Phil Allen, Head Gardener of Apley Walled Garden, has just sent me these photos of the first potatoes planted only yesterday. Picked early, the potatoes are small, firm & waxy. When left to mature, it’s a large kidney shape which are great for boiling.
Parsley has been grown in Britain at least since the 17th century. The flat leaved varieties have a slightly lighter & sharper flavour than the curly sorts. Not only is it beneficial for humans, but it was commonly thrown into fish ponds if the fish became ill & sheep were fed it to cure them of liver fluke !
Available this week are baby mizuna leaves, red leafed spinach, carrots, Red Boar kale & parsnips.
Also coming through, but growing to order for The Creamery Café’s head chef Martin for Easter are: rocket, mizuna, radishes, rhubarb, pak choi, coriander, red amarynth leaves, red & green leaf spinach.
Phil also grew to order this delicious list of vegetables for Mothers’ Day last Sunday (so now of course they’ve now all been eaten up !): rocket, mizuna, radishes, rhubarb, pak choi, coriander, red amarynth leaves, red & green leaf spinach. As well as thyme, Creamery chef Martin made a rosemary cake & needed extra for cooking with lamb, so ordered 1kg of rosemary – that’s a lot of rosemary !
There’s a wonderful array of natural skincare, mineral makeup, living colognes, candles & soaps available in the Elizabeth Beckett Skincare shop at Apley Farm Shop. There’s also some luxurious treatments available including relaxing massages, manicures, pedicures & makeovers. Pop in & meet Alison, Lydia & Elizabeth to discuss your skincare needs or to find that perfect Easter present !
I asked Elizabeth Beckett Skincare to update me a bit:
“We use local ingredients as much as we possibly can, with the main constituent in all our creams & oils being Shropshire Rapeseed oil. We use this oil because it’s packed with Vitamin E & is brilliant for dry skin conditions. Our products are especially good for dry & mature skin & is particularly good for sufferers of eczema & psoriasis because there’s no synthetic colours, smells or parabens! We have just launched another product which has received rave reviews from Professional Spa & Wellness Magazine & is wonderful for oily skin types as well as dry skins – this is our newest product – Rose & Frankincense Facial Oil.
Her are just some of her many customer reviews which give a good idea of what Elizabeth is doing & making:
- I’m really pleased – one of my clients who has really sensitive skin & has problems finding products that suit has really loved the Rose & frankincense cream & it suits her skin really well :) Kerry, Bridgnorth
- Another Rose & Frankincense fan who suffers with eczema “I came in two weeks ago to get some of your lavender cream. You gave me a sample of your rose face cream. It works great! I came in yesterday & got a 50ml tub. Thank you my skin feels great.” Millie, Bridgnorth
- “Thank-you so much for the free sample of rose & frankincense facial oil, it’s fabulous! Am using every evening & am now a complete fan of your beautiful products & have moved away from another Liz’s brand!” Carole, Telford
- Debby loves the Dewy Geranium Cleansing Cream followed by Rose & Frankincense Night & Day Cream “Although it’s a thick cream, it isn’t heavy & I love using it in the morning & evenings” Debby, Shifnal
Ps if you are not sure ! A living cologne is a perfume which can be worn or used as a room scent
Now if like me, you’re getting a bit peckish, the sight of these Apley Farm Shop cakes is very welcome. Every week we have a Cake of the Week & this week Julie told me it was carrot. It was ginger a few weeks ago, but it takes a while to perfect ginger cake (Gavin’s favourite), to get it moist enough but also avoiding letting it sink in the middle ! So here they are both together. Delicious !
Yesterday, was cold but at least drier than last Sunday 8 March, which was rather rainy day for our local ploughing match at Grindle, on the edge of the Apley Estate. Organised by the Morville Countryside Club with all proceeds going towards the Midlands Air Ambulance, with about 70 men taking part. Gavin & Francis went to present prizes but naturally left the judging to the experts !
This is an extremely country issue to be writing about I know, but ploughing is critical farming – it’s the beginning of the soil preparation process. When done properly, seeds of the next crop have the best chance of survival & ultimate success in producing a high yield. Your loaf of bread starts right here & takes a year to create …
Gavin & our Apley Farm Manager, Adrian Joynt sent me these photos – competitors used old & new tractors & some even horses.
I have to admit I absolutely don’t usually follow ploughing or rugby !, but on Saturday 14 March, Gavin took Francis (who plays rugby on Sunday mornings) to see Bridgnorth winning 40-3 against Northampton, in the Midlands Cup, making them the best in the Midlands at their level (7) – all very exciting for Bridgnorth !
Local photographer Karen Hartnell-Beavis has successfully held photography courses in the past at Apley Farm Shop, so will be back again this Spring (Tues 12 May, 10-4pm) ! She sent me this to fill me in:
“Do you want to take better photos? Do you own a camera but don’t understand the settings?
This one day course will help improve your photography by guiding you through the technical aspects of your camera, helping you with composition and how to be more creative with your picture taking and will include a session on the digital side from editing to storing and sharing your images.”
