Winter Work at Castle Fruit Farm

“Winter work? Surely there is nothing to do now it’s winter” How that makes our farm manager Clive laugh !

Pruning at Castle Fruit Farm by Pat Strauss
Pruning at Castle Fruit Farm by Pat Strauss

One of the foremost things on our minds is tree planting. Orchards are being continually renewed, driven by age, unprofitability and the never ending desire of consumers for the new. It is a necessary and huge commitment in every way not just financial. Other tasks at this time of the year include pruning, machinery maintenance, coppicing, logging, ditching, hedge cutting and planning labour for next season. On wet days catching up on research findings and never ending paperwork deserves a blog on its own ! Read More »

February Recipe: Cod, Fennel and Smoked Bacon Pie

fennelpotatobaconThe Bechamel sauce mentioned in the recipe is made in the usual way for making white sauce. However, you may not know that you can now buy something called ‘sauce flour’ to which you do not need to add any butter.  You just mix the flour with the milk and keep whisking until it comes to the boil, then allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.  You can also make a white sauce, using butter, the all in one way, by just mixing the butter, flour and milk and again whisking until it comes to the boil and then simmering for a couple of minutes. Read More »

Bird Life at Castle Fruit Farm

Goldcrest at Castle Fruit Farm
Goldcrest at Castle Fruit Farm

We are very keen to increase the biodiversity here at Castle Fruit Farm for all sorts of reasons.

Firstly, orchards are a wonderful habitat and have a unique part to play in maintaining the richness of our natural world which is being challenged in so many ways – by farming practices, by the insatiable demand for houses and over enthusiastic tidiness ! Read More »

Introducing ‘A Farming Year at Bentley’s Castle Fruit Farm’

Apples in frost at Castle Fruit Farm by Pat Strauss
Apples in frost at Castle Fruit Farm by Pat Strauss

The Ledbury Food Group would like to introduce its second Photography Project in the “Ledbury Farming Year” series. The purpose of these projects is to get an inside view of the workings of farms and producers in our area, so that we can relate more directly to them and understand the challenges and rewards facing the people who bring food to our tables. This year we will be featuring Bentleys Castle Fruit Farm near Dymock, and looking at not only the orchards, but at some of the issues facing a small commercial farm. As well as selling their fruit wholesale, it is sold at Jenkins greengrocers and seasonally at the Saturday market in Ledbury, the monthly produce market in Kempley and at food fairs in and around Ledbury. Read More »

Thanks for making the 5th Ledbury Big Breakfast a special weekend

Homend Bakery Tea Shop Big Breakfast 2017
Homend Bakery Tea Shop Big Breakfast 2017

Thanks to all those, residents and visitors, who joined in with one (or more) Ledbury breakfast in our cafes, hotels or pubs, or bought a special breakfast from our butchers and food shops.

Thanks of course to the 20 local independent businesses and their staff who took part in this year’s event for their originality in bringing local food and breakfast together in so many ways. Read More »

Discover Ledbury’s world of Chocolate

Velvet Bean 4 - croppedClassic Dark, Mulberry and Peach, Hazelnut, Coconut and Lime, Grappa and Garden Mint… These are just some of the flavours of chocolates made by chocolatier Ben Boyle of the renowned Velvet Bean chocolate shop in The Homend, Ledbury.

The Velvet Bean is Ledbury’s very own handmade chocolate company run by Ben and Melissa Boyle.  90% of stock is made on the premises.

Ben is joining Ledbury Food Group to tell us more about the origins of chocolate, and how chocolates are made.  It wouldn’t be chocolate event without a taste of the real thing – Ben will be encouraging you to try some of his specialities. Read More »