28/11/2016 Autumn is a great time for making as much mess in the kitchen as you have to clear up in the garden. After spending an afternoon clearing vegetable beds, leaves, branches and twigs, it’s great to go indoors in the early dusk and start throwing flour and apple peelings all over the table and floor (forgetting for a moment that this creates more clearing up…). The apple peel might have been a challenge, as all my apple and pear trees were a wash-out this year – I can’t remember the last time they all synchronised in their failure to produce – but bartering came into its own: several of my neighbours had an abundance and have been happy to swap eggs for apples. The apple to egg ratio is of course deeply unfair, but most people round here will be happy to hurl apples at you by the kilo for nothing at this time of year!
As for the flour, bread making is becoming a great satisfaction. Having given up on traditional bread due to the superior loaves at my local bakery, I am now in the process of attempting to perfect sourdough bread, which they don’t sell. This is the second time I have tried learning to make it properly, luckily this time with more success, and I hope it will soon become a fixture on the breakfast menu. I am indebted to a friend for sharing his explosive starter, recipe and advice!
26/8/2016 It has been a busy few months since welcoming my first ‘guinea pig’ guests at the end of April. A fair amount of frantic DIY and administration went into getting the finishing touches in place before and during the trial period (I hope no one looked too closely at the blackout lining!), which is now over, and ‘official’ bookings are starting off well. It has been a delight and not at all nerve-racking, thanks to all the willing guinea pigs who helped me get into practice before there was too much at stake!
25/8/2016 If you are looking for a special gift for a friend or family member, gift vouchers are now available for any amount towards a stay at Crossways Farm. The gift will be sent by post with a handmade card featuring a photo from Crossways Farm. Please contact me if you are interested!
21/5/2016 Today I was reminded that it pays to hang out in places I usually only walk past. I was planting pots at the front of the house near the driveway when after a while I heard surprisingly loud cheeping coming from about 10 or 15 metres away. I immediately suspected it was coming from the willow tree by the front pond, and went over to take a look. I discovered that one of the holes in the tree trunk, so studiously dug out by a Great Spotted Woodpecker for its own nest two years ago, was once again in use, but this time by a Great Tit family…