Local Food Updates – Thursday 23rd July

Please continue to support our local food producers and retailers, and Shop Safe Shop Ledbury.  

Local restaurants, pubs and cafés – Please support these as they reopen.  Many feature food and drink produced locally on their menus.

Amongst those in Ledbury Town that have reopened are The Malt House in Church Lane (with outdoor space) and Cameron and Swan in the Homend.  The Feathers (High Street) is back in business, as is The Olive Tree (The Homend).

A number of local pubs have reopened serving food including The Horseshoes (The Homend), The Farmers Arms (Wellington Heath), The Oak (Staplow) and The Walwyn Arms (Much Marcle).   Check their Facebook or Web sites for details and booking arrangements.

Outside Ledbury, The Nest (near Trumpet) offers a spaced out café service and a place to picnic.  You can even order your picnic in advance!

We have updated our Local Food Information Page on our website with the following – click here to access the page.

Cherries! – Hill House Farm, Ross Road, Ledbury have now sold out of this year’s cherry crop

Veg Box Deliveries are now available from The Strawberry Stop (Siddington Farm) – see their Facebook site at @thestrawberrystop or phone 01531 632664 (9am – 5pm) for details of all they have on offer and prices. – and Little Marcle Farmshop (organic) – phone 07970 296153 for order options and delivery details.

Y Pass Fish and Chips is now open for take-aways and eat-ins Tuesday to Saturday, and is still doing deliveries on Fridays and Saturdays – phone 01531 632843.

Lastly – please wear a face mask in shops to protect all those who work hard to serve us – Shop Safe Shop Ledbury

July Recipes – Courgettes

As courgettes are so readily available this month here are two recipes.

PUREE OF GRILLED COURGETTES WITH GOAT’S CHEESE AND HAZELNUTS

This recipe is for a starter but it would make a light lunch.

675g/ 1½ lbs similar sized courgettes
a little olive oil
40g / 1½ oz butter
¼ nutmeg, grated
75g / 3oz goat’s cheese log
40g / 1½ oz chopped hazelnuts
salt and pepper

Top and tail the courgettes, cut them in half lengthways and smear oil all over.  Heat the grill high and grill the courgettes on both sides until blackened in places.  Then put them in a food processor with the butter, grated nutmeg and some salt and pepper.  Whizz until smooth and scrape into a gratin dish.

Crumble the goat’s cheese into small pieces and sprinkle over the puree.  Scatter on the hazelnuts, drizzle over a little oil and put under a hot grill until the cheese is bubbling.  The dish can be kept warm in a low oven for up to half an hour.

Tips – Grilling the courgettes instead of steaming them dries them out a bit and also adds a pleasant smoky taste.  Serve with crusty bread.


FLORA’S FAMOUS COURGETTE CAKE

For the cake:

60g / 2 oz raisins, optional
250g / 9 oz courgettes (2 – 3) weighed before grating
2 large eggs
125ml   / 4½ fl oz vegetable oil
150g / 5½ oz  caster sugar
225g / 8 oz self raising flour
½ tsp. bicarb of soda and ½ tsp. baking powder

For the icing:

200g / 8 oz  cream cheese
100g / 4 oz  icing sugar, sieved
juice of 1 lime or more to taste
2 – 3 tbsps. chopped pistachio nuts

For the filling:

Lime or lemon curd

Preheat oven to 180C / gas mark 4.  Line 2 x 21cm / 9 inch sandwich tins and grease.

If you are using raisins put them in a bowl and cover with warm water to plump up.  Wipe the courgettes with a kitchen towel and grate.  The coarse side of a box grater is best.  Put them in a sieve over the sink to remove excess water.

Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy.  Sieve in the flour, bicarb and baking powder and beat until combined.  Stir in the courgettes and add the drained raisins.  Pour into the tins and bake for 30 minutes.  Leave in their tins for 5 – 10 minutes then turn out and cool on a rack.

If you cannot buy lime curd a good lemon will do with a little freshly squeezed lime juice added.  Beat the cream cheese until smooth, add the icing sugar and beat and stir in the lime juice to taste.  Put one cake on a plate and spread with the lime or lemon curd.  Put the other cake on top and smear thickly with the cream cheese icing.  If you feel the icing needs firming up put in the fridge for a while.

Just before serving scatter over the pistachios.  Serves 8.   


NFU seek support to maintain farmed food standards

Trade deals in respect of farmed food products will define what standards should apply to produce traded between countries.  The UK Government is currently developing new trade agreements with foreign countries as part of the Brexit process.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has launched a petition asking for your support for their campaign to ensure that standards agreed in these negotiations on imported food to the UK should be to leading world standards, recognising the UK’s high standards of safety and welfare.

Some might argue that standards in the UK could or should be at more sustainable levels than now in many differing ways, but relaxation of import standards would create a lower base from which improvements could move forward, quite apart from any economic or health implications.

The NFU state: “Farming throughout the UK has high standards of safety and welfare with an ambition to be net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.  There are very strict controls on farming methods allowed in the UK.”   They ask that such standards should apply to all food which is imported here so what we eat is safe, traceable and produced to high welfare and environmental standards. 

To find out more about the reasons for the petition and an opportunity to “sign” it, visit https://www.campaigns.nfuonline.com/page/56262/petition/1?locale=en-GB.

Feel free to pass this information to others who may be interested.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts on this issue at ask@ledburyfoodgroup.org – it could change radically farming in this country.

