Friday, 4 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Firstly a very Happy New Year to you, we hope you have enjoyed a well earned festive break! The New Year has got off to a better start than 2012 with nearly no rain so far! Let's not jinx it too much but we certainly deserve a better year this year!
We are now back to our normal opening hours and after a few early January deliveries have a shop well stocked again! We will be sending out a more detailed email in a couple of weeks with our plans for January and February as well as the year ahead.

Our deli counter now stocked up again. Due to the weekends between Christmas and New Year we struggled to get deliveries to the farm shop but we now have a fully restored counter full of delicious local cheese and homemade goodies! We have a few new cheeses too...

Duckett's Caerphilly - made by Tom Calver and his team from Westcombe Dairy near Shepton Mallet in Somerset. Yes that's right a Caerphilly from Somerset that is wonderfully earthy and creamy.

Ogleshield - from Jamie Montgomery's dairy (the famous Montgomery Cheddar makers) in Cadbury, Somerset. It is a firm and fruity washed rind cheese made from Jersey milk.

Francis - An absolutely beguiling washed rind cheese from James McCall made in Salisbury. It has just won the 'Best New Cheese' at the British cheese awards and definately worth a try!

From the Butchers

The butchers are also boasting a full offer of meat again after a lean week after Christmas. Back in the counter is our Gloucester Old Spot pork and Angus beef from our farm and lamb from next door at Church Farm. With Burn's night approaching don't forget you can pre-order your MacSween Haggis from the butchers in advance. For January we also have the following special offers from our own Aberdeen Angus Beef.

Beef Mince £5/kg
(available in freezer packs)
Beef Rump Steaks £14.95 per Kg

In a couple of week we have Farmhouse Breakfast Week upon us. We will fill you in on more details in our next edition but expect plenty of offers in the shop and butchery and also some specials on our cafe menu!
We look forward to seeing you soon

All the best


Monday, 3 December 2012

December News & Events!

Well here we are with our last monthly update for 2012! Another year has flown by but we still have plenty more left up our sleeve yet before the year is out! Despite the best efforts of Mother Nature herself our Taste of Christmas event last weekend still went ahead to great success. We had a brilliant weekend and thanks to everyone who came up to meet our producers. Also many thanks to our producers themselves for their support. The biggest hand has to go to the Hartley Farm team for keeping the show on the road. When the rains fell and the wind blew throughout the week we thought we'd have to postpone the event. That became a bit more of a reality when the marquee was fished out of a tree on Wednesday afternoon after a strong gust of wind but all was rectified just in time and a new marquee re-erected!

Chrismats Craft Fair this Saturday!

This Saturday we have our Christmas Craft Fair in the marquee next to the shop. Join us from 10am-4pm for a fair packed with some brilliant gifts and crafts that will provide plenty of inspiration for the Christmas shopping list! Everything from our own Florist's, Young Blooms, wreath

making courses to textiles, ceramics, wood carvings and much more.

Nick the Fishmonger this Sunday

On Sunday we welcome to the farm Nick the Fishmonger! Nick was at our Taste of Christmas event last Sunday with a terrific show of fresh fish and homemade seafood products. We are hoping to make Nick more of a permanent fixture in 2013 as a fresh fishmonger has been in demand for sometime.  Please do come up and meet Nick from 10am and let us know what you think and if you want to see him more regularly.

Fishmongers are a rare-breed themselves and we believe Nicks produce is second to none so please show your support if you want to see more of him, we certainly do!!

In the farm shop this month we have jam packed the shelves full of wonderful food and gifts for the festive period from beautiful silver gifts from Culinary Concepts to handmade hampers full of our local produce, there's much to tempt you. You can also make your own hampers for us to wrap, just tell us what you want in it and we'll do the rest! We are offering our hamper wrapping service for free on the evening of our late night shopping & carols on Monday 17th December. The farm shop will be open until 7:30pm with carols from St. Laurence School Choir joining us from 6pm, an evening not to be missed!

