Hedge Planting, April 23rd

Help plant our own native species hedge at the new shop, Saturday April 23rd 10.00am until finished.

Ground preparation, hedge and tree planting under the expert supervision of Iris and Mike Worker.
Bring forks, spades, muscles and energy!
An Easter family activity – all ages welcome – but young children should be supervised by an adult.
Contact Andrea for details.

Tasting Evening Report

The three tasting events were well supported and provided entertaining and social evenings. The first tasting offered a blind tasting of meat pies, from May’s, Price’s and Pondhead and assorted cheeses from Lyburn, Loosehanger and other local producers, and various chutneys and pickles from existing and potential suppliers. Pizza slices and vegetarian quiches were available from Mandy Castle, which also added a splash of colour to the proceedings.

The second taster session featured meat, fish and vegetables. There was meat from Helen Clarke with her rare breed beef and sausages from Price’s butchers in Fordingbridge and sausages and Pannage pork loin steaks from Pondhead, another local supplier. The tasty fish products were smoked trout fillets and pate, made by Purbrick’s of Ashford Road. The Walled Garden at Hale was represented by Julia Harding, who had cooked two delicious vegetarian dishes.

The third tasting was on local wines. Roger Marchbank, from The Coach House Vineyard at West Wellow and Deputy Chairman of the English Vineyards Association gave an excellent talk on the origins of wine and talked us through the tasting of six wines from Setley Ridge, Birchenwood, Wickham, Beaulieu, Marlings and Somborne Valley.

Many thanks to all who completed their taster forms, and to the hardy volunteers who rallied round to help with the mundane chores needed to support events like these. You know who you are. Thanks to Norman Henstridge and his son Peter for manning the successful bars and to Merryl for organising the raffle.

All these tastings were part of the Local Food outreach programme funded by the Lottery and organised by the WCSA Product Development Group. Money raised from the bars and raffles helped towards the costs of the evenings and any remainder will be donated to the shop building fund. Many thanks to everyone involved and let us know of any further requests or events that you would like.

Kate Ratcliffe and Sue Allpress

Opening Date for New Shop

Good news – we have an opening date for the new shop!!!

The provisional plan is to move the old shop stock on Sunday 8th May and Monday 9th May when the Post Office is due to be set up. There will then be a ‘soft’ opening on Tuesday 10th with new stock added through the week. The grand opening will then take place on Saturday 14th May.

Further details to follow both here and in the next Newsletter (out on 4th April).