News for August 2014

Picking News 

What a phenomenal season it is! Last year I wrote that the strawberry season was late but massive. This year however it was even greater! Jackie and K picked 84kg’ish off 1 1⁄2 rows a few weeks back. We have never seen anything like it! Now however the main strawberry season has past. We still have a plentiful supply in the shop, but the quantity for pick your own has greatly decreased. The sun is lovely, but it did ripen the early and main strawberries pretty much together so it was a shorter season this year. We tried to encourage people to pick when they were at their best with the pick 4kg and only pay for 3kg offer. Thank you to all who took us up on our offer. In plentiful supply we have raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, white currants and blackberries. We are now picking the variety of raspberry called Octavia, which is a main late crop and the autumn raspberries are just beginning. We still have a few tayberries and loganberries, but best to call on the availability of these. For the first time this year we have also opened up PYO on our delicious blueberries. Normally we just pick them for the shop but we have decided to open them up to PYO this year. These are truly yummy and so good for you! They have a huge following in the Shop. It is a great time for all the veg to: delicious potatoes, bunched carrots, courgettes, marrows, cabbages, caulis, flavoursome onions, spinach and chard, etc.

Ansty Kitchens - Cooking News

The kitchen has been exceptionally busy in July, with the door being closed at the end of the day consistently from midnight and beyond. The latest was 1.15am!! Cakes are being made virtually every day! The diary was full of orders in July. We cooked for various local fetes. We catered a wonderful wedding party for 60 ish last weekend, this weekend we are part catering for a party of 24. K is also cooking evening meals for 24 for 7 nights. That’s 168 meals for next week! Busy busy!! We seem to be doing quite a few take out parties, tea parties and lunch parties at the mo! Lemonade is back on the shelf. We ran out of bottles, but thanks to Blackmore Vale Dairies we have been restocked! K has made a small batch of brandy soaked celebration fruit cakes, 5” and 6” – so if you are celebrating bear them in mind. We have also been baking many numbered birthday cakes this month. 2 lot’s of 70 went out last week! Happy Birthday! We are busy restocking the ready meal freezer. Cottage pies, beef bourguignonne, stroganoff and lasagnes are now in plentiful supply. K has cooked mousakka for the first time and the first comments are very good. This week it is pork & apricot tagine and lamb & prune tagine.

Jackie, Di and K’s recommendations of the month!

Di recommends the Wright and Co Brandy snaps. Traditionally made and delicious in taste.

Jackie recommends the Portlebay Popcorn. Crispy bacon & maple syrup and chilli & lime. Perfect for a savoury snack or great for guests who come around for drinks. K recommends the Royal chocolates, Belgian chocolate thins in dark and milk chocolate. Perfect for that chocolate fix. Yum.

Farm News 

Robin and Gilbert have been working really hard on grass cutting and tying in the wayward blackberry, tayberry and loganberry canes. It really does look lovely in the field. Robin has also been constantly monitoring all the watering levels of the fruit and veg. When it is really hot the strawberries need constant attention, too hot you need to up the watering hugely and then you need to be careful not to overwater as the strawberries will split. The boys have been busy lifting potatoes for the shop and they are absolutely delicious. We are having some wonderful comments about the flavour. Robins anti pest fencing on the runner beans seems to have worked well and they are now thriving. Runner beans coming soon. They have also been very busy planting out loads of veg plants.

A30 road closures that were then weren’t!!!!

OK a brief summary: the road was due to be closed on the 18th to the 20th July which would have been dire for us being peak picking. We found out late on Friday that the signs had been changed to say the road would be closed the next weekend. On Friday 25th at 4.50pm we heard a rumour that the road would not be closed again despite all the signs still being up. Found out that was true and asked for the signs to be taken down to avoid local confusion. This was not done until Saturday late afternoon. Verdict: total local confusion. Was told the next scheduled closure would be the 8th August. Not sure if this is going ahead or whether it is for the day, evening or all weekend. Was told the next weekend closure was to be the 23rd August. This is Bank Holiday weekend, so pretty sure it won’t happen then either! I was asked to write a letter to both the Council and Balfour Beatty summarising the impact that they were having on local businesses. Despite being so busy in the shop at 12.15am one morning I composed a four page letter detailing the impact it had on us. Many people said they hadn’t come to see us because they thought the road was closed. This letter was kindly picked up by the Journal and they ran it as page 2 news. If anyone else wants to jump on the wagon and complain now is the time. What with the road closures at Broad Chalke and Bishopstone, the road being closed in Wilton and the supposed closed A30 it has caused chaos in the area all summer. Balfour Beatty need to up the ante and if we don’t complain in writing then they won’t up their game and will continue to close our roads unnecessarily. I do know work needs to be done, but could it not be done in the evenings to cause minimal disruption?! The man to email is Warren Jones at Warren.Jones@atkinsglobal.com and he’ll send it on!