The butchers have been busy planning for Christmas and this week have just received delivery from the farm of our Aberdeen Angus beef ready to hang until Christmas. Our Christmas order forms are now coming in thick and fast so if you want to order your Caldecott Turkey or a joint of beef among many other things make sure your send your form back to us before 12th December.

Our new (and slightly delayed) menu is out now! Stars of the show will be our homemade pies, award winning pate and also our own fishcakes among a few other new additions! Not forgetting, our rather tasty mince pies are now available both in the cafe and to take home. This year's mince pie's are bigger and better than last year and filled to the brim with our own recipe mincemeat, they're not to be missed!

Christmas Craft Fair
Saturday 1st December 10am-4pm

Supper Club Quiz Night
Thursday 6th December
Our next supper club will be held on Thursday evening where will be serving up a German feast! This is a pre-book event only for tables of four or six (£15 per person for two courses).
Email or phone 01225 864948 to book your table!

Festive Crafts in the Farm shop
Thursday 6th December 10am - 12pm

Late Night Shopping & Carols
Monday 17th December

Come and join us for a WREATH MAKING WORKSHOP, only £45.00 per wreath including warm drinks, mince pies and chocolate treats! Share the fun and make a wreath as a family for the same fantastic price (over 8s only please).

Location: Hartley Farm, Winsley, Bradford-On-Avon, Wiltshire BA15 2JB
Dates: Saturday 1st and Saturday 8th December 2012, 11am - 1pm
Contact Laura or Grace on 01225 580271 or email - bookings now being taken.

Hartley Farm also have their Christmas Craft Fair on 1st December where you can buy lots of Young Blooms goodies and place orders for Christmas flowers, wreaths and gifts. Come along and join in with the festive spirit!

Both my wife, Tamara, and I are very delighted to announce the birth of our daughter on 20th November! Isla Elizabeth Bowles arrived at 2:15am weighing 6lb 11oz! Mum and baby are now at home and all settled in. Hopefully this goes someway to explain my poor attendance record of late and the rather fatigued appearance at times! Once Isla is able to crawl farm shop training will commence!

Best wishes


Sunday, 11 November 2012

November at Hartley Farm

There's no avoiding it now I'm afraid, the festive season is upon us! If you don't want to read about Christmas you should look away now as this newsletter is packed with details of our Christmas events calendar and also news on our Christmas Order Form from the butchers!

First though, thank you to everyone who came up to the farm for our Apple Day in October. Plenty of apples were crushed and pressed and I don't think I've ever seen so many children around the farm shop with their mouths full of British Apples! Thankyou also to Bob from Midford Cider (pictured talking all things apples on the right) and Chris from Norcott's cider for keeping our thirsts quenched with their cider tasting!

Sausage Week - 5th to 11th November sausages

Our butchers have been busy creating lots of different sausage recipes in recent months and the best will be on offer throughout the week. Don't forget our 3 packs for £10 offer too on our pre packed sausages! Our butcher's sausages will also be served up in the cafe through the week as well as for our Supper Club Quiz night on the 8th November (pre-book only I'm afraid!).

Hartley Farm's Taste of Christmas - 24th & 25th November 10-4pm

Our annual Christmas Fayre will take place on the last weekend of November. The day is a great way to taste the wonderful local produce, discuss Christmas recipes and be inspired for the festive season! A full list of our producers is on our events page on our website.

Christmas Craft Fair - 1st December 10-4pm

Our first ever Craft Fair will take place the following weekend with some wonderful local craft makers on show to help with your Christmas shopping needs. We have greetings cards, soft furnishings, glassware, woodwork design, florists, and much more! We still have a couple of stalls free so if you create the perfect pressies and you're interested in exhibiting at our Fair or know someone who does please contact Tom through

As part of Sausage Week we will have our Tracklements Onion Marmalade Parfait Jars on special offer... onion marmalade

If you buy any 6 of our homemade sausages our large Onion Marmalade Jars
are only £6.45 saving you £1!

