Friday, 21 August 2015

August on the farm

Hello! Apologies for the lack of updates, but Summer is a busy time for us with planting and harvesting. (And the never ending watering - even when it's been raining!). Hopefully we'll have a little more time to show you what we've been up to around the farm and in the nursery in the coming weeks and months!

Our farm is bursting with lots of lovely produce - cucumbers are growing happily in the poly tunnel and we have four different varieties for you to try in our farm shop. Our aubergines and chillies are coming along nicely too and this year we're also harvesting our own Okra (image 5). Not sure what to do with it? Well, it's perfect in curries, like this one or try it in some of these suggestions from the BBC food site.

We've also started picking these beautiful purple beans (image 2).  You won't find these in any supermarket, but we're selling them in the farm shop in small punnets. Perfect to add a little colour and flavour to your evening meal. Boil or steam them alongside some of our glorious new potatoes.

We are open Wednesday - Sunday 10am - 4pm (Saturdays open at 9.30am). You can see a full list of what we are currently harvesting on the right hand side of this page. We look forward to seeing you in the farm shop soon.

Friday, 17 July 2015

The story of the No Nos

Warm sunny days picking strawberries always transports me back to my childhood days. I was a kid in the seventies and grew up through some of the longest, hottest summers.

We were often out playing on the street with nothing more than a white fairy liquid bottle full of water to keep us occupied for hours (no super soakers for us!). However, we did often utter the words "I’m bored!" and in June that meant we would head on mass to the local strawberry fields.  I think Mum and Dad thought that it was a free lunch or in our case breakfast, lunch and dinner as we often went every other weekend through the season.

No matter how many signs the farmer placed around his field that the strawberries had been sprayed and needed washing before eating it did not deter us from devouring as many as possible. He could have said he had just spread manure and we would probably have just given them a wipe before popping them into our mouth! 

Most of the time we would get a few punnets unless it was a picking for ‘Jamming’ towards the end of the season. One such time was when we went along with our cousins and aunt and uncle. We had been there for a few hours and finally had our fill and had  picked enough for two families worth of strawberry jam for the year. We took the berries back to our aunt's house where all the strawberries were washed (had to be washed before jamming as we didn’t want chemicals in the jam!) and laid out all over the kitchen.  The adults then went to the club leaving all six kids to occupy ourselves. Well we played a while but eventually enough time had passed that the strawberries began calling from the kitchen. Our David and Michael, Maureen and my sisters Cheryl and Michelle and I went into the kitchen to inspect the strawberries. Michael said that we had better check them for quality and take out all the 'no nos' (these were the strawberries that would not be good enough to Jam). We spent the next hour or so performing vital quality control and removing all the no nos to our stomachs. Our parents returned to find about a 1lb of strawberries left. They were not very happy with us but being slightly tipsy found it quite amusing and from that day to this all of us refer to Strawberries as 'No Nos'!  

We are currently in the midst of 'No No' season and I have to say that this year they are pretty good.

We are also picking raspberries, goosegogs (Gooseberries) and redcurrants so do call in because there is nothing better than freshly picked sun ripened 'No Nos'.  

Words by Vicky Whiteley. 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Summer on the farm

Wow! Hasn't it been a scorcher of a week? We're not complaining about it though! Lots of our own lovely homegrown produce has been picked in the sunshine for you to buy in our farm shop or from one of our forthcoming Farmers Markets.

This week we've been harvesting strawberries, cucumbers, spring cabbage, kale, radishes, new potatoes, chard, lettuce, redcurrants, basil, coriander and from today, one of the best fruits of summertime - raspberries!

We now have some new members on our team - the lovely Molly has joined us and always has a brilliant happy smile on her face, even after picking the strawberries for hours! Molly will be working throughout the summer holidays in the shop and on the farm. We've also taken on a new apprentice, Daniel. He'll be learning the tricks of the farming trade from Bryn. A big welcome to both of our new staff members and we hope they enjoy working with us.

Tomorrow Vicky and Heather will be at Horsforth Farmers Market and the farm shop will be open all weekend - Saturday 930am - 4pm and Sunday 10am - 4pm. We look forward to seeing you soon.