of foil. You are creating an air space around the bird, in effect an oven-withinan-oven. 4. Place on a low shelf in the oven. Cook for 3 3/4 hours. Remove bird from oven. Raise oven heat to 200C (400F, gas mark 6). 5. Fold foil back, replace bird in oven for 15 minutes at the high heat to brown the skin. 6. Remove bird from oven, carefully take out of the tin and place on a warm dish. Cover with foil to rest for 15 minutes. 7. There will be wonderful juices in the tin, drain these into a jug and use to make gravy.

As the weather and seasons change, so do the faces. Last week we bade farewell to Sophia from Hungary, and our thanks go out to her for her hard work and enthusiasm. This week we welcome Laura Ellison, to begin her internship, hopefully for a full year (or more!?) I’ ll let her introduce herself…. My name is Laura and I’ve just moved to Church Farm as an intern. I have been living in London for four years working for charities. Last year I started volunteering for FARM:Shop, a social enterprise in Dalston, North London. Working in the growing team there inspired me to make a big career change and to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. While here at Church farm, I hope to learn as much as I can about horticulture, so you’ ll see me working mostly in the veg fields and polytunnels, and on those lovely farm boxes. During my first days here, we’ve continued turning over the summer crops in the polytunnels; some of the pepper and tomato plants have been cleared, and replaced with new plantings of rainbow chard and mange tout peas. For the box scheme we’ve harvested our delicious carrots as usual, and also celeriac and cauliflowers. Apples and leeks tomorrow! Farm Store Product of the Week Curry Sauce And for the left over chicken from your roast (see recipe on left) we can slip nicely into our featured product this week - the highly recommended curry sauces from The Curry Sauce Company. These hugely popular sauces are available in a choice of 14 flavours (Indian, Thai, Moroccan, Malaysian) are made with the finest ingredients and definitely no artificial ingredients used. So in the comfort of your own home create superb tasting curry meals which are prepared in minutes - and these are truly ready to use - no need to even chop an onion!

What’s in my box next week?

MEAT Farm Variety Sausages, shoulder of lamb, diced pork leg, minced beef, back bacon, chicken portion. Old English Cuts Lambs liver, shoulder of lamb, diced pork, bones bag. Premium Selection Sausages, lamb leg joint, back bacon.

VEGETABLES Extra Small (6 varieties) Potatoes, onions, carrots, leeks, avocado, vine cherry tomatoes Small (8 varieties) Squash + tbc Medium (10 varieties) Cauliflower + tbc Large (12 varieties) Parsnips, turnips Extra Large (13 varieties) Aubergine, patty pan, purple sprouting broccoli

Meet Jason our new livestock manager Jason came to look around Church farm last week and really liked what we do here. He’s decided to join us full time, and will be working hard to get the most out of the Church Farm livestock. He brings with him a fantastic enthusiasm for our traditional British breeds, and lots of ideas about how to get people more interested in our way of farming. If you come for a farm visit, you’ll see him out in the fields with the animals, getting stuck straight in to his new position.

This week in Rural Care

We’ve been busy picking more apples to keep up with the demand in the farm shop, which means there should hopefully be some more in the shop next week! We have also been helping to prepare signs and collect decorations for the Christmas Gift Barn, which starts this weekend. Soon we will be getting involved in pricing the merchandise, and some of us might even get to do a stint behind the till! Look out for us in the coming weeks.

Christmas Produce Direct from the Farm Limited Availability! Order Today!


Halloween at Church Farm

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.

Last week we had lots of fun for Halloween, with a Haunted Pumpkin Hunt, Eerie Egg Collecting, Spooky Pits Clay Day, Pumpkin Carving, and Hair Raising Hats and Mask Making. Look at the photos on the right to see just how scary the Hair Raising Hats were!

Pears, bananas, plums, apples, melons, mangoes

Real Ales: Real Food : Warm Welcome at the

Jolly Waggoner

Christmas in the Country

Come and enjoy the Jolly Waggoner Christmas Luncheon menu from 1st December, including traditional roast Church Farm turkey. Book a table today to avoid disappointment! Call 01438 861 447

We’re starting to get festive from Saturday 5th November. Come and join us for: Workshops Make your perfect gifts and decorations in our workshops. Introduction to Knitting: Part 1 Saturday 9th November; Part 2 - Saturday 3rd December. Wreath Making - Sunday 18th December. Pre-booking essential. Christmas Gift Barn Free Entry & Open Every Day. Includes country Christmas gifts, toys and books; food tastings; indoor soft play area; photos on the Christmas Tractor; and creative crafts and colouring corner. Church Farm, Ardeley, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG2 7AH, T: 01438 861 447 E:

October 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...