Our festive range of Christmas gifts is now available from special jam and chutney gift packs to special gifts from Culinary Concepts and many more.  Let's not forget all the lovely chocolates available, including Montezuma's Christmas range & Lick the Spoon's fantastic local chocolates.

Also, Fred the Wiltshire beekeeper has been busy crafting his beeswax and we have a range of beeswax candles, handcreams and soap, a lovely gift for anytime of the year. We also have a limited stock of Wiltshire Honeycomb at £7.49, perfect for spreading on toast!

The stars of sausage week will be our Venison, Pork & Leek and Toulouse sausages among a few other wonderful flavours, all made in house by the team. We will also have a few sausage-themed recipe cards available to make the most of this sausage bounty!

Christmas started back in January for Ed and the team. Provisional orders had to be made to our poultry farmer, Robert Caldecott (pictured) as well as the most demanding of the farmers, Richard Bowles, Tom's Dad! Our own farming calendar has to tie in with our butcher's demands to make sure our counter will be offering our own beef and pork over the Christmas period. As of next week our Christmas Order forms will be available to pick up from the farm shop with all our own and local produce available.

This year we are giving away a wonderful Christmas Hamper to one lucky person!
All you have to do is hand your order form back to us before the 1st of December to be in with a chance of winning.
The lucky winner will be picked out at the beginning of December.

In light of the cold weather we now have plenty of game in stock as well as our traditional faggots back in the counter, perfect with a bit of onion gravy. Along with this our ready made beef burgundy is going down a storm - available from the butchery counter, all you have to do is throw it in the oven and supper is sorted!

The cafe team have turned all wintery too and recent specials like our sausage casserole, cottage pie and vegetable pies have been a great hit. Our new, fresh ready meals created in our kitchen are also available through our deli counter and help take the hassle out of feeding the family!

Our new menu will also be out in the next week which will feature even more of our homemade range and plenty to warm the soul on those cold, blustery afternoons. By popular demand we have also expanded our vegetarian breakfast options as well as serving gluten free bread for our sandwiches.

Lastly we are looking for someone who will help us source some locally foraged mushrooms. This time of year is perfect for mushroom hunting but it's a dangerous game if you don't know your fungi! If you're a local expert or know someone let us know!

Young Blooms are going to do the ever popular Christmas wreath making workshops in our fantastic new workroom on Saturday 1st December and Saturday 8th December 11-1pm £45 per wreath to include mulled wine, hot chocolate, mince pies. All equipment provided. Families welcome together (not suitable for under 8s).

Call Laura and Grace to book on 01225 580271 or email us on

The enormous leeks have done very well this year – at least something has enjoyed the wet summer! Try them roasted in oil with some cheese and black pepper grated on top, yum. The tomatoes and cucumbers are coming to an end now in the polytunnels, and will make way in the next week or so for more salad leaves. The early frosts have meant the end for the coloured French beans and some of the lettuce in the field; but fortunately the mixed leaf salad bags are cheering us up: a mixture of lettuce, red, green and fronded mustards, rocket, French sorrel, plus a few extra leaves to come soon: radicchio, endive, pak choi, winter purslane, land cress… It's great to have salad at this time of year: not only do you feel healthy having some fresh greens, the spicy leaves are full of flavour, colour and vitamins. We'll be holding a salad leaf tasting at the Christmas Market at the end of November (no more boring iceberg lettuce!) so come along and surprise yourself.

Lastly our Christmas opening hours are as below and will be on our website too.

Sunday 23rd December  - 0900-1930
Monday 24th December  - 0900-1200
25th-27th December  - CLOSED
28th-31st December  -  1000-1600
1st January  -  CLOSED
2nd January - OPEN AS USUAL

We look forward to seeing you all soon,


Monday, 8 October 2012

October's News & More Awards!!

