Autumn at Five Acre Farm
We are embracing the darker months at Five Acre Farm Shop. The colder nights and shorter days are inspiring us to snuggle up and embrace our love of carbohydrates (and chocolate!).
We have lots of lovely products to help you keep warm this autumn from recycled yarn blankets, to natural rubber hot water bottles and all the amazing, locally grown root veg you could want to satisfy even the most carb hungry! We also have a fabulous range of chocolates and treats to keep you sweet though the darker months.
We are also busy stocking up on a great range of gifts & celebration foods for the festive season, so look out for these landing on the shelves soon.
We are delighted to say we have added to our local gin selection and are now stocking locally produced Ship Shape gin, their London Dry and Rhubarb flavours. We have also added local legends Wiper and True beers to our entirely locally produced beer shelves.
In our expanding natural health section we have just added essential oils alongside a few natural remedies. We will also soon be stocking gloriously scented soap produced in Easton, Wylder soaps.
Down on the farm
From extreme heat to record rain fall, there is no doubt the impact that climate change is having on the weather. As farmers we are trying to grow and adapt to the challenging, changing weather conditions as best we can. Some crops have really struggled this year and some have done really well. We have also had a real issue trying to stop the local deer population from feasting on our crops!
The farm has been involved with a trial project calling Growing the Goods, which is being run by the Landworkers’ Alliance on behalf of DEFRA, the government department responsible for agriculture. The focus of the government’s post-Brexit agricultural subsidies will be ‘Public Money for Public Goods’, and purpose of the project is to develop a framework for recognising and paying smaller farms for working in ways which support everything from biodiversity to soil health and water quality. It’s nice for us to get acknowledgement of the value of things we are already doing (eg. no-dig beds, rainwater harvesting and making our own compost). More importantly, it’s a great tool for considering further improvements we could make, from seeding a wildflower meadow to establishing a wildlife pond, all of which would help us with pest issues as well as having wider ecosystem benefits. It’s heartening to know that the government is looking seriously at supporting our kind of sustainable farming!
We still have loads of good stuff to come this Auumn/Winter. Our Autumn salad mix is tasting so good at the moment with such a lovely balance of immune boosting leaves. We also have lots of Cavolo Nero, Kalettes and winter greens like Pak Choi to come. Jerusalem Artichokes should make an appearance in the next few weeks along with Brussel Sprouts
Also instore or coming soon: Kale, Winter Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, kalettes, cauliflower, beetroot, carrots and mushrooms.
The growing team are currently planting out garlic, this years was really good and we are hoping for even better next year!
We still have good stocks of honey, thanks to a bumper crop from our beehives at the farm.
All this wonderful produce will be available to purchase in both Five Acre Farm Shop and in the Flower Barn.
Our flower grower Grace has done a fabulous job this season, the pick your own flowers have been truly beautiful and a real success at the farm. She is currently planning tulip beds to plant ready for the spring to supply bunches of cut tulips to the shop and flower barn. This will be something to look forward to next year.
Thanks to everyone who visited to pick flowers this year, we have loved seeing your pictures and have included some of our favourites below 😍
Recipe of the month
The recipe this month is a super seasonal comfort food one featuring squash, coconut milk and orzo and is written by the wonderful Ixta Belfrage, you can find her wonderful debut cookbook in store at Five Acre Farm Shop – Mezcla: Recipes to Excite
Creamy saffron orzo with roast butternut and scotch bonnet
Scotch bonnet chillies are very hot. If you prefer less heat, use one or two mild red chillies instead, or leave out the chilli altogether; there’s plenty of flavour coming from other directions here. The coconut milk is all but undetectable – it just helps create a creamy base for the sweet squash.
Prep 10 min
Cook 40 min
For the butternut
1 large butternut squash (1.2kg), peeled, halved, deseeded and flesh cut into 2½cm cubes (800g net weight)
1 scotch bonnet chilli (optional)
1 mild red chilli (or 2 if not using the scotch bonnet; optional)
50g plant butter, cut into cubes
4 tbsp olive oil
40g white miso paste
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp rose harissa
2 cinnamon sticks, or ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
For the orzo
250g dried orzo
300ml full-fat tinned coconut milk (at least 70% coconut extract)
Fine salt and black pepper
½ tsp saffron threads
Freshly grated nutmeg
5gfresh parsley leaves
5g fresh basil leaves
½ small white onion, very thinly sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1 lemon, halve
Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/475F/gas 9. Put all the butternut ingredients and a half-teaspoon of fine salt in a 32cm x 36cm high-sided baking tray and toss to coat. Cover tightly with foil, bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 18 minutes, stirring once halfway, until soft, golden brown and bubbling. Discard the cinnamon sticks, if using. Lift out the chillies, if using, then deseed, finely chop and set aside.
While the butternut is roasting, put the orzo in a bowl, pour over just-boiled water to cover and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain, then rinse under cold running water to separate the grains.
When the butternut has about 15 minutes to go, put the drained orzo in a 28cm saute pan or similar with the coconut milk, 300ml water, three-quarters of a teaspoon of fine salt, the saffron and a generous grating of nutmeg. Mix well, then put the pan on a medium-low flame, and cook, stirring often, until the orzo is cooked through and the sauce has thickened to the consistency of a loose risotto – this will take between six and 14 minutes, depending on the brand of orzo you use.
Stir plenty of black pepper through the orzo mix, then spoon on to a platter and top with the roast butternut mix. Toss the parsley, basil and onion with the oil, an eighth of a teaspoon of fine salt and some or all of the reserved chopped chilli, to taste (and if using). Scatter this over the orzo and squash, squeeze over plenty of lemon juice and serve immediately, because the orzo will start to set as it cools.
Padg supply us with beautiful and ethical soy wax candles and plantable greeting cards and they are based right here in Bristol. They describe themselves as making “Vibrant colourful handmade items, that do good for the world too.”
“When we started padg we decided early on that we wanted the things we make to have an extra purpose and be a vehicle for positive change in the local environment. To do this we include a small amount of wild flower seeds with everything padg made and actively encourage all our customers to start their own pollinator havens at home. Our mission is to get everyone planting more wild flowers to help save our declining native bee population.”
Vegan – Ethical – Handmade
Nate & Paige