September 2020 Farm Round Up

As we sit at the beginning of October, as the first storm of the year hits, it is good to remember the warm days of September.  It was a lovely month, long sunny days, dry, a few chilly mornings but plenty of blue skies which was a real treat.

The cottage on the farm has been busy again this month – many guests who have had their other holiday plans to France/Spain/Portugal/wherever foiled and have ended up in Wiltshire instead.  It has been a pleasure to host their visits and it seems that many have realised that you don’t have to get on a plane to have a great holiday.  They’ve discovered the many things to do in the area – not the holiday they planned perhaps but much positive feedback in the reviews which is lovely.

The pigs have been thoroughly enjoying the windfalls this month – with many thanks to local friends and neighbours, bags and bags have been arriving at the farm.  Whether they are apples or pears, cookers or eaters, they all go down well and it seems very ‘green’ – the ultimate in recycling – nothing should go to waste.  They’ve also had some courgettes and cucumbers from our own veg patch which got somewhat out of control this year … strangely, they seem to prefer the apples and pears!!!

Tomatoes are not the easiest thing to grow if you don’t have a greenhouse, but the September sun has helped a lot and we have a good crop – even one self-seeded plant that established itself in one of the pig paddocks that produced some lovely cherry tomatoes (yes, I did wash them well)!

And not to be left out, the blackberries have hit their stride – in some areas they have taken over and it has been a busy month cutting back the brambles swamping the fencing.  The pigs are always on hand to help out – nothing they like more than armfuls of fresh-cut brambles, especially if they have blackberries attached!  They also love sow thistles – the ones with yellow flowers – so clearly, very tough palates!

But, the arrival of the tomatoes and blackberries means Autumn is upon us – the swallows have gone now and as usual, before their migration south, the birds gather in large flocks, feeding up for a few days before they set off.  This video was taken mid-month – swifts or housemartins I think – and just a couple of days later, the skies were empty.

Posted up on our blog page a few days ago was the recipe for Robert’s Easy Tangy Apple Sauce – not a new one but we were asked for it, so I brought it to the top of the list.  If you haven’t tried it, you should – whether it is to go with a roast or chops, it makes a lovely addition and literally takes a few minutes to make.

If the arrival of the wet and windy weather, on top of the latest COVID news makes you feel a bit fed up, take a look at this – some wonderful online events all about food the Terra Madra Fringe Festival – read about it HERE!  Organised by Slow Food UK, this is a collection of FREE broadcasts covering a wide variety of topics – sessions from all 4 corners of the UK, tasting sessions where you can get the samples and join in, thought-provoking debates involving chefs and thought leaders of the food industry.  You don’t have to be a member of Slow Food to participate so, take a look and I guarantee you’ll find something interesting Here’s our pick – the lovely chef, Paula McIntyre focussing on rare breed pork and how to cook it!!   Book HERE.