Karen HB [as she’s known] has worked as a freelance photographer for 17 years, she started out doing travel, documentary and press work, and now focuses on products and food, having shot many landscapes, weddings and portraits through the years. Whatever your subject help is at hand…
This Sunday, it’s Mothers’ Day & at Apley Farm Shop’s Creamery Café & Function room we’re offering 12-4pm Afternoon Teas & 3 course lunches. Whilst our chef & his team have been getting ready, I asked a few mothers & their children what they mean to each other.
What they most like about being a mother:
- They remind me daily of life’s essentials – food, shelter, love, laughter
- Their needs are fairly simple – food, warmth & attention
- They’re unconditionally affectionate & loving
- Children get straight to the point – eg that man over there has ripped trousers Mummy !
- They make me laugh daily
- Keeps me fit & on my toes
- My teenagers keep me feeling young, even if I don’t look it !
- After my life, I’m leaving something behind to live on & enjoy what we’ve begun
Another mother added: “I personally thank all my children for allowing me to gain the experience of being a mum (as I often say to them no one takes you off and teaches you how to be a good mum – we can only do what we think is the right thing to do) we all have to learn together parents and children alike.”
And here are some replies some now-grown-up children:
A 34 yr old son said: “I would just say I love my mum more than anything in the world. My preference is a loving hug and sharing her company. I would also tell her how much I love her and how thankful we are for everything she does for us.
A 32yr old daughter said: “There are not enough words to describe what my mum means to me so here goes – My mum is beautiful, funny, caring, loving, my best friend the one to make me laugh and who now gives me the confidence to be a mum myself. If I am half the mum to my little girl that my mum has been to me I will be over the moon. My mum is quite simply Mary Poppins – practically perfect in every way.
I’ll ask some younger children & add their replies, which no doubt will be rather funny !
To make a booking in The Creamery, just call 01952 730 345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s first rhubarb is in Apley Farm Shop – mix with granola, apple & raisins to make a great weekend family crumble. We have all the ingredients ready for you in the shop.
We’ve had such beautiful Spring days & as April is fast approaching, it’s time to be amongst the first to know What’s On at Apley in April ! Just click HERE for our short slideshow film.
In case you still need to know what’s on in the second half of March at Apley, just click here to see a short slideshow film of What’s On at Apley in March. It’s also in my blog of 3 March.
Take a look at our web adverts listed below, which are enabling us to accurately assess (with Google Analytics) how many people are seeing our adverts. I’ll be changing where we place these digital adverts throughout the year. I can’t do them all at once ! My next adverts will probably be with Virtual Shropshire, Shropshire Review & Telford Tourism.
We’ve also just agreed a special offer for children in care, with Max Card discounts http://mymaxcard.co.uk/venues/apley-farm-shop & have created reciprocal discount vouchers with Ironbridge Gorge Museums. More on that very soon.
|Shropshire Food & Drink||http://www.shropshirefoodanddrink.co.uk/|
|What’s What magazine||http://www.whatswhatmagazine.co.uk/|
|Wolverhampton West Magazine||http://www.wolverhamptonwestmag.co.uk/|
|In & Around||http://www.inandaroundmagazine.co.uk|
|Raring 2 Go||http://www.raring2go.co.uk/wolverhampton/save|
|The Family Grapevine||http://thefamilygrapevine.co.uk/shrewsbury-telford/|
|Shropshire Star (just finished actually)||www.shropshirestar.co.uk|
It’s so easy for residents not to bother visiting their own tourist attractions. So whenever I get the chance, I take the children on a tourist outing here in London.
Last week we went to the Science Museum & arrived just in time to see a demonstration, which included showing us the properties of oobleck – which by chance is what the children at Pigg’s Playbarn Science Club have been making this afternoon. Rebecca says it’s really addictive to play with! It is a liquid, but becomes a solid when pressure is put on it – so if you made enough of it you could actually walk on it ! In the Science Museum, they stretched it like a rubber band, but when they tried to hammer it down with a mallet, it just bounced around like a rubber ball & couldn’t be flatten. It is easy to try at home, being only made of water, corn starch & food colouring. It is called a non-Newtonian fluid. At home, we use a set of free experiment postcards from www.Physics.org, called ‘Do try this at home’.
This week, Thursday 12 March, they’re making bouncy balls – so bounce along & drop in 4-5pm.
The delicatessen counter at Apley Farm Shop always has a Cheese of the Week, which was the Hereford Hop last week (£1.69 per 100g) & this week is the Sharpham Rustic with onion & chive (£2.15 per 100g)
Hereford Hop is a British cheese, handmade by Charles Martell, maker of the famous Stinking Bishop. He invented the cheese in 1990 on the Hunts Court Farm which is a few miles away from the Herefordshire border.
The hard cheese is made using natural rennet & full fat pasteurised cows’ milk. Coated with toasted hops, Hereford Hop produces citrusy, buttery & sharp flavours together with slight bitterness of the hops. A version made with raw milk is also available.
The Sharpham Rustic with onion & chive is a semi hard unpasteurised cheese made with Jersey cow’s milk. It has a fresh, lemony creamy flavour when young, developing a lovely nutty taste when mature.