The Asparagus season is in full swing. The season has been phenomenal as the weather conditions have been just perfect for this very temperamental crop! Warm and wet. It has been taking Robin and K between 3 and 4 hours to pick it every day! As a result for a few weeks we have been encouraging everyone to enjoy our abundant crop with a buy 500g and get 200g free offer! Thank you to everyone who took us up on our offer. Quantity is now reducing a little so the offer will come on and off depending on quantity picked! The British asparagus season does end on the 21st June! Not long now!! We are on count down so enjoy whilst you can! Gooseberries are in full pick. Cook up for puddings or freeze down for the winter. We will soon be digging our own delicious new potatoes. The strawberry season is here! We are picking for the shop from the polytunnel and we can start doing a small amount for PYO today! We haven’t put the signs out just yet, so it is a special early warning for you guys!! We are picking delicious baby broad beans, plus spring onions, caulis and cabbages. The rhubarb will soon be on its early summer break, but will bounce back in a month or so. We do have a supply in our freezers for those homemade strawberry and rhubarb tarts!
The new 120 young hens are laying really well. They are now mostly large in size, with several XL’s and XXL’s mixed in! We are aware that some are producing some with slightly paler yolks. They still taste delicious! Please be patient with us on this one! We are trying to rectify the issue as fast as we can by increasing their maize feed so hopefully very soon they should all be producing bright yellow yokes. Please chat to us about this if you would like to know more. We placed an advert in the Blackmore Vale magazine to sell a few more of the older hens last week and rather bewildering and after many late nights of catching we have sold the entire batch! The next sale of hens will happen after Christmas! We do have a very few young bantams for sale.
Cakes galore! K always seems to be baking cakes at the mo – coffee & walnut and apricot & walnut fruit cake in particular! We will soon be baking our fresh strawberry meringue roulades. We have stocked up on cottage pies, lamb tagine and lasagne. Quiches are now on the weekly bake list! Soups are still whizzing out. Last week it was asparagus & pepper and cauliflower & stilton. Our Ansty fudge is back on the shelf! We had a wonderful comment this week saying it was the best fudge around – Thank you! This week we will be cooking fresh lemon tarts, treacle tarts, and apple pies.
The first batch of strawberry plants have been planted. Gilbert and Robin have been busy repairing and re netting the strawberry lines in preparation. Grass cutting has become a full time job! (Some may have noticed our new lawn mowing recruit!!!). Jade has started to tie in all the new growth of the loganberries and blackberries to protect the new shoots from mowers and feet! Next we need to weed the low strawberries in preparation of imminent picking. Many seeds are growing in the wind battered polytunnel. We now have courgette, cucumber and lettuce plants for sale. Plus a few herbs. Squash and pumpkin plants soon.
K decided that she runs around so much in the shop that the next obvious thing to do would be to run the London Marathon next year!!!!! She entered the ballot when it opened and had a lovely email back saying thank you for your entry and that basically she was one of 280,000 applicants for 17,000 places. The odds did not look good! So she also entered with the charity Bliss – which is a charity for premature and poorly babies.
As Jake and George were both premature, 5 weeks and 6 weeks respectively, it is a charity close to K and her families hearts! Within 2 days she had a reply offering her a place on the Bliss Team!! Hurrah!! So K will now be running the London Marathon 2016!! If anyone would like to help K achieve her mission then please enter our shop raffle. (Absolutely no obligation). We are going to hold a big raffle over the next 10 months and accumulate prizes from our kind suppliers over that period so the prize pot should grow!! Tickets are £2. Thank you and many thanks to everyone who has been extremely kind in just the first week!
We have just taken stock of a new compost. It is a little dearer than the Jones but better in quality. We have a plentiful supply of small, medium and large bags. We also have a range of products great for oomphing up the soil or pots, such as organic horse manure, and buckets of chicken manure pellets. Plus garden canes: 4, 6 and 8 feet. Not forgetting plenty of local charcoal for all that summer BBQ’ing. We also still have a good selection of vegetable and flower seeds – seed stand currently in the tea room.
We welcomed the lovely ladies and gentlemen of the Bowerchalke group over for a coffee morning last month. The tea room has got a lot busier now the summer months are here! Whether you want to get away for a sneaky coffee and a read of a local paper or meet some friends or family for a natter – pop in and see us and settle down with a yummy latte and a slice of one of our delicious home made cakes!
We have just installed 3 new computerised tills. We are now up and running and day one passed quite well. As would be expected there are a few teething problems but we are solving them relatively quickly!! The aim is to make us quicker and more efficient!!!! As you read this we should be up to speed but please be patient with us if needs be!!!!
James Chocolates. These come highly recommended. Great for presents or fab for a treat for you!
We now have Coquilles St Jacques back in the freezer and a new chicken en croute.
We are getting some really wonderful comments about the frozen croissants. Even someone who used to Chef in one of the local fine dining establishments said that the ready proven ones are just like you would buy in France! There’s a lovely compliment!! Oh laa laa!
We have just started baking a gluten free white loaf. The first comment in was very complimentary, so please ask if you are interested. To start with we will bake on Saturdays and see how popular it becomes. But please do order so we have an idea of how many we need! Thank you!
On Wednesday July 15th, from 6.30pm – 8.30pm we are holding a trial cake decorating class. Our teacher for the evening is Gail from the Cats Whiskers Cake company and good friend of K’s. Gail ices all the Christmas Cakes that we raffle just before Christmas for charity. She is very talented in sugar craft and a great teacher. For the first session we will be learning how to make roses. Tickets are £20, which includes everything you’ll need and a coffee! Please bring aprons. Please book in the Shop. 01747 829072. Thank you.
More info on all the below on posters in the Shop window
Melbury Abbas and Cann Open Gardens. Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June. 2 – 6. Plant stall and teas in the Village Hall.
Writing Historiacal fiction – Annelise Freisenbruch. Donhead St Andrews Church. Saturday 6th June. 7.30pm.
Garden Open @ Hatch House – Sunday 7th June, 2 – 5. In aid of the Salisbury Hospice.
Cheese & Wine party. Wednesday 10th June. 6.30 – 10. Swallowcliffe. Music from Foo Foo and the Boy. 01747 858016. Help for Homes.
Tisbury Open “Hidden Gardens”. Sunday 14th June. 1 – 5, plus Tisbury Flower Groups “Tisbury’s Fallen Heroes” in St James Church.
Berwick St John Fete. Saturday 20th June. 2pm. Grand draw, auction, teas, traditional stalls. Fun for all the family – face painting, sheep shearing, games, steam engine, etc
Open Gardens @ Berwick St James. 20th and 21st June.
Chalke Valley History Festival. 22nd – 28th June. A wonderful event on our doorstep, thoroughly enjoyed by many of our customers last year.
Fovant Badges Annual Drumhead Service – Sunday 5th July at East Farm, Fovant.