seasons are a changing

Ever had runner bean ratatouille? Well now’s your chance, and you can make it especially local right now as we have Hampshire runners, and for the first time, Hampshire dried garlic from our grower Mike Fisher, not to mention our local tomatoes (recipe opposite). You may remember from my last newsletter that this is the first time we have successfully dried garlic – normally the climate here makes it a bit problematic, but Mike is particularly pleased with the results, and would love you to send in any feedback for him.

This month we will be harvesting yellow ramiro peppers from our polytunnels, also known as banana peppers. They don’t taste of banana, but if you have any fussy kids, they may help you in convincing them to try something new. If you come to our Chilli Day on Friday 19th August, you may well get a chance to try them, as we’ll be taking visitors on tours of the farm to see the veg growing. We’ve got a whole team organising the day, and there’s a real buzz around the place as we make our preparations. Whether I’ll take part in the ‘chilli roulette’ is another question however! I think the ferret racing, which will be put on by the Hants and Berks Ferret Club, will be a sure hit though. Most of these little furry creatures have been rescued, and when you see them in action you can see how much they enjoy being handled. We will also have a magician here to amaze you and the youngsters with his close-hand magic and balloon sculptures.

Now onwards to the seasons…well sorry, but time waits for no one; the leeks are coming! Don’t feel pushed into autumnal cooking though, as there are loads of lighter leeky recipes that will work in the Indian summer we are bound to get when the kids go back to school. Take a look at the recipe section of our website if you need some inspiration. Meanwhile this week we’ve had the first of our wonderfully sugary English plums - if you haven’t been keen on plums before, chances are these will change your mind. It’s the start of the much anticipated UK apple season too, with the arrival of Discovery apples from our grower Paul Ward in Kent, and this year they seem all the sweeter for all that waiting!

Gordon Twigg, General Manager