September 2011

Hello, and here we are again with the autumn upon us, and already we’re being pelted with storms, wind and rain. The good news though is that our new polytunnel is up and firmly buried in the ground, and we’ve even planted spinach and other greens in it for the winter months.

Workers covering the new tunnel – Top Meadow

There’s a farm day coming up this weekend at Top Meadow, Saturday 17 September. Everyone is welcome to come and give a hand, or just look around and have a chat – the more the merrier! Come to the garden any time after 11am.

There’ll be another farm day in October, as well as a harvest celebration later in the month (we hope with music).

Also, we’re looking for (more) committed volunteers to help with the growing and other work. If you think you’d like to be more involved, or if you know someone who you think would be interested, please contact Sue or Tony Mathews on 01269 870 720.

Other food news – a local egg producer will be supplying us with organic eggs, which will be available at £1.50 per half dozen. You should have had a note in the vegetable bags: send it back quickly,as supply is limited! We’ll also be able to take orders for Martin Samphire’s honey shortly, and there’ll be beef coming up from Tir Eithin farm. The bank account is finally operational, and we hope that anyone who can will set up a standing order, as it will help us greatly. We’ll send out the account details separately.


We’ve been thinking about carrots.... And here are three delicious recipes:

Carrot and coriander soup

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or butter)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 450g / 1lb carrots, sliced
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1.2 litres / 2 pints vegetable stock
  • large bunch chopped fresh coriander
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions and the carrots. Cook for 3-4 minutes minutes until starting to soften.

Stir in the ground coriander and season well. Cook for 1 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Whizz with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth. Reheat in a clean pan, stir in the fresh coriander and serve.

Crecy plate pie

  • 350g / 12 oz onions
  • 350g / 12 oz carrots
  • 50g / 2 oz butter
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp yeast extract (marmite)
  • salt and pepper
  • 425g / 15 oz pastry

Preheat your oven to 200◦C / 400◦F / gas mark 6.
Chop the onion and grate the carrot.
Sauté the onion until transparent.
Add the carrots and thyme and sweat for 10 minutes.
Stir in the flour and yeast extract.
Adjust seasoning to taste.
Make into a pie and bake for 30 minutes.

Wholemeal carrot and honey cake

This one might sound a bit earnest, but you’ll find it very moist and tasty, and there’s so much good stuff in it, its probably a balanced meal all by itself. Also, its easy to make if you have a food processor or an electric beater.

  • 4 eggs
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 300ml rapeseed oil (or 150ml each of sunflower and rapeseed oil)
  • 4 medium large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 300g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g of runny honey
  • icing (optional)
  • 125g unsalted butter (at room temp)
  • 250g cream cheese
  • finely grated zest of 3 oranges
  • 50-100g icing sugar, sieved

Preheat the oven to 180◦C.Grease and line a 23cm spring cake tin
Put the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric beater (or food processor) for 10 minutes until pale, foamy and slightly thickened.
Add the oil and beat for a few more minutes.
Combine flour, salt and Bicarbonate of soda, and sieve into the mix. Tip in any bran that’s left in the sieve and fold it all in lightly.
Fold in the carrot.
Pour into the tin and bake for 45- 50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
Scrape the honey into a pan and set over a low heat until liquid.
Pierce the hot cake all over, and pour in the honey.
Leave in the tin to cool.
To make the icing:
Beat the butter in a bowl until smooth and fluffy
Beat in cheese and zest
Sweeten to taste with the icing sugar
Spread on cold cake.


Remember planting all those potatoes?

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