Ledbury Food Group – Notice of Annual General Meeting 2019/20

We are required by the constitution to do as follows – “The Annual General Meeting shall be held every May, or within the following three months for the following purposes:

a) Election of i) Chairperson ii) Secretary iii) Treasurer iv) Member(s) of the Committee

b) Presentation of accounts

c) Appointment of auditor

The Secretary will notify all members of the date of the meeting not less than 14 days before the AGM”

In the current circumstances it is not possible to hold a physical meeting, and not likely to be so within the time required for the AGM.  The committee have therefore agreed that we should hold a “virtual” event via the group’s website and email.

To meet the needs of this we have prepared.

  1. A report by the acting chairman of the group’s activities in the year to 31 March 2020. Click to access this.
      
  2. The annual accounts of the Group for the year to 31 March 2020.  Click to access this. It is proposed that Helen Lawson-Smith should continue to be our appointed examiner and that the 2019/20 account will be reviewed by her when circumstances allow.

The following committee members have confirmed that they are willing to continue to serve for the year 2020/21

  • Griff Holliday
  • David McCauley
  • Jackie Denman
  • Nina Shields
  • Caroline Handley
  • Nick Morris
  • John Davenport

The following officers have confirmed that they are willing to continue in these roles

  • Griff Holliday – Secretary
  • David McCauley – Treasurer

It is proposed that these persons listed above should continue in role for the next year.

Please note:

  • The office of Chairman of the group is currently vacant
  • There is opportunity for up to 3 more persons to become committee members – if you are interested please contact the group’s secretary.

If any registered members have any concerns about these proposals please contact us before 30th June.  Otherwise these proposals will be deemed effective from that date.

We will be happy to receive any questions and comments from both registered members and supporters within this period or at any other time.

Contact us at ask@ledburyfoodgroup.org or phone 01531 633637

Griff Holliday

Secretary, Ledbury Food Group

8th June 2020

Ledbury Country Market – now accepting orders!

The Ledbury Country Market has announced that from this week (w/c Monday 11th May) it is accepting orders for collection on Friday mornings in Ledbury.

The Market is offering the following products:

  • cakes and other baked goods
  • savoury goods
  • charcuterie
  • eggs
  • honey
  • apple juice
  • jellies – marmalades – jams – chutneys
  • plants and herbs
  • vegetables

They hope to provide flowers soon.

To register your interest in this new service and pick up an order form visit www.ledburycountrymarket.co.uk or find out more at 01684 540595.

Orders will need to be placed by email to orders@ledburycountymarket.co.uk by Tuesday evening.  They will be available for collection on the coming Friday at St Katherine’s Hall, Ledbury between 10.30 and noon.  Please pay by card on collection of your order.

For those living locally who must isolate, delivery of orders may be possible – please check.

Ledbury Country Market is part of the nationwide organisation, Country Markets Limited, and also a member of the Herefordshire Country Markets Society Limited.

For other information please visit the Local  Food Information page >>

Support our local cider makers!

This May holiday weekend should have been the Big Apple’s thirtieth year of running Blossomtime in Putley, but sadly it won’t be happening this year.  This annual opportunity to enjoy the orchards full of apple blossom and to taste many different local ciders, perries and apple juices has become an established part of the calendar in this corner of Herefordshire. 

The new product from last year’s harvest is becoming ready to drink – and there’s no stopping it!  Many craft makers depend on local events and tourism and hospitality businesses to sell their cider, perry and apple juice – and so they are taking a big hit from lockdown. 

This year’s blossom is the start of next year’s cider – but first there is a need to sell last year’s stock.  Normally, Putley Parish Hall would have been heaving with visitors buying cider, perry and apple juice.  The nine producers who had arranged to be there have been working hard to find extra ways to make their drinks available within the licensing laws – whether that is through online orders, local deliveries, click and collect, farm shops and village stores.  

So the Big Apple is supporting them through a special information area on their website at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/blossomtime-2020/.  Many regular Big Apple venues are to be found there including Once Upon a Tree, Gregg’s Pit, Woodredding Farm, Pope’s Perry, Yew Tree Farm and Jus Apple Juice.  And two special guests who each won awards at last year’s Big Apple Cider and Perry Trials: Bartestree Cider, last year’s Champion Perrymaker, and Halfpenny Green Cider, winner of the bottle fermented/conditioned cider.  So please support our local makers.  Take a look to find out how you can get hold of your favourite tipple – or try something new – or better still, try several! 

This piece has been provided by the Big Apple Association

Sorry, the 2020 Ledbury Celebration is cancelled

We have been forced to cancel this year’s Ledbury Celebration – Ledbury’s annual food festival featuring local food and drink, poetry, music and heritage – due to be held on Sunday 12 July 2020.

As a voluntary organisation with no financial reserves and dependent on the generosity of a number of sponsors, we have to do this before we start incurring expenditure and effort on an event which sadly now looks very unlikely to be allowed to happen in July.

We recognise the value this popular event provides to our local food and drink producers in presenting their special products to a wider community, and are very sorry that we cannot provide support via this event.

Our grateful thanks go to our many partners and sponsors who confirmed their support for the 2020 event.  We hope to be back with a Ledbury Celebration in 2021!

Given the current difficult circumstances, we will continue to publicise the availability of locally produced and retailed produce in Ledbury and district in the Blog section of our website.   Please let us know if you have information on this that others might appreciate. You can contact us at ask@ledburyfoodgroup.org.

Please also support our local Ledbury Food Bank who continue to do a sterling job with valued help from some local producers – details at www.ledburyfoodbank.org.

…and if you or someone you know is interested in helping as a worker with this year’s fruit harvest, some local opportunities are listed at www.britishsummerfruits.co.uk/jobs.

Keep safe!

The Ledbury Celebration in 2019