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Your Weekly Newsletter

Church Farm Friday 10th August 2012

The Latest from the Harvest

A Note from the Grower

Delicious climbing French beans are being harvested next week. If you’re not familiar with these, they’re very similar to runner beans, but more tender and sweet tasting. We’ve also got the first of the year’s patty pan squashes, and calabrese (see ‘a note from the grower’ for more information on these). We’ve still got plenty of our traditional summer ingredients available. New potatoes, salad and cucumbers will all be gathered for the Store next week. We’ll still be getting some strawberries and plenty of raspberries from our soft fruit orchard. And don’t forget we’ve got bunches of fresh herbs from our herb garden. Some of our mint is being made into mint jelly for sale in the Store. We’ll also have plum jam available soon.

What’s on at the Jolly Waggoner? We’re still showing the Olympics in the pub, and we’re looking forward to the Paralympics starting on the 29th. Come down and cheer on the amazing success of Team GB! Join us on 8th Sept to celebrate Adrian’s 1st anniversary as landlord.

Indian Spiced Shepherd’s Pie


1. In a large nonstick frying pan, cook the lamb, onion and carrots, stirring Serves 6 often, until the lamb is browned and veg Ingredients is starting to soften, 500g lean minced lamb about 8 mins. Add the garam masala and some 1 onion, chopped seasoning and cook for a further 2 mins until fragrant. 2 carrots, diced Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, tip in the peas and 2 tbsp garam masala cook for a further 2 mins until the peas are cooked 200ml hot stock (lamb, beef and most of the liquid has evaporated. or chicken) 2. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in a large pan of salted 200g frozen peas water until just tender, about 8 mins. Drain well, 800g potatoes, diced return to the pan and gently stir in turmeric and 1 tsp turmeric Small bunch coriander, roughly coriander - try not to break up the potatoes too much. chopped Juice half lemon, plus wedges 3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Transfer the mince to a baking dish and top with the turmeric to serve potatoes. Squeeze over the lemon juice, then bake for 30-35 mins until potatoes are golden. Serve recipes/1395641/indian-spicedshepherds-pie immediately with extra lemon wedges on the side.

The beetroot I wrote about last week is intercropped (planted in the same bed) with calabrese. The vegetable most people call broccoli is really calabrese, and is distinct from the sprouting broccolis. Calabrese, named after Calabria in southern Italy, is a summer annual vegetable, maturing in the same year it is planted, whereas traditional sprouting broccoli is a biennial, cropping the following year. However, the latest cultivars of broccoli now allow us to harvest those delicious spears much sooner. Sprouting broccoli is hardier and more suited to growing in northern Europe. The edible part of both plants is the immature flower head, in the case of calabrese, the familiar tree-like structure capped with the tight, unopened flower buds. After the main head has been cut, the plant will proceed with producing a succession of side-shoots of smaller heads. These are no poorer in quality and indeed are more or less ready to cook and eat, and tend to be more flavoursome. Thus the harvest period can be prolonged and the yield greatly increased if the plants are regularly visited. Once the flower heads are allowed to open, the plant will finish and no more will be obtained from it. The broccolis are plants of the cabbage family, derived from the wild Brassica oleracea by human cultivation in the northern Mediterranean about six centuries before the birth of Christ. Broccoli has been a uniquely valued food in Italy since Roman times. This high regard has been confirmed by recent research, which reveals broccoli to be a highly nutritious vegetable containing important vitamins and minerals, and compounds which support the immune system and help prevent or fight cancer. When cooking, to retain those healthful qualities, steam or stir-fry the florets rather than boiling them, or even try them raw in salads or dips. Rik

What’s in my box next week?

MEAT (small boxes) Farm Variety Sausages, whole chicken, pork ribs, beef mince, back bacon Lean Cuts (NEW FOR 2012) Skinny sausages, skinless chicken fillets, extra lean minced beef, supertrim diced beef Premium Selection Sausages, whole chicken, back bacon

VEGETABLES Extra Small (6 varieties) Potato (new), carrot, onion, climbing French beans, cucumber, red ramiro pepper Small (8 varieties) Tomato, courgette/beetroot Medium (10 varieties) Dwarf French beans, sweetcorn Large (12 varieties) Rainbow chard, spring onion Extra Large (15 varieties) Calabrese, patty pan squash, mushrooms


Bananas, raspberries, plums, kiwi, strawberries, tayberries 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.

Real Ales: Real Food : Warm Welcome at the

Jolly Waggoner

Book a table today to avoid disappointment on 01438 861 350! Special Offers for Booked Tables: “Pimm’s & Pitchers” in celebration of Summer - free cheesy chips with every pitcher of Pimm’s, lager or bitter Celebrate your birthday with us and get a free bottle of wine for each table of 6 or more people.

Rural Care’s Olympic Spirit This week at Rural Care we have been getting into the Olympic spirit with our very own Farm Olympics. Events have included welly throwing, wheelbarrow slalom and egg and spoon racing. The events certainly brought out the competitive spirit in our co-farmers, with some really close finishes! We are always on the look out for the next Jessica Ennis or Mo Farah here at the farm! We have also had a visit from a group of young carers, all aged between 7 and 12, who came on Tuesday. This was the final part of the LEAF programme, which allows certain groups to come and experience the farm, including previous visits from nursing homes. The carers were able to collect eggs, take part in our Olympics and taste food from the farm bakery. The support that these individuals provide for their loved ones is very important and it is fantastic to be able to give them a great day out!

Getting the Best from your Redcurrants are the fruit of genus Ribes rubrum, which is native to parts of western Europe. The berries are a great source of vitamin C, though as with blackcurrants, their tart flavour can sometimes mean they’re overlooked. We’ve recently been sent a great currant and hazelnut recipe (see below) by Aimee, why not follow her example and try adding redcurrants to a favourite recipe of yours. You can also take advantage of the sharp tang of the fruit and make a refreshing sorbet to cut through the sweetness of a dessert (try this redcurrant sorbet and baked apricot recipe: There are a number of interesting traditional European recipes that use redcurrants. Why not be inspired by the spirit of the Olympics to try something with an international twist. The Austrians make Linzer Torte, those in German-speaking areas make Johannisbeerenschorle by adding a syrup of the fruit to soda water, and Scandinavians make it into a fruit soup. If you’ve got an excess of the currants, they freeze very well. If you can’t get enough of them, we’ve made a new redcurrant jelly that’s available in the Farm Store. It goes very well with meat dishes.

Toasted Hazelnut and Currant Bar Cookies Thanks so much to Aimee for sending in this recipe. She had a glut of redcurrants and wanted a new way to use them. Adapting an old choc-chip cookie recipe, she’s come up with this healthier fruit and nut option. Ingredients 60g hazelnuts, chopped and toasted 125g butter 150g flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 75g porridge oats 1 egg 125g sugar 140g fresh currants

Method 1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F. 2. Prepare a small baking dish (about 8-10” square). 3. Chop and start the hazelnuts toasting in the oven or in a dry non-stick frying pan on a hob. 4. Combine butter, flour, baking powder, and oats in a food processor of mixer. Add the egg, and hazelnuts. When this is combined, stir in the currants and press into a baking dish (greased or papered). 5. Bake for 25 minutes. I just mixed it up and baked them as bars, rather than individual cookies, because the day was pretty hot and that meant a shorter time in the oven. But it all turned out perfectly. I wouldn’t change a thing.

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

10/08/12 Church Farm Newsletter  

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