Pigg’s Playbarn at Apley Farm Shop runs After School clubs & this term it’s been the Textiles Club. Just look at these teddies’ blankets Alice has made & the finger puppets. Click HERE for more details – scroll down to ‘Textiles Club’. It’s 4-5:30pm & for 2-11 yr olds – they can just work at their own pace. Parents must stay with children at all times. The club runs 4-5pm & free playtime in the Playbarn 5-5:30pm afterwards.
They made fleece blankets yesterday (just finished, so just awaiting photos) & next week 15 Oct they’ll make shoe bags & for the last week, they’ll make finger puppets like these demonstrated by Alice.
The Playbarn staff are just finalising the very popular Breakfast with Santa programme (it seems very odd writing about it today when it’s still so warm & sunny). Alley Katz Toy Shop said they’ll have the letterbox out for those who are writing to Mr S. Claus !
It’s always great to get even a tiny [as long as it’s positive !] article in the press & here’s one of our latest. I’m looking forward to seeing his entries for the 2 competitions – Great British Sausage Week (Apley venison sausages are sooo tasty & lean – I can’t get enough of them!) & the Great Yorkshire Pork Pie & Sausage Competition this Sunday, 11 October.
Apley Farm Shop’s beer-loving customers (sorry, that excludes me – I’m not mad about the smell of malt, even in Horlicks !) will be delighted to hear that the Hop & Stagger told me their Apley Gamekeeper’s Gold & Apley Gardener’s IPA have just arrived at their brewery (at Astol Farm) & their Apley Woodman’s Bitter will be delivered (to them) next week on 15 October. So look out for it on the Apley Farm Shop shelves. I’ll ask Gavin to do the tasting !
I’ve just finished the marketing survey carried out on the day of the Apley Taste Off on 26 Sept. Fortunately, it’s much quicker to analyse the results than to accurately input them ! The results help me so much to know in which direction our future marketing should be heading. Nearly 1000 visitors came mainly from Telford, Wolverhampton, Bridgnorth & Shifnal. Two thirds were existing customers, one third new. Onsite publicity was the most effective means of advertising the event, followed by roadsigns, word of mouth, websites, Facebook & our newsletter.
I have tried to create a bit of an Apley farming diary in the last year. In 2 weeks’ time, they’ll be weaning calves & housing (bringing them into barns for winter) cattle, so there will be lots of vehicle & cattle movements & as Adrian added, lots of noise too (mooing !). Here’s Mike using a 4m wide (for extra speed) drill to sow (drill) winter wheat near Grindle, beyond Astol Farm (one of our home farms) where Hop & Stagger brewery have just created 3 Apley beers – the Apley Gamekeeper’s Gold, Apley Gardener’s IPA & the Apley Woodman’s Bitter. There will be doubt several opportunities in the next few months to enjoy some free tasters & meet Sam & Bob who make it with their sons across the fields from Apley Farm Shop.
More on both those subjects later this week …
Medlars will be soon available again in Apley Farm Shop. To make medlar jelly, they may need bletting – see foot of recipe for explanation ! I’d never heard of bletting until this evening & medlars grow in my neighbours garden, but I have to admit, are not widely known. Others can’t wait for them to become available at this time of year, including some of our family, who have been asking me for this recipe.
We just collected some delicious smelling rye grass hay from a local farmer. It’s a beautiful evening & the hay smelt so lovely, it made the whole trip very pleasurable ! As we unloaded, bats swirled around above us, probably from the bat hole we were obliged to install when we renovated a building nearby. The day began with fog, which I’ve tried to capture on camera, but of course, it’s rather tricky – there’s not much to see !
I took Francis to buy rugby boots this morning & when he saw there was only 1 on the shelf, he said “but Mummy, we can’t buy those ones, there isn’t a pair !”
We were delighted to find Apley Farm Shop on the pages of a packaging catalogue this afternoon. I have to admit (awful, as I know it’s only 2 Oct) Gavin & I were looking at Tina’s choices of hamper packaging from WBC.co.uk. We’ve ordered from them before, but as packaging is so important, it’s worth carefully adjusting it from year to year.
I love these printed sashes, especially the red on brown & was delighted to be alongside Green & Black’s, who are of course currently much more significant in the world of food than we are !
On a completely different subject – the Apley butcher – here’s our latest butcher press release & if you’re in Apley Farm Shop tomorrow, head for the butchery counter where you’ll see England’s sausage (Venison & plum) vs Australia’s (barbecue pork). The venison sausages are fantastic – very lean (the meat is very dark in colour) & full of taste – easily my favourites.
Just arrived – click HERE to see the trailer of the lovely film AgWa Media made on Saturday 26 Sept, when we held our annual Taste Off (Harvest Food Festival) at Apley Farm Shop. It’s the start of our Autumn film, which of course we’re still making as it’s only 1 October !
This isn’t a patch on Agata’s film I know, but it’s our summary of what’s happening in October at Apley Farm Shop, which we run on our in-store televisions – take a look (click HERE).
Partridge is on offer on the butchery this week – 2 brace for £9 is incredibly good value. In the Creamery Café at Apley Farm Shop, Dish of the Week is Apley partridge with figs & walnuts (see Specials menu). The Apley walnuts aren’t quite ready, but the our own fig tree has had produced masses – so it’s nearly 100% Apley.
The recipe card will be available next week to pick up in the farm shop, but in the meantime, here it is:
Apley partridge with fig & walnuts
- Partridge 2 breast & 2 legs (from our butcher)
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Cooking oil
- 2 fresh figs (from our garden)
- Red currant & mint dressing (available in the farm shop or see recipe below)
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan
- Season two partridge breasts & two legs
- Place the partridge in a frying pan skin side down or remove skin if preferred
- Cook for 3-4 minutes then turn over
- Add a knob of butter & baste the partridge
- Cook for a further 54-5 minutes
- When you see the blood gently run from the breast, take it off heat & remove from pan. Keep it warm
- Quarter the figs & place under a hot grill or in the oven along with walnuts
- Watch carefully as walnuts can burn easily
- When walnuts are toasted & the figs are hot, remove from heat
- Place salad in centre of plate. Arrange partridge & figs. Scatter walnuts on top
- Dress with red currant & mint vinaigrette.
Red currant & mint dressing
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 punnet of red currants, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon or whole grain mustard
- 4 tablespoon olive oil (walnut oil is a great alternative)
- Whisk or liquid ingredients to combine (use a blender if preferred)
- Add red currants
- Season to taste
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