Nearly everyone I’ve spoken to after they’ve heard our local deer expert Jason speak about deer management & venison, wants to hear him again. This Saturday, tomorrow, is one of those rare chances, during the Apley Cookery Club meeting 10.30-12.30pm in the Corn Loft Conference Room. There are few people around with his knowledge on this subject & he clearly really enjoys sharing his expertise with others.
Gilly Clayton will demonstrate her favourite venison casserole recipe using Apley Farm Shop ingredients & Apley Walled Garden vegetables.
To book your place (as Gilly organises a buffet lunch, so needs to know numbers) email email@example.com or call / text 07837 83 58 54.
Also in the Farm Shop, enjoy free tasters (11-2pm) of Apley’s own handmade products including these Apley scones baked onsite by Julie (you can watch her bake in her stable bakery near the Evelade Chic furniture shop).
Whilst in the area, why not drop in (11-5pm) at our very local Beckbury Show which offers more & more each year. Apley Farm Shop will have a stand there where you can buy a selection of our delicatessen products.
A few of my favourite things from Apley Farm Shop are currently Apley Walled Garden’s heritage tomatoes & crystal lemons (round, yellow cucumbers), these savoury tarts (quiches, whichever name you prefer) from the Delicatessen counter, made in our Creamery Café kitchen & 2) The Cotswold Pudding Company‘s Chocolate Caramel sauce. The latter is so rich, I can only eat it in very small quantities, but it is outstandingly delicious ! As they say, it’s perfect for drizzling over icecream, pancakes, porridge, spread on crusty toast or eaten straight from the jar !
Now the school-age children are (or will be very soon) back at school, The Creamery Café at Apley Farm Shop is offering a free* child’s meal throughout September, with each adult spend over £10 on the same day. More details are on our leaflet, shown just here. T&Cs apply.
Cake of the Week by Julie is Plum & almond tray bake – very seasonal & using plums from our own kitchen garden, Apley Walled Garden. Photo coming later today !
Here’s Martin McKee our chef shopping at our Apley butcher, buying very local Shropshire meat. Very soon, I’ll be asking our 5 meat suppliers some questions about their meat production processes, so our customers can get to know them better.
Back in the sunnier days of July, some Apley Estate staff went to Wolverhampton to help create a forest school in the grounds of Woodfield Infant & Junior Schools. Here’s the press release Wolverhampton Council (released on 7 July). Gavin succinctly summed up our involvement at the end: “I am delighted that we were able to support this project which will help teach children about the natural environment. At Apley, we are all about bringing the countryside and locally produced food [at Apley Farm Shop] to more people, including children in our [Pigg’s] Playbarn and [Scotty’s] Animal Park, and this scheme fits perfectly with that aim.”
Here’s the full press release: “Al fresco education for Woodfield pupils. Pupils at Woodfield Infant and Junior Schools can now enjoy lessons in the great outdoors – thanks to support from the Apley Estate. Pupils from both the infant and junior schools worked closely with teachers and staff from the Apley Estate, near Bridgnorth, to create outdoor “forest schools” offering seating and teaching space, meaning lessons can come out of the classroom – weather permitting.
School Business Manager Jo Phillips said: “We have never really utilised the wonderful grounds at Woodfield as well as we could have done, but now thanks to these fantastic forest schools, our pupils are able to learn in the great outdoors. Head of School Marie Manton added: “The Forest Schools will be used to develop key learning behaviours such as motivation, independence, problem solving skills and self-esteem.
“This couldn’t have been possible without the generous support of Lord and Lady Hamilton and their staff at the Apley Estate, and we’d like to thank them for their support to create the area and for providing the materials.”
The outdoor spaces were developed as part of School Grounds Week, a national event organised by Learning through Landscapes, the charity dedicated to enhancing outdoor learning and play for children.
During School Grounds Week, pupils also spent more time outside, putting geography and maths into action by mapping the school grounds, developing their artistic skills by bug hunting and then making willow sculptures of insects they found, and even performing a play in the school grounds based on the popular book, Going on a Bear Hunt.
Councillor Claire Darke, Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “It’s really important that children are able to spend time outside, and I’m pleased that pupils at Woodfield Infant and Junior Schools are enjoying lessons in their new forest schools.”
Lord Gavin Hamilton, owner of the Apley Estate and Apley Farm Shop, said: “I am delighted that we were able to support this project which will help teach children about the natural environment. At Apley, we are all about bringing the countryside and locally produced food to more people, including children in our Playbarn and Animal Park, and this scheme fits perfectly with that aim.”
