The Rhubarb is growing really well! Now is the time to freeze down for the winter months! We are also picking delicious purple sprouting, celeriac, spring greens, artichokes, onions and a few daffodils. Plus there is still a good selection of spuds. Potatoes for roasting, mashing or dauphinoising!
K has been manically trying to do all the Spring pruning. Last year it was late, given the cold weather and this year as it has been so much warmer it has been a race against time to get it all done! We have mostly finished! Jade has a couple of rows of main crop strawberries to finish tidying up and then we need to check all the raspberry lines for loose canes and prune out any short canes. The early strawberries have been taken off the high benches and onto the low ones and they have been all covered to help them fruit early. The weather has been so wet unfortunately the tractor was making too much mess, so poor Gilbert had to move most of them by wheelbarrow. All the seed potatoes are in. The red onion sets are planted and we have finished putting in the white onion sets. They were a little late in arriving! Robin and Gilbert also planted a few more lines of main crop Broad Beans. They have also flattened out the soil under the blueberry pots. It had gotten a little bumpy and in the slightest gust of wind the pots fell over!
The eggs are as popular as ever. Such wonderful yellow yolks. Excellent for boiling, scrambling or just frying and make delicious light yellowy sponges. We are selling the hens at the mo for £3.50 and the new girls will be arriving within the month. Watch out for the small eggs!
Keep an eye on the sign! If this lovely warm weather keeps up the asparagus should be imminent. Robin saw 4 spear tips a week ago, which is usually a good sign that the season should soon begin!
Ansty Kitchens - Cooking News
K has been trying to keep up with the cooking as well as the pruning! Sometimes the tables have looked a little sparse, but we didn’t run out!! Cakes are whizzing out at the mo. There is not one obvious favourite – just all of them – coffee & walnut, lemon & ginger and lemon in particular! We will start to catch up with the ready meals this week. Starting with lasagne and fish pies. K’s traditionally made brandy soaked marzipanned Simnel cakes are now in the shop. Plus the delicious and exceptionally popular Easter biscuits made with an age old family recipe. We will try and keep up with the Easter rush in puddings and roulades, but we would recommend ordering if you would like anything in particular. We have ordered in a few extra Christmas puddings as we think they make a great pudding for an Easter celebration with the family – Easter Pudding!!
We have just taken stock of some wonderful present ideas. Some pretty stools, egg storage boxes, oven gloves, napkins, tidy bags, peg bags, pinnies, work top protectors, lazy susans, place mats, etc. An ideal Easter gift instead of chocolate!
We have just received a stand to display our popular tins of sweets. Much easier to see all the flavours. Also a Green & Blacks chocolate stand which shows all the different flavours at a glance! As shown off by a very smiley Jackie!
We have a good stock of local multi purpose compost and organic horse manure (excellent for oomphing up the soil)!!
Plus garden canes when the time is right!
We still have a few seed potatoes and onion sets for sale. As well as a good selection of Mr Fothergill’s Vegetable and Flower Seeds.
Easter Bread Baking
Pete, the Baker will be baking bread as normal over Easter and K will be baking on Good Friday. It would be helpful for us if you could please order for the Easter weekend to avoid disappointment. Hot cross buns are being baked regularly and are delicious!
Dates for the Diary
Sat 28th April - 7.30pm: From Donhead to Everest Base Camp An illustrated talk by Elizabeth Hockney in aid of the St Andrews Church Development Appeal
Sunday 11th May 10am – 5pm: Photographing landscapes
Sunday 8th June 10am – 5pm: Photographing people
Tues & Wed 10th – 11th June 7.30pm – 9pm: Storing and fixing digital photos.
All proceeds to Hope and Homes for Children. More info at www.swallowcliffe.com/photography-classes.htm
Given our astronomical electricity bills we are currently looking into the installation of some solar panels on the barn roof. Has anyone had any dealings with any local firms or can anyone recommend or not recommend?
We’re cracking on well! By mid week we should be able to walk upstairs! With a combination of good weather and great work by the builders we were told last week that we were being pessimistic by wanting to be in by Christmas!! Hurrah!!
Recycling bins - Hot off today’s press!
We received a letter today from Wiltshire Council informing us that the recycling bins will be removed on the 5th May. It is with much regret that we have to inform you of this as many of our loyal customers find the bins very useful and convenient. It is a service that we are/were very happy to supply for the local community and Ansty. The last paragraph of the letter said that if we had any queries then please do not hesitate to contact! So if anyone wants to bombard them with questions as to why then please call Martin Litherland (Head of Waste Management) on 0300 456 0102. The letter informed us that due to the success of the kerbside collection service there was no longer the need for mini recycling sites. Strange that my household black box has not been picked up this week or a fortnight ago and I had to phone for them to collect the bin last week. Yes, I think kerbside collection works really well – NOT!!!!