I’m not usually a great lover of Mondays, but today has been a little more interesting than a normal start to the week. Apart from John and Chris popping in to chat about the blog and the tales they wish to write about, a small film crew arrived in North Parade Avenue.
Apparently the filming was for a possible advertisement, so I’m hoping to learn more soon. It was great to see some lovely images of the street and of course, The Town Garden….
….and it did take me back to the work I used to get involved with at BA all those years ago!
I can’t believe how long it’s been since our last posting on the blog…..absolutely no excuse.
I spend so much of my time chatting away in the shop and outside on North Parade Avenue – there’s enough news and views I should be transposing to the blog. So, we begin the talkback in earnest….lots to tell!
Just back from Wolvercote where I picked up our morning delivery of bread from Penny and Dragan. I couldn’t wait to get here to take some pictures of their latest surprise for me.
What a perfect example of garden and local produce together.
As usual, the smell of the bread was too much for me again. Out came the toaster, a mug of tea, some of our local preserves….and there it is.
The Town Garden breakfast.
Penny and Dragan do it again. …….’Love Loaves’ from Wolvercote.
It’s been a little while since my last ramblings, but a lot has been on my mind recently, and the blog has taken second place. Loads to say, and I’ll try to catch up with what’s been happening here at The Town Garden and in North Parade Avenue.
Even though the past few days have given us a taste of Spring, the long cold Winter felt as though it began at the end of September and continued through to March. Normally we would be fully in the midst of a busy time for gardeners, it has been very quiet I must admit. Weather – or recession?
Unfortunately, Pete had a great opportunity to involve himself with a local foodie, Will Pougets’ Vaults and Garden Cafe. Although it was a great loss to us, it’s certainly Will’s gain and I wish him much luck – and trust he’ll be back at The Town Garden soon. Customers ask for him daily!
Vegetables from North Aston Organics still remain a firm favourite, and the bread from Love Loaves is always in demand. With a little luck this year, I’d really like to ramp up the food offering. I have a local resident who is a passionate collector of wines, including a selection of organic ones at that too – and he’s really keen to sell these through The Town Garden.
Cheese, wines, vegetables, garden goods…….and when the weather finally breaks, a cup of tea and a slice of cake outside on the terrace beside the shop. Wouldn’t that be lovely.
Time to spring back into action.
Eggs are one of those staple foods that are part of our everyday lives, so naturally our customers wanted us to sell them, and they’re right, I just wanted to find the right source and last week I did.
Barrington Park Estate is set in the heart of the Cotswolds between Burford and Bourton On The Water. In a quiet corner of this estate a small flock of hens range freely, foraging on lush green patures from sunrise to sunset, living a happy organic lifestyle, and as you know happy hens make good eggs, and this is where our eggs come from.
I’m not going to tell you how to boil an egg (Steve i’ll tell you later). But they were lovely with toasted soldiers made with Dragan and Pennys granary bread. Barrington Park Estate free range eggs available at The Town Garden, £2.45 1/2 dozen.
After stuggling through the snow wouldn’t it be nice to give those birds in your garden somewhere nice to live!
We met with local craftsman Geoff Fisher yesterday to look at a beautiful variety of products for the garden – handmade in his own studio not far from Oxford.
What we particulary loved, was his bird houses styled on the board game ‘Monopoly.’ You can buy a big red hotel or a small green house for your garden and give the birds a real treat.
We can’t actually get inside them to check in at receptiom – but I’m sure the local birdlife won’t have any complaints!
The ‘hotel’ retails at £49.50 and the ‘greenhouse’ retails at £45.00 – both available at The Town Garden.
With so many root vegetables around at the moment this recipe is a great way to get the best out of the season!
You need to dice carrots, swede, parsnip and potato all roughly the same size about 1cm cube, as well as 1 onion finely chopped and 100g of unsmoked streaky bacon.
Heat oil in a saucepan and cook the bacon until golden then add the onion and sweat for 10-15 minutes. Now add all your vegetables cover the pan and it all sweat for 10 minutes or so.
Pour in 1 litre of veg stock and bring to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes until the veg is tender.
Taste the soup for seasoning and serve with a grating of cheddar cheese and some thickly cut bread.