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March 1, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Farm Shop – just missed the Best New Farm Shop award

2014-03-01, Roulades (6) croppedHoorah it’s 1 March. I’ve been waiting for today since 30 November, counting away the winter weeks. But I have to admit, floods apart, it’s been an incredibly mild winter (so far !).

Having come home from the FARMA* awards last year with the Rising Star award, early this week, we narrowly missed the Best New Farm Shop award this year which went to a Scottish farm shop (which I must admit hadn’t featured on my farm shop horizons before) called Kilnford Barns in Dumfries & Galloway. Many congratulations to them. We know how much hard work goes into it & I’m sure they deserve it. Our Apley staff work round the clock like the clappers, so I’m sure feel disappointed, but we’re thrilled to have even been a finalist, in fact not just this year, but every year since we began. Like children sitting scholarship exams, just being of the calibre to be put forward is good enough. Getting it is just the icing on the cake.

Roulades were on the Apley Cookery Club programme this week. It was well attended & Jackie Wilson, our in-house nutritionist who popped in towards the end of the session to talk about the importance of increasing our fruit & vegetable intake to 7+ portions daily.

  • After the Walled Garden tour on 10 May, she’ll be covering balancing female hormones, for which she recommends ground flax & chia seeds. Flax seeds are available in foil pouches by Linwoods, in Holland & Barrett.
  • On 6 Sept, she’ll cover gluten intolerance. It would be great to have a gluten-free option on The Creamery’s menu & more gluten-free products for sale in Apley Farm Shop.
  • To tie in with pickling and preserves on 4 October, she’ll talk about probiotics & their support in gut & immune function’ & homemade sauerkraut (the benefits in the vinegar).

You can contact Jackie directly on or 07581 369 397. She has a consulting room above the Farm Shop at Apley.

In London this weekend, Venetia went with friends to – a café where you decorate delicious biscuits. It’s like an edible Ceramic Cafe. We’ve had a blissful weekend so far, except for 1 hr of shopping after cycling to & fro the Tate Gallery. I just want to be able to describe (in words & pictures) online exactly what I’m looking for. (I was hopeful for this when Google began, but it hasn’t quite yet happened). Then I would like to get an email to my phone with directions to the nearest shop which definitely has it in stock, in my size, colour & at the right price – reserved for me for 30-60 mins until I get there. Wouldn’t that be heavenly. I get so disheartened never finding (even when I research beforehand) what I need, that I drop into our local charity shop & come out armed with yet another pile of books – mostly for the children – Fun with Art, How to draw Horses, Roadl Dahl, Fantastic Poems, etc !

On my way home today, I chatted with a parent at Francis’s school who is interested in ‘rolling out’ smoked pheasant – he specialises in presenting new [food] products to the market.

PS. Pedestrian crossings at traffic lights now have a countdown in seconds before you can cross. I’ve not seen them before today. They’re perfect for people like me for whom 5 seconds seems like 10 or 20 !

* National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association

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