What an action packed month September was for Hartley Farm! We were thrilled to receive a Highly Commended award for the Best Farm Shop category at the recent Bath Good Food Awards. The award was in recognition for the effort and impact farm shops have on their communities. We were shortlisted among some superb farm shops and to come second was a real honour in our first award ceremony! The next morning, just as I was relaying the news to the team I received a letter through the post congratulating us on reaching the final of another award. This time it was the national FARMA Retail awards for the Own & Local prize. We have been selected from hundreds of farm shops in recognition of the business’ commitment to homegrown and homemade food and support of other local farmers and producers. As this has been our sole focus from the day we opened, you can only imagine how thrilled we were! Results will be announced in February 2013.

At the end of September we played our part in MacMillan Cancer's Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning. The kitchen team baked hundreds of cup cakes which we gave away for each donation to the Charity and by the end of the day we had raised £250! Thanks to everyone for their support.

This weekend we are joined by House of the Rising Bun for our latest Meet the Producer day. They will be here to talk to you about their wonderful cake mixes with samples for all! The following week is National Chocolate Week and so we have the company of the magnificent Lick the Spoon, our local chocolatiers! Come and meet the artisan choclate makers on Friday 12th October from 12pm.

We will also be celebrating the apple season with our Apple Day on the 21st October and will be open from 10-4pm. Join us for a kids apple hunt, choose from our apple selection and press your own juice, and learn more about the cider making process with Bob Honey from Midford Cider who will be at the farm shop from 11am.

Game is now in stock! We are currently stocking partridge, venison and rabbit and with the pheasant season just opening, these will also be available in a couple of weeks.

New recipes in the counter this month are Homemade Meatballs, Chicken Kievs and Pork & Apple Swirls for that quick and easy supper. In addition we have the following special offers for this month:

Meatballs – 2 packs of 6 for £4.50 (1 for £2.50)

Chicken parcels – 2 for £7.00 (1 for £3.75)

After a long wait we now have our shiny new cafe till installed at our counter. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we fitted it and faced the inevitable teething problems! All is now in place and working and I am sure will help us deal with those busy periods.

Our latest supper club date is now in the diary. For National Sausage Week at the start of November we will be hosting our Sausage Supper Club on Thursday 8th November. Join us for a good healthy serving of our homemade sausages and quiz night. Tables are available to book now in 4's & 6's. Phone the farm shop on 01225 864948, email us or drop in to book your team in! Tickets are £15 per person which includes two courses. A bar will be available on the night too.

September has been a much better month weatherwise for growing; plenty of warm sunshine has meant that the tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and cucumbers in particular are still growing strongly in the polytunnels. Out in the field, the coloured French beans have done well too (a happy mix of purple, green and yellow), as have the mixed cavolo nero and red Russian kales (gorgeous healthy greens, delicious steamed or braised), and the cabbages also look like they may produce after all. Still no let up from the wildlife though: this year has been a record-breaker for most growers around the country in terms of slug damage; particularly in the south west. Kate is establishing a small pond to encourage frogs and toads in next year, which should help keep slug and snail numbers in check. And fingers crossed we get a 'proper' winter without the wet and mild conditions that slugs thrive in.

We are really excited this month as the Young Blooms work-space has been extended! We have a fabulous new workshop and have turned what was our workshop into a beautifully refurbished shop where there is now all manner of floral gifts! Do come and say hello and remember that we have a wider selection of flowers available for you in our Shop.

Weekends are full of weddings so your always welcome to come and have a look, but in the week we are creating fabulous bouquets to help celebrate many an occasion. So, do give us a ring on 01225 580271 or come in and order some gorgeous Young Blooms bouquets.

House of the Rising Bun Tasting Day
Saturday 6th October

Lick the Spoon Tasting Day
Friday 12th October

Apple Day - 21st October (10am-4pm)
Kids apple hunt, apple pressing, cider tasting & talks.

