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Dairy Box Competition at August’s Treacle Market

Thanks to everyone who volunteered or visited our Aug Treacle Market stall, we had over 50 entries to the ‘Dairy Box’ competition including a visit from John of Tiresford Yogurts.
The competition was highlighting the plight of UK Dairy Farmers with the low price they are receiving for their milk product.
Lots of youngsters said hello to ‘Dairy Dennis’. The answer we were looking for was an average 27 litres of milk a day for a dairy cow, we had entries from 8 to 333 litres! Only one person guessed correctly, Glenys from Bollington and they  win a fab ‘Dairy Box’ of goodies next week from our local Producers. Well done Glenys!PICT1320PICT1326


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A visit to Cloverbank Lamb Farm

We  had a fantastic visit to Cloverbank Lamb Farm last week near Rode Heath. Jane and Brian who relocated to this site 11 years ago gave a great background history to their eco house and organic farming methods.
They rotate annually the grazing  of their ‘Lleyn’ sheep and ‘Aberdeen Angus’ cattle on the clover rich meadows which adds flavour and aids digestion. They also home 8 donkeys which Jane said are great ‘stress busters!’ The ewes are kept for up to 4 years, each season producing 1 or 2 lambs which are utilised between 3 and 12 months old.
Part of being organic means that the livestock have plenty of open spaces to graze, no chemical drenches or fertilizers and 3 times the normal gap period following any approved antibiotic treatments before an animal can be processed.
The farm has an annual Soil Association Inspection and also is approved by the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme.

The family designed and built their eco house as ’round facing’ so they could enjoy all the different aspects including a decking area over their own pond and extensive garden adjacent to where the livestock graze. Having tracking solar panels and a wind turbine means they are 90 % energy self sufficient. They also grow the majority of their own fruit and veg and have recently added additional raised beds which were the envy of many of our green fingered visitors!

Following the talk we wandered around the beautiful gardens and pond where herons, stoats, mink and ducks all co-exist. We all then had a well deserved rest from the heat with a scrummy afternoon tea of homemade chocolate cake, Amuse cakes and scones served with Newton’s Gawsworth dairy cream and Willington Fruit Farm apple juice. Although there was no lamb on the menu there’s still plenty still to buy from at F4MD online!

Many thanks to Jane and Brian who gave up their valuable time to show us around and even serve the teas as well. You can really appreciate all their hard work and dedication.
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We’ve bought a Hereford, well, all the edible parts at least and it’s time for you to order your cuts!

The animal was one of a herd of Hereford cows raised by Alison Davies at Happy Beef Farm near Frodsham, Cheshire. Davies has been farming since 2003 and the small herd is grass-fed in the traditional, natural way ensuring the beef is of the best quality and packed with carotenoids, vitamin E and essential minerals including potassium, iron and zinc

Jess Berry, produce sourcing manager at Food4MaccDirect explains ‘We’ve been in talks with Alison for a while now about getting some of her top quality beef. She recently contacted us to say the animal was going for slaughter and did we want to buy the resulting cuts and sell onto our foodie customers. YES was the resounding response!’

The Food4MaccDirect/Happy Beef Offer

  • All orders must be received and paid for in advance – deadline 2nd August
  • Beef will arrive into our Gilchrist Avenue Hub on 6th August and will be available for collection that evening or Friday morning
  • All fresh beef supplied vacuum packed
  • Burgers & minced beef will be supplied frozen
  • Full details and prices are available on the website: http://www.food4maccdirect.co.uk/beefHappy Beef.html

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Behind the Scenes at Reaseheath

We recently visited Reaseheath for a behind the scenes tour!

Laura and Elliott showed us round the Training and Testing facilities where our delicious cheeses, cream and ice-cream are all made.

We also saw the bakery, butchery and excitingly named Innovation Rooms used for experimenting and cake decoration. In the main food room, the milk (collected from their own dairy herd in three huge storage tanks) is tested then pasteurised at 72 degrees for 15 seconds. The cream is separated for butter, cheese and ice cream making.

Reaseheath has around 250 cows which produce 8,000 litres of milk a day!

The butter is churned and packed using their unusual sausage shaped machine which gives it the lovely, artisanal finished shape.
To make the cheese, homogeonised milk is cooled in large steel ‘baths’, rennet and a starter culture is added then after 6-8hrs it is checked for acidity, salt is added then it is slowly turned by hand to release the Whey. This looked like great fun and keeps the students hands really smooth! It is then pressed overnight to remove more liquid before being left to mature for anything up to 2 years!

Although their Farm Shop was shut when we visited, Reaseheath is planning to build a larger Farm Shop and Café run by the Business Studies students that will be open all year round. We didn’t go away empty handed though as Laura and Elliott gave us some mini ice-cream tubs to eat on the way home!

Thank you Laura and Elliott for a really great tour!

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A Visit to Walk Mill

We had a very good visit to Walk Mill on Sunday 10th May..

It was relatively quiet so Ben spent an hour with us talking about Walk
Mill, its operation and history and the various farming activities that take
place around the mill.  He talked about the flour grinding process, the
equipment used at the mill and was also then happy to talk about the river
Gowey, the surrounding land around its wildlife.

We then went for a walk along the river and through the woods to the lake.

We stayed for lunch which was all home made and the bread of course was made using Walk Mill flour  – a delicious end to a lovely day! Well worth a visit if you’re in the area but otherwise don’t forget we stock their flour and it’s always THE flour of choice fro Langley Loaves!


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St George’s Day Meal – a Great Success!

We recently held our St George’s Eve local meal at Macclesfield College’s Silk Room Restaurant. The night was a great success with a delicious menu created by the students and chef of the college.
We highlighted Danebridge Trout from Wincle, Aberdeen Angus Beef from Riverside and Reaseheath Ice cream, with fruit and veg from Cuttlefords, not forgetting Ruth’s tasty fresh rolls from Langley loaves!

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Asparagus oh Asparagus!

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photo-4Yes, it’s that time of year where for once a green vegetable features on my ‘treat list’ and each year I scour recipe books, magazines and the internet in search of alternative ideas – i love the simplicity of simply steamed asparagus with a good salted butter and a grinding of black pepper served with a hunk of real bread (Langley Loaves of course!) but I do like to play in the kitchen and in the past we’ve sampled asparagus lasagne, frittata, dipped in a softly boiled egg, sandwiches (yes, I know – but try one with soft white bread and lashings of butter!)

This years dish has been spotted in the may issue of delicious. magazine – a regular read even if i hardly manage to make the recipes these days but Asparagus, pecorino, lemon and mint risotto sounds like it might just fit the bill – to me it’s oozing springtime and after a bout of chilly weather I’m desperate to taste the beginnings of summer!

Photo and report to follow….