Your Weekly Newsletter
Church Farm Friday 20th July 2012
Campfire Weekend - Last Tickets
A Note from the Grower
The Campfire, Music and Sleep Under the Stars weekend we’re holding this Saturday is set to be a great one. We’ve already had to release an extra batch of tickets due to exceptional demand. The forecast is showing no rain. Plus we’ve got plenty of musicians who’ve asked to come along and play. Farm Box customers can attend this fun event for FREE. But you’ll need to let us know in advance if you’re planning to come as we’re almost out of spaces. Call us on 01438 861 447 or email email@example.com.
The Latest from the Harvest This week you’ll be able to come down to the farm and find plenty of broad beans and spring greens available, plus lots of our beautifully presented salad bags. It’s also definitely the week for currants. Not only do we have blackcurrants and redcurrants in store,but we also have jars of our brand new blackcurrant jam available. If you usually find currants too tart for your taste, this is definitely the way to enjoy them.
Getting the Best from your Box Dwarf French Beans have quite an odd name and they come in an interesting variety of colours. But the main thing worth noting about them is that they’re stringless, meaning they’re a great alternative for anyone who doesn’t like the stringy bit in runner beans. As they’re a dwarf variety, they’re picked when young, tender and juicy, so they’re ideal for kids. They can be steamed or boiled, and are very tasty eaten raw (though some people get stomach aches eating too many uncooked beans). Pop some french beans into a chicken casserole for the last 3 minutes, or boil for 3 mins and add them into a quick and easy fritata.
Fleeces Finally Available After endless rain, we’ve finally had a long enough dry spell to enable our sheep to be sheared. Fleeces are available at just £4 for a large feed-sack full. As mentioned before, the wool works a treat as a slug repellent in the garden, but you could also clean it and use it for spinning, felting, or a variety of other crafts.
Lately in Beard’s Oak we’ve been planting loads of leek seedlings. A total of around 14,000 in fact, with another 6,000 still to plant! These were sown back in March and April and are now keen to get out into the field. The most common method of planting leeks is to “dib” a hole with a pointed wooden tool, about 20cm (8inches) apart and 15cm (6 inches) deep, and then simply drop individual seedlings into each hole and water in. The hole is not filled in with soil. The purpose of planting them so deep is to ensure a long “blanched” shank. However, since you do not cover the roots or firm in as you would with a cabbage seedling, for example, one disadvantage is that the plant can very easily be removed. And so it is that as soon as our backs are turned, those cunning rascals the rooks and jackdaws have a party pulling those tiny seedlings out. They don’t eat them, they just pull them out and leave them lying on the soil surface. It’s sheer vandalism. We’ve got a bit fed up with replanting again and again, so some sort of bird scarer is needed. Strings of CDs and old pieces of fleece flapping in the breeze seem to work ok for now. But something a bit more sophisticated might work for longer. Above, you can see a simple contraption I improvised to guard over our courgette plants, which were suffering pigeon attacks. Yes it’s terrifying I’m sure you’ ll agree. But hey, if you think you can do better, why not send in your crafty suggestion or design for us to try out? Anything incorporating movement and/or sound, and reflective surfaces is what’s needed, but please, no traditional static human effigies stuffed with straw, they really don’t work. I’m afraid I can’t offer any prizes, but you will get the satisfaction of knowing you’ve given Church Farm a helping hand. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of creative and ingenious ideas. Rik
What’s in my box next week?
MEAT (small boxes) Farm Variety Sausages, beef roasting joint, diced pork kebabs, beef mince, back bacon Lean Cuts (NEW FOR 2012) Skinny sausages, skinless chicken fillets, extra lean minced beef, extra lean pork stir fry Premium Selection Sausages, beef roasting joint, back bacon
VEGETABLES Extra Small (6 varieties) Potato (new), carrot, onion, yellow pepper, spring greens, cos lettuce Small (8 varieties) Broad beans, tomato Medium (10 varieties) Fennel, French beans Large (12 varieties) Salad, calabrese Extra Large (15 varieties) Beetroot, courgette, mushroom
Oranges, blackcurrants, apples, strawberries/raspberries, tayberries, redcurrants 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.
Rural Care Helped by Volunteers Last Friday, Rural Care was lucky enough to have some volunteers come over from GlaxoSmithKline. They spent the day working unbelievably hard doing jobs around the farm. We now have a fantastic new wheelchair ramp, and our tables and benches have had a fresh lick of paint. On top of that, the volunteers were also able to fix up the trailer we use for tractor led tours of the farm. We were also fortunate enough to have had three of the volunteers work with the co-farmers all day, which was great fun! We would like to say a huge thank you to every single one of them and their incredible work.
Beer Festival at the Jolly Waggoner Saturday 28th July, starts at noon. This is our 1st Annual Beer Festival, which will feature a great variety of guest beers:
Red Squirrel: Summer Daze - Light and smooth, highly refreshing with biscuity and malty flavours. American Redwood - Original American IPA with complex hoppy aromas with floral and citrus tones with a long lingering finish. London Porter - Made with 2 pale malts and 3 coloured malts. Full bodied, with bittersweet liquorice and rich chocolate flavours supported by a creaminess on the finish. Oakham: Endless Summer - Begins with a fruity nose and taste, and end with a bitter kick of grapefruit. Inferno - Complex, fruity, and with a dry, bitter finish. Stroud Brewery: Stroud Organic Ale - Refreshing golden organic ale with delicate apple aroma. Dark Star: Hyder Blonde - A delicate and lightly hopped beer with the fresh fruitiness of South Down’s elderflowers. American IPA - Light colour and dryness to complement the crisp taste and full aroma. Saltaire Brewery: Cascade Pale Ale - American style pale ale with the floral aromas and strong bitterness of Cascade and Centennial hops. Thornbridge: Kipling - This is a soft, but full flavoured, South Pacific Pale Ale with flavours of passion fruit and kiwi.
Minced Beef Wellington An easy and economical way to cook this impressive dish. Serves 8
Real Ales: Real Food : Warm Welcome at the
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.
Ingredients 1kg minced beef 100g tomato ketchup 4 eggs 3 onions, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped Small handful sage, chopped Handful parsley, chopped 25g butter 200g mushrooms, finely chopped 500g pack puff pastry
Method 1. Mix the beef with the ketchup, 3 eggs, seasoning and 100ml water in a table-top mixer for 5 mins - or squeeze and squelch with your hands in a bowl. Mix in the onions, half the garlic and herbs. 2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Press the meat into a sausage shape about 30cm x 10cm on a baking tray. Cook for 20 mins then remove and leave to cool. 3. Heat the butter in a frying pan over a high heat, add the mushrooms and cook for 3 mins. Add remaining garlic and cook for a further 2 mins, pouring off the excess water from the mushrooms. 4. Roll pastry into a rectangle large enough to wrap up the beef. Beat remaining egg with a little water and brush over pastry. 5. Spread the mushroom mix into a meatloaf-size strip along the middle of the pastry. Sit the meat on top then cut pastry either side into strips from the meat outwards. Criss-cross these over the meat to enclose and tuck under ends. Brush with more egg, then place on a tray and cook for 40 mins, covering after 30 mins if going too brown. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1131634/minced-beefwellington
Church Farm, Ardeley, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG2 7AH T: 01438 861 447 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.churchfarmardeley.co.uk