National Sausage Week - 5th -11th November
Seasonal Sausage specials, Sausage tastings &

Sausage Week Supper Club - 8th November
Join us from a two course sausage supper and quiz night from 7pm. Pre-book only.

Hartley Farm's Taste of Christmas - 24th & 25th November (10am-4pm)
Our annual Christmas Fayre with lots of local producers, lots to taste and mulled wine & mince pies on tap!!

Christmas Craft Market - Saturday 1st December (10-4pm)
Our first craft market to be held at the farm. Join us from 10am and be inspired for your Christmas shopping this year!

Friday, 31 August 2012

September at Hartley Farm

Autumn time is now here and for me it has to be the best time of year. Not only because I have lost all faith for the English summer but Autumn brings beautiful colours to the countryside and some great British produce that warms your soul. It also sees the start of the game season once again and also, especially for us, the ticking of the Christmas countdown clock!

Before we go any further I would like to thank everyone who came along to our Family Fun Day on August Bank Holiday Sunday. It was one of the very rare sunny days and the farm was full of smiling faces, a great day was had by all. The highlight for me had to be Jasper the bull finally kicking into action and doing what he does best on our first farm tour. Dad and I had been
wondering if he had been doing any "work" and like the true showman he is decided to let us both know he was with a farm tour trailor full of excited families! Thanks Jasper. Thanks also to the Bath Chronicle for coming out and here's a link to the article with a great picture too!

Elsewhere on the farm we are just waiting for our Indian summer so we can cut some more haylage to top up our winter fodder for the animals. More litters of Gloucester Old Spot pigs have arrived too and can be seen frolicking by our allotments. They really are a sight, make sure you say hello next time your passing!

It really has been a very testing summer for many farmers and growers in this country, lets hope it was a one off. Agriculture in Britain has suffered dramatically over the last few years and weather like this certainly doesn't help. As home-grown veggies and fruits start to fill the shelves as well as British meat & dairy lets make sure we buy British to support this very much needed industry. You wont half miss them when they've gone!

We were joined by expert chutney and jam makers Victorian Kitchen from Dorset as well as local rapeseed oil producer Bath Harvest in the farm shop in recent weeks on our "meet the producer" days. Tastings went down a storm with both producers serving up some of their wonderful produce. Don't forget to check our events page to see more details of more of our meet the producer days coming up including Heavenly Hedgerows on 15th September and House of the Rising Bun on 6th October.

Also on the 21st October will be this year's Apple Day! It's a day to celebrate the wonderful local apples we have in abundance right in the heart of the apple season. More details on this event will be in our October edition but will include apple pressing, apple bobbing, Cider tasting and talks and most probably some apple based treats from the farm kitchen too!

Specials from the farm shop this month include..

3 jars of Victorian Kitchen Preserves for £9.99
Avonleigh Rose now only £8.49 each!


As mentioned earlier it is coming into game season, one of the best times of the year to be a butcher (and a cook!). Our game is all sourced locally from Wiltshire and in addition to our locally shot wild venison we will have over the coming weeks some wonderful partridge too. As ever with game season we are in the hands of the local game dealers and will strive to always offer what we can. However due to the nature of wild game we make sure we only take the best quality produce from trusted game dealers and so not everything will always be available. If you need to speak to our butchers about what is best and available at the moment and to place an order please call the farm shop on 01225 864948 or email

If you were at our Family Fun Day last weekend and enjoyed some of our hog roast you are in luck as the butchers have got some of the same scrumptious pork on offer this weekend! Likewise if you missed out now's your chance to make up for lost time and recreate the hog roast!

10% of our Pork this Weekend!

In the next few days we will be launching some new homemade cakes baked fresh from the farm kitchen available to take away from the farm shop. Ollie and his team have been working (and tasting) away on some new cakes ready to launch this weekend. Our range of family cakes and cup cakes will be available alongside our already very popular traybakes so look out for the new cake display in the farm shop!!