STOP PRESS! Literally as we are sending this we are reliably told that more signs are going up locally re: closure. As of yet we don’t know what they say!! Keep a look out! But whatever, Ansty Farm Shop will be open as usual with all its yumminess still available and I am still assured that customers will gain access.

Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show

Wednesday 20th August – a great day out for the whole family. We have advanced tickets in the Shop that are cheaper than on show day, especially good savings for families!! Previous show goers have also said that another advantage of buying advanced tickets is that you do not have to queue to buy them at the gate on Show Day! Advanced tickets are £12 for an adult (save £2), senior citizens £10, (save £1), child £3, (save £1) and a family ticket is £29, (save a massive £6).

Village Events

  • 9th & 10th August - WW1 Commemorative Exhibition. Fovant Hall.

  • Wednesday 20th August - Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show. A fantastic day out for the whole family

  • 13th & 14th September - Berwick St John Country Fayre. Working show with working tractors and steam.

  • Thursday 6th November – Antiques Roadshow fundraiser. Broad Chalke Primary school. A lecture by Richard Kay – an Auctioneers Ten Commandments. 7pm.

Pigs

Pomme and Dotty have moved back in with Patrick. The 5 piglets are no longer piglets but small pigs (stores) and eating hungrily. We will be doing mixed £100 boxes in October ish. Please place an order if interested.

Eggs

The new girls are laying really well. The eggs have increased in size and now they are mainly large. They are wonderful in flavour and the yolks are beautifully yellow. We still have a few hens available for sale. Also a few of our very pretty bantams, £15. If interested please ask in the Farm Shop.

Summer Gardening

We have plenty of local compost available in small, medium and giant bags. Plus garden canes: 4, 6 and 8 feet. Not forgetting plenty of local charcoal for all that late summer BBQ’ing


Three Peaks Challenge

K has been fitting in a little training over the summer to do the 3 peaks challenge very soon That’s Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis in 24 hours! So if she looks a little worse for wear soon – it’s not a late boozy night but a 24 hour extreme sports session!


Books for Charity

The Tea Rooms have been very busy this summer and as such our charities are really benefitting! Many tea room guests are browsing the book shelves and selecting hidden treasures. As

such we have depleted our back up stock! So if any one has any books they would

like to donate then please do bring them in. The three charities we support are

Salisbury Hospital Stars Appeal, Salisbury Hospice and The Air Ambulance. Thank You.

A delicious recipe for marrows 

On talking to one of our lovely customers on Sunday they have very kindly given us their sliced marrow recipe. It sounds delicious – why not give it a try!

Peel the marrow with a potato peeler and cut it into 1cm wide circles. Salt each side slightly and leave the pieces for half an hour. The salt will soften them a little bit.

Then you need 3 plates (2 flat and one deep for the eggs). On the first plate put a cup full of flour, second plate - 2 eggs (beaten and seasoned), and on the third plate put a cup of breadcrumbs. Cover each slice of marrow in flour first then egg and breadcrumbs. Pat a little bit to remove excess breadcrumbs and fry them in oil. I like to deep fry but use as much oil as you want.


Very refreshing and excellent even cold.


House Update

The porch has now been built. First fix electrics are almost finished. Plaster boarding has started and the windows arrived this morning. So much is happening, it’s a job to keep up!


Shop Entrance Spruce Up!

We are currently having a little tidy up and decorating done in the porch entrance. So please forgive the appearance for a week or two whilst work is in progress. The work will be carried out when we are closed on a Sunday and Monday, so wet paint shouldn’t be a problem!

May is Mustard Month!

Ansty Farm Shop and Tracklements are having a May Mustard Month. If you buy 2 pots of mustard you can have a free fridge magnet! Various mustards will be on tasting trial and also there will be some bargain taster pots available for only 25p! (All available while trial stocks last!). Also we have a fantastic 3 kg pot of wholegrain mustard as pointed out by Jackie!! At the end of mustard month we would like to use said pot to raise some pennies for charity. Any ideas on the best way to raise the maximum we can on this wonderful eye catching pot? Suggestions so far are to have a sharing day – where everyone comes with their own pots and we decant the mustard for a donation. Another is to raffle it. Another random idea from my husband was to photograph said pot in different locations, eg on top of Snowdon whilst doing the three peaks challenge, and other exciting venues! Not sure how this raises money, but hey ho!! Thoughts please! Alternatively - is anyone having a big summer BBQ or wedding and would like to make a donation? We could open up an auction!


Wine, Beer and Cider

K is currently applying for her Personal Licence Certificate to be able to sell alcohol, after successfully passing the course and getting CRB checked! As soon as we have that we can then apply for a premise licence for the Shop. Hurrah! We are busy trialling cider at the mo but if anyone has any recommendations for local wines, beers or ciders, then please let us know. Thank You.