August 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to August!

What a difference the sun makes! We are thrilled to bits with the effort Colin has put into our vegetable gardens. It is without doubt, that the recent weather conditions have been perfect for the amazing growth of rhubarb, courgettes, runner beans, peas and sweet peas, all now available in the shop, so keep an eye out for our home-grown produce!

Judging by the look of the garden now, we will soon be adding pumpkins, carrots, beets, cabbage and potatoes to our wonderful home-grown range. However, things are not quite as favourable as we would like ‘down on the farm’. Our winter barley and oilseed rape ripened early, and now stored safely in the barn, but sadly rain stopped play on the wheat crop. Needless to say, we’re hoping for a really good long spell of dry weather soon so that we can finish this year’s harvest and start over again for next year!

Open Farm Day

Not long now to our Open Farm Day Monday 28th August, 10am - 5pm – save the date!
Here’s a brief outline of what we’ve got lined up.

Tractor trailer rides, food educational and information stands, weavers and spinners, Avon Wild Life Trust, Bath Beekeepers, live foot tapping music by the Veranda Band, our own hog roast and pizza to go, food and drink stalls to taste and buy, farm animals, model milking cow for children to try their hand at milking, photo competition and raffle - the list goes on!. We very much look forward to seeing you for what promises to be a great family day out.

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb!

Our rhubarb has gone wild! Which is great, but we need to pick it now! Did you know that rhubarb is a wonderful deep-rooted perennial plant with pink to red stems at ground level, each topped with a large green leaf, ours look like umbrellas! The thick, firm stems can be chopped into chunks and stewed with sugar which can then be turned into wonderful seasonal puddings such as pies, crumbles, fool and jellies, also excellent for jam!

The stems of this later rhubarb are much tougher and sharper in taste than the earlier variety which is ‘forced’ by excluding light and become very tender and less sharp. Both varieties are utterly delicious, however, stay clear of the leaves as they are poisonous!

The White Stuff!

Whilst we welcome lovely warm long summer days they can present the food industry with a few issues! Take milk for example, summer milk is better quality in terms of nutrients and proteins than winter milk.

The difference is likely to be due to the change in animal feeding practices between summer and winter. During the summer animals graze on natural grassy pastures resulting in higher quality milk that is rich in protein, lactose and total solids. In winter, animals feed on preserved grass which cannot be compared to luscious, nutritious fresh grass. It is therefore not surprising that summer milk reacts differently from winter milk when working with it. Whilst summer milk has slightly less fat content, the higher quality protein, lactose and total solids changes the composition, making it not only difficult to froth for a delicious cappuccino, but often cheesemakers find it necessary to modify their cheese making processes in order to produce a consistently high quality product. So, if your coffee is not as frothy or the texture of your cheese has changed, you'll know why!

Like Water for Chocolate

Flicks in the Sticks,Thursday 7th September
This wonderful romantic evening, held in the courtyard under the stars is not to be missed!

It will start at 7.30pm with a welcome drink, and in keeping with the theme of the film a delicious Mexican supper will be served c8pm. As soon as it gets dark the screening will commence. Drinks will be available to buy from the café which will remain open all evening. This enchanting film was set in a long forgotten Mexican village, and produced in 1992 in the style of magical realism based on the popular novel. It has earned ten Ariel Awards including the Best Picture, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Running time 1hr .45mins. Sub-titled.
Book NOW to enjoy a wonderful film framed by a backdrop of stars!

Ship Ahoy!

Our lovely fresh fishmonger, Steve Harvey will be here Wednesday 9th August. 11am – 3pm. Honest we’re not telling tails!

Upcoming Events

Friday 1st September - English Wine Tastings by Lyme Bay Winery
Thursday 28th September - Drawing the Harvest - £60 [sold out]
Thursday 5th October - Chocolate Two Ways - £25 [book in the shop]
Saturday 7th October - Foraging Without Fear - Adults £15 Children, £7.50 (5-15yrs) must be accompanied by an adult [book in the shop]
Friday 27th October - Pop-Up Restaurant evening - Steak and Malbec [book in café]

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