A few months ago we mentioned we had a few plans in place in an effort to meet your expectations in our farm cafe as we know at busy times service can be a bit chaotic! We listened to your feedback and by far the most popular suggestion was to have a cafe till in place at the cafe for a number of reasons. Well, we listened and thought about it (a lot!) and decided, as always, you were right and now have a brand new till system about to be installed. We hope to have this in place by the end of September and with it a more smooth service from the cafe. Thankyou to everyone who took the trouble to fill out a suggestion slip and let us know your thoughts, as ever suggestions slips are around the farm shop so if you have an ideas pop it in the box!

We are also playing our part in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning and raising money for the Macmillan Charity. On Friday 28th September we will be doing our part fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support. Details on how you can join in and help (mainly by eating cake i'm afraid) will be posted on our events page soon.

August has been a slightly better month than Kate was expecting, and we've actually had a few days of sunshine, wow! That means that the tomatoes and cucumbers are producing well now, along with leafy crops such as rainbow chard (lovely shredded finely in a salad, steamed as a 'green' like spinach, stir-fried or in curries), salad rocket and lettuces. The leeks are looking good in the field too, and there was just enough dry weather to get them weeded in time. The runner beans that survived the slug onslaught are going for it, and will soon be caught up by the purple, yellow and green pencil beans. September will see a real harvest of veg: some squashes and pumpkins are looking promising, and the kale and cabbages and now growing well too. We just need a few more sunny days for the sweetcorn though…

Heavenly Hedgerows taster day Saturday 15th September

House of the Rising Bun taster day Saturday 6th October

The Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning 28th September

Apple Day 6th October
-cider tastings and talks, apple pressing & tasting

Sausage Week 5th - 11th November
- New sausages to be tasted, sausage specials in the cafe and a specials Sausage Supper Club!

We look forward to seeing you all soon

All the best

Thursday, 2 August 2012

August at Hartley Farm

Well it wouldn't be one of my newsletters if there wasn't some reference/grumble about the weather! It seems our week-long summer came to a premature end in July and we're now back to the grey and drizzle. The only benefit from this weather is its a perfect grass growing climate and we have more grass this year than we need! Due to the plentiful grass we have and great quality silage we have cut this year we have made the decision to increase the size of our Aberdeen Angus herd. The recent award for our grass fed beef in the Taste of the West competition has given us further proof and confidence that our slow-growing, traditional breed, grass fed beef is the best around and so our efforts on the farm are going towards breeding for future generations. In July we welcomed a pedigree Angus stock bull by the name of Jasper to Hartley Farm. Jasper is now happy munching the pastures here at the farm, and doing what he does best, looking after our girls and the future generations of Aberdeen Angus cows for us!

On the subject of new life on the farm we've had another two litters of piglets from our Gloucester Old Spot sows in July with a total of three so far this summer. With all the rain they've had plenty of mud to play around in so at least the British summer has brought some happiness! We will also have one or two new arrivals in Pet's Corner soon. We've been on the look out for a few more interesting animals for all to see and as our newly created enclosures are just about finished they will be filled soon so keep your eyes peeled!

We have seen lots of great new products from local producers in the farm shop this summer. Over the next few months we will be inviting some of these wonderful producers to the farm shop to say hello to all our equally wonderful customers! Below are the dates to put in your diary for our "Meet the Producer Days"
Victorian Kitchen and their Handmade Preserves on Saturday 18th August.
Bath Harvest Rapeseed Oil on Saturday 25th August.
Heavenly Hedgerows with their preserves made from foraging local hedgerows on Saturday 15th September.

As well as meeting our suppliers you will get to taste their products and we will also be running special offers on their products for the day only.

As the weather changes from deepest winter to tropical summer in the space of a day at times our butchers are staying strong and continuing to craft their delicious barbecue range on offer from the counter. All available to pre-order are our handmade burgers and sausages all homemade as well as our ever popular glazed chicken skewers, and marinated chicken. Also new to our range is our ready made Beef Burgundy and Beef Stir Fry in an attempt to offer something for all seasons! Our new ready made meal solutions can be popped straight into the oven in their containers and dinner is taken care of! The ingredients are of course using our own meat from the counter and all vegetables are freshly prepared too picked from our vegetable display!