Apley Farm Shop & Pigg’s Playbarn also work closely with Educating Kids Outdoors (EKO) http://www.ekolearning.org.uk/ (07876 658 467) who run forest school days & birthday parties on the Skylark Nature Trail at Apley Farm Shop, as well as other venues in & near Shropshire.
Apley Farm Shop sponsors 3 young riders (our 3 daughters !) in show jumping & or One Day Eventing (when you compete in 3 disciplines on 1 day – cross country, dressage & show jumping). Click HERE to see one of them reach the Pony Club Championships at Cholmondeley Castle earlier in August. Her team didn’t win, but it was great just to be there & competing at 95-100cm isn’t as easy as it sometimes looks ! There’s a long way to go, but at least this is a good level to reach for the time being. We had a great day & individually, she did very well too. We travel up to about 2 hrs about twice a month & more often in the holidays, so the Apley Farm Shop logo on our horse trailer gets seen far & wide !
As the EKO sleepover children wake up this morning in Pigg’s Playbarn & have breakfast in the Creamery Cafe, Apley Farm Shop is getting ready for Salop Pickle Works to come & offer free tasters to customers & visitors between 11am & 3pm today.
Based in Shrewsbury (Shropshire) & specialising in pickled products, they use traditional pickling techniques passed down from generation to generation, combined with modern twists.
Here’s a bit from Salop Pickle’s website: “I started making my own pickled onions back in 1975, newly married, mortgaged up to the hilt, no spare cash for pickles or luxuries. Grow your own and pickling them, was the only way to go. I started with the traditional pickled onion (Nan Fipkin’s recipe – which evolved into Fipkin’s Famous!) then over the years as tastes changed, we saw & tasted more food from overseas, Italian, French, Chinese & Indian. I started to perk up my onions adding a bit more spice & more black peppercorns. I developed the recipes until I created the signature taste that our customers know & love.”
http://saloppickleworks.com/history-of-salop-pickle-works/ or 01743 873330
If you can’t make it this Saturday, pop along next Saturday, 5 September for free tasters of Apley Farm Shop’s own handmade products from the Apley Butcher & Delicatessen counter, including quiches & scotch eggs made onsite in our own kitchens using local ingredients & butcher John’s pies award winning pies.
The annual EKO sleepover begins today, Friday 28 August at 10.30am, in Pigg’s Playbarn & lasts until tomorrow morning (Sat 29 Aug, 10.30am). Places cost £35 per child & include meals, forest school & playtime in the Playbarn ! Info@ekolearning.org.uk or 07876 658 467.
Educating Kids Outdoors holds very popular birthday parties on the Skylark Nature Trail at Apley Farm Shop, in conjunction with Pigg’s Playbarn. They’ve just sent me these photos of a recent party – the hampers from Apley Farm Shop have been very well received !
Very rarely, Gavin allows fundraising events in Apley Park & Sunday 6 September is one of those special days. Raising funds for Stockton Church (opposite Apley Farm Shop) & the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI.org.uk). The 3.5 & 5.5 mile routes have been planned by Apley’s Farm Manager, Adrian Joynt. Walkers can begin anytime from 10am. Last walker must begin by 1pm. Tickets (£7) can be bought by calling 07876 49 28 39 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
RABI was founded in 1860: “The institution supports farming families in financial difficulty & of limited means. Whether it’s short-term help to enable someone to get back on their feet after a crisis, or a long-term commitment to pay a retired or disabled person a regular grant, we know how grateful people are”.
Stockton Church is fundraising for roof repairs as the Diocese doesn’t pay anything towards maintenance. All repairs must be financed by the church congregation & community. Most of the church is 17th century, but parts of it date from Norman times & the tower is 13th century. So it’s very much part of our architectural, historical & community landscapes.
As the school summer holidays are nearly over, some parents may be thinking about which After-School activities their children will do in September. Tying in with the current sewing revival, for a creative hour every week, just drop in at Pigg’s Playbarn at Apley Farm Shop on Thursdays.
I’ve made most of these things at home in the last 10 years with our own children, so I know that other children will also really enjoy doing them. I even still use the needle case I made when at my first school (here it is !), but I think my blanket stitch has improved since then !
Here’s the leaflet with all the details. I’ve got bags of fabrics which I’ll give to Amy, our Playbarn Supervisor who will be running the club. There’s no need to book, so it won’t matter if you can’t make it every Thursday.