Sunday, 24 October 2010

Belties on the moor, apples in the orchard, and lots of cheese.

A while since the last post, but Farmer and family packed up the car and ventured south of the border for the first time in a long while. A short break in deepest Somerset, followed by a few days longer in South Devon. The weather was great, the people were friendly and there were local food producers everywhere we turned.

In Devon we stayed in a cottage down a narrow lane, tiny fields and lovely hedgerows and woodlands turning autumn colours - a neighbouring farm made organic apple juice (and cider) from these huge boxes of organic fruit.

The small town of Kingsbridge had small shops now atypical of the usual high street - delis, bakeries, pasty shops, butchers, fishmongers AND a Farmers Market - and as for Totnes, an organic shopper's dream.

Devon strawberries and cauliflowers, on the street in Kingsbridge.

A friend of ours advised us to eat at the Riverford Field Kitchen. Riverford Organics is near Totnes - started out as organic veg box scheme locally in Devon and now franchised all over the UK selling locally grown organic food. The Field Kitchen is on the farm where alot of their organic produce is grown. There is no choice on the menu, though there is always a meat option and a veggie option. So while our vegetarian friend enjoyed cavelo nero calzone, the meat eaters had a main course of quinea fowl cooked with puy lentils and we all shared 5 different vegetable dishes - followed by delectable puddings. I am certainly no food writer, but the food was delicious - Farmer talked about little less for the rest of the day. He said he felt as if he had just eaten Christmas lunch.

We walked on Dartmoor. There were lots of belted galloways, not as many ponies, but still quite a few...

At the end of the holiday, a full day's journey north on Friday brought us back to Oban, where we picked up the quad bike which was being serviced and onwards home. The roads feel much quieter. Certainly the ferry was not even half full.

Woke on Saturday to blue skies and a new lamb in the stack yard.

Brownie, in the foreground, has a new friend called Beauty... as Farmer's daughter was given a ewe lamb, another Zwartie cross, by our neighbour.

Dog walking. Down to the boathouse beach. Lichen on rock face. Crab supper on rock. Spot the dog.

While we were away BBC Landward came to film our hazel gloves fungus. We were not sorry to miss our big chance at being on TV!

Our guests have been doing lots of recycling, and our hens will have a lot of eggs to lay to fill this lot.

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