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March 1, 2017 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Spring at Apley Farm Shop

2017-03-01-afs-easter-displayI must be the most excited person today – at long last 1 March has come which is for me at least, the first day of Spring (for me it’s March, April, May) – such a relief after the winter. Oh & it’s St David’s – the daffodils on my desk look amazing.  This evening try our lamb bacon salad (get yours from the Apley Butchery). It’s £14.99 per kg (so around £4.50 a pack). It’s dry cured with garlic, cumin & rosemary & selling really well ! NB. beef bacon is coming soon.

Snowdrops & daffodils are out, spring smells are in the air, calves are being born on the Apley Home Farm, the grass is growing again … & Easter eggs are in Apley Farm Shop ! John just sent me this photo of our lovely display.

March, April & May bring Mothers’ Day (Sun 26 Mar), Easter Funday (Sat 15 April), Craft Fairs (27 & 29 May) & the Apley Bake Off (Sun 28 May). BTW, Bob’s got a Mothers’ Day Survival Kit up his sleeve – more on that soon. The spring menu is already out in the Creamery Cafe – come & try chef’s new dishes. They’ve got Welsh sausages on the specials menu today after pancakes yesterday.

Beef & horse radish pies will be ready on our butchery counter for Saturday morning. £2.99 each or 2 for £5. Already available & new on the butchery counter are curried faggots (a tray of 4 for £2.75). Next week, Bob will have individual meat pies (for 1 person, short crust pastry base with puff pastry tops, best eaten hot) in these flavours – Apley steak & ale; Apley minced beef & onion; chicken curry; chicken & mushroom pie. There will be a mix & match deal & family value packs. These pies are perfect for days out – I take a picnic every time I go out with the children & their ponies & always include one of Bob’s pies for everyone. Coming soon, individual quiches.

Within 2 weeks, we’ll have spring lamb on the butchery counter. In Apley Walled Garden (where there is a carpet of snowdrops & catkins on the hazel nut trees) Phil is starting sewing next week – broad beans, peas & sweet peas, cabbages, cauliflowers & more. Adiran on Apley Home Farm is calving our cows – I’ll chat to him later for more detail. It’s always a lovely site, to see them turned out (as soon as the weather is warm enough) in Apley Park.

I really like knowing this kind of detail, so here’s a bit about St David: He was a 6th century missionary & ascetic (severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence) who once raised a hill from the ground. Soldiers celebrate the day (like St George’s Day, it’s not a bank holiday) by eating raw leeks. The Welsh dragon on the flag came from Merlin’s dream of a red & white dragon. He thought represented the coming of King Arthur to see off the Saxon hordes.

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