February 2017 - Newsletter

Welcome to February

We hope you've enjoyed the fabulous weather January brought us. January is arguably the coldest month of the year, and is an indicator that the winter season is well underway.

Although, at times it's been bitingly cold and frosty, waking up to bright blue skies and brilliant sunshine has to be a tonic for everyone. Well, may be not quite everyone! We really feel for all the Southern European farmers who lost their crops owing to the severe frost. This cold snap has caused huge shortages of vegetables such as courgettes, aubergines, salad leaves, cucumbers, celery, peppers, tomatoes and broccoli. Sadly, resulting in hefty price rises - some products more than doubled in the past week alone - eek! Therefore, if a few vegetables are missing from our shelves this will be why! To maintain our high standards, quality and to prevent wastage we'll avoid buying these products until the conditions are more favourable. We will, as always, have plenty of locally grown produce supplied by Gerald Rich, Larkhall Farm Shop with potatoes & swedes from Marshfield based Eric Pullin to take you through these tricky times - who wants salad in the winter anyway!?

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb

There's no point dwelling on what we can't get, so best make the most of what we can get and enjoy! This month we're celebrating the long pink tender stems and delicate flavours of forced British rhubarb.

Raquel, our new highly talented, professional Chef has come up with an irresistible mouth-watering seasonal dish - rhubarb and almond tart, with slow roasted rhubarb, and a generous dollop of Dorset Dairy Co extra delicious, thick and creamy yoghurt. Oh how we love to ring the changes of the season! Quick sharp, its on the menu now but the season doesn't last long!

Woo hoo! We've changed our appearance

Although our 'shepherd hut' style porch at the front of the shop was much loved, it wasn't as practical as we had thought! So with no further ado we fitted a light, a half glazed back panel, and moved it around - ta da! A smart new bright and airy fruit, veg and flower stall. It now offers customers a more spacious area to shop at their pace!

Adopt a closest to home - buying policy

Indeed, we all know it makes perfect sense to favour food produced close to home. However, be mindful, just because it's locally produced it doesn't mean it's good!

For example; a chicken may be factory farmed, a baker may make lousy bread or a cheese-maker may make awful cheese. But all things being equal - if the product looks and tastes good, are fairly priced, and has been humanely and ethically produced - then the chances are your locally chosen food will be fresher, seasonal, less trauma on the roads and the environment.

*Valentine's Day

The day of romance we call Valentine's Day is believed to have been named for a Christian martyr dating back to the 5th Century, but also it has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia - clearly there's an Italian influence! Handwritten cards and gifts have been exchanged on the 14th February since the 19th Century - so why break tradition! If you're a true romantic and would like to express your love, we have a range of 'Valentine' cards and super little gifts to give to that special person.

Use your loaf!

We're often asked culinary questions and always do our best to answer them. Here's one that keeps coming up! 'what is sourdough bread' well its bread made from a starter in place of yeast.

A starter is dough from a previous batch which has been allowed to ferment overnight with the addition of a little warm water and sugar. Around 10% of the batch is reserved which is used as a starter for the next batch usually equal in size. The method is simple, the taste is sensational. We stock unsliced sourdough loaves (as shown) or sliced multiseed and white,Bertinet bread.

What's New

We recently enjoyed a very inspirational day at Top Drawer, London, apparently, 'THE' place to be to pick up the finest, original products on the retail landscape.

The day was spent browsing aisle upon aisle of exciting new names and brands, inspiring gifts and great designs - mind blowing! All this because we know the most fruitful route to retail success is to ensure that our stock is fresh, on trend, and reflects our consumer market. We really were spoilt for choice, but eventually decided on Herdy. Herdy spreads smiles and happiness! The concept was born in the Lake District, inspired by the area's lovable Herdwick sheep. The brand is strong and comes with great credentials. The design is simple, yet sophisticated and stylish. Its use of bright colours for its soft toys,gifts, homeware, accessories and unisex baby clothing is very appealing. Herdy supports sustainable rural community projects through the herdy fund.

Dates for your diary
28th February Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day
14th February - Valentine's Day

Now taking bookings for:
3rd March - Gourmet Thai Evening
22nd March - Spring Flower Workshop (Mother's Day special)
26th March - Mothering Sunday - Lunch
21st June - Best of British Flowers Workshop

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