This months specials from the butchers are as follows;

6 Hartley Farm Beef Burgers for £4.50
10 Marinated Chicken Skewers for £8

Also new this month is our 3 for £10 offer in our self-service fridge. Mix and match any pre packed meat with our 3 for £10 stickers on them to save! The range will include our burgers, sausages, free range chicken and more!

While the terrible growing season has continued, ground under cover has been even more valuable this year, and Kate is very excited as her third polytunnel is finally finished! After waiting for a still, sunny day to put the plastic on, she and her team of helpers finally gave up and did it anyway in the drizzle. Now the cucumbers have a home and look happy, with some more beetroot, carrots, spinach and rocket sown to try and make up a bit for all the lost crops in the field. Meanwhile bunches of spring onions and beetroot have survived and are on sale now, along with the trusty red butterhead lettuces and rainbow chard. Roll on the August heatwave, she is looking forward to moaning about the dry for a change!

Firstly, and by far most importantly our butcher Will got engaged to his now fiancee Lizzie in July! Wedding planning has already commenced and we wish them both all the best for their future together.

In other, slightly less exciting but none the less interesting, news (well we think so anyway) we have recently entered a national award for farm shops and farm retailers. One of the sections we were asked to fill in on the entry form was about our green credentials which got us, thinking about what we have done so far this year. We're please to say our solar energy system is now installed on our barn roof and already harnessing lots of energy from all this sun we've been having! In addition to this we have also managed to recycle the following in the past year;

2.5 tons of cardboard 

1.25 tons of Plastics

10 tons of Glass!!

We're very please with this effort and we are continuing to try to decrease our carbon footprint with a view toward rain water conservation among other projects. We'll keep you posted as these projects gather pace.

Best wishes and we look forward to seeing you all soon.


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

We're Award Winners!

After nearly four years of trading now (wow) we finally bit the bullet and decided to enter some of our own lines into the Taste of the West 2012 Awards. Of course we have always been confident we are producing some of the finest food from our farm but it's always nice to have someone else tell you that too!

Back in May Mum and Dad were armed with a few choice lines and headed down through deepest darkets Somerset, bound for Exeter where the judging takes place. An anxious few weeks awaited but last week the results were announce and we were thrilled to find out we picked up two awards!

Firstly we won a highly coveted Gold Award for our Homemade Chicken Liver & Port pate. This is one of our favourite homemade products and is our chef Ollie's own recipe which he has been making for the shop for a while now. The judges said....

"The aroma is very fresh and of nice mellow pate. The appearance has a little hint of pink coming through and the pate is a lovely colour. It has a nice smooth texture. The taste is very nice, it leaves no aftertaste (like some chicken liver pate can!) - it has a powerful flavour and dissolves on the tongue." I couldnt agree more! 

Next up was our Silver Award winning Dry Aged Sirloin of Beef. Our butcher Ed picked out a beautiful, dry aged sirloin from one of our equally beautiful Aberdeen Angus carcasses to be judged. The judge's remarks were as follows...

" The aroma was good, fresh, beefy and well aged. Nice appearance both raw and cooked. The texture was fairly good and reasonably succulent. Taste was good - nice 'beefy' flavour"

Our Angus beef dry-ageing on the bone
One of the organisers of the event also mentioned that for us two win not one but two awards on our first attempt is an excellent result!

Farmers, butchers and chefs alike are all extremely proud of this achievment as we have put a lot of effort into our home produced meat along with the food that we are now producing in our farm kitchen. With these awards now to our name we know we are on the right track and hope for more success in the coming years! Thanks to everybody too for your much valued feedback as we firmly believe all our customers have been the best judges anyway!

All the best