Find out more about 'Apple Day' here.
Wye Farmers Market will have an apple theme this week, Sat Oct 18, with lots of apples on Perry Court's stall, all grown just outside Wye. Expect apple bobbing, apple printing and more as well as the usual great mix of stalls selling meat, fish, cheese, eggs, fruit and vegetables, bread, cakes, nuts, chocolate and more.
Find out more about 'Apple Day' here.
The 9 day long Food Festival kicked off with a 'Super Saturday' full of events, an extended Wye Farmers Market, with a huge choice of local produce, overlapping with the Market's own beer tent, live music, and 'food to go' using local ingredients. The Wye Community Farm BBQ, served their 'Wye Burger' using their own meat, Wye Bakery rolls, Ripple Farm salad and Wooden Spoon chutneys. Around the corner on Church Street, Wye Butchers were offering tasters of their own range of summer sausages.
And to finish the day off, the first of the walks organised in conjunction with the Ramblers Association, worked up an appetite with a 5 mile walk, sated the appetite with a 'Wye' themed meal in the Kings Head, and celebrated the Solstice with a walk up to Wye Crown.
A tough food themed quiz and raffle in the New Flying Horse on Sunday evening raised £165 for Wye Youth Club, thanks to Steve for organising that.
There were more walks all week, taking in local farms, Perry Court and Ripple Farm Organics.
Local preservers, the Wooden Spoon were offering jam tasting, and cream teas overlooking jam production all week. A successful themed fish evening was held at the New Flying Horse, and a 'Wye BBQ' at the Kings Head, with meat from Wye Community Farm, and fresh produce from Perry Court and Ripple Farm.
Wye Bakery produced some special festival breads, the most popular being the 'Sunshine Sourdough'
The kids got in on the action too, with free pizza making sessions at Wye Bakery, potato digging with the Wye Brownies and Ripple Farm Organics, and an inter-generational 'Ready, Steady, Cook' at Wye Secondary School, with one of the winners Eden Mendham, declaring it 'the best day ever!' More details of this event here.
Ticketyboo had 'A celebration of Children's early eating' on all week, also running a competition to name the doll sitting in an old-fashioned high chair outside their shop ( ). And, there were knitted vegetables hidden in shop windows around Wye (answers here).
Then on Friday, the emphasis changed from food to drink, with the 'Barber's Arms Beer Festival'. Those thirsty Ripple Farmers were the first customers, after a hot day in the fields! What a great way to celebrate the fact that most of the hops used for beer brewing in this country were bred at Wye!
With just a couple of barrels left on Sunday, it was up to the Kings Head to finish off the food festival with their 'Tasting Night', with tasters from their menu and from their suppliers, a packed out evening.
The 2014 Wye Food Festival got off to a great start on Saturday with an extended Wye Farmers Market, including lots of extra 'food on the go' stalls, as well as music and a beer tent. Meanwhile, on Church Street, a sausage tasting BBQ was happening at Wye Butchers and Delicatessen, with the outdoor seating outside the Butchers and Botanic creating a lovely café vibe. Wye Bakery was busy and selling special fetstival breads on top of their usual great range and around the corner, Ticketyboo were promoting their celebration of children's eating.
The fun on the green finished around 4, although for those wanting more bbq food, beer and live music Lady Joanna School was offering all 3 at their Summer fete, coinciding with the food festival.
To finish the day off a group of walkers set off with East Kent Ramblers Chair, Alison Hargreaves, for a circular walk, followed by a 'Wye' themed meal in the Kings Head, and a solstice walk up to Wye Crown.
Doug, the Chef at the New Flying
Horse Pub in Wye, proudly showing off his 'Pub Food of the Year' award from Shepherd Neame.
Ripple Farm vegetables have made their way onto the menu before, and more recently, Penny (who works at Ripple Farm) has been tending the Pub's own vegetable garden.
Part of the Pub's large garden is an authentic recreation of a Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winner - Julian Dowle’s successful design “A Soldier’s Dream of Blighty”.
The Chelsea Pensioners’ Garden was created for the 2005 Chelsea Flower Show, with input from the Chelsea Pensioners themselves, and includes a Dig for Victory vegetable garden, a pond, a field of poppies and a miniature traditional English pub.
Tuesday evening was warm and sunny for the WBA’s Food Group Food Festival history walk.
This walk was one of four taking place during the week. The walk leader was Brian Sharp known to us as the once owner of what was Bygones of Wye, an antique shop in Church Street. The evening started where walkers were welcomed by Patrick Keegan and his son Nick at their house at the lower end of Church Street.
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A huge amount of fun was had on Sunday in the Chelsea Pensioners’ Garden at the New Flying Horse. Two food sculpture sessions for kids and families were organised as part of the Wye Food Festival.
Marvellous creations - including fishes, chickens and racing cars - were carved
out of food. And all edible afterwards. The food sculpture event was run by
creative artist Maggie Johns, supported by generous funding from the Children's
Playing Field Charity and Wye PC.
The veg food walk was well attended on Friday evening. Fifteen of us viewed the Churchfield and Beanfield allotment sites on which we now have more than 100 tenants! Jane Burnham explained how the allotment sites were organised with working parties helping to keep the communal areas and some unused plots under control. Topics discussed included rotations, slug control and the general success of veg this year after a slow start. John Mansfield guided the group to the Imperial/Wye College glasshouses and described some of the work that went on in the buildings upgraded for research on GM plants. The essential requirement for a GM glasshouse is that nothing must escape - even pollen.
Mike Copland now uses the facilities for his work on biological pest control and also for trials of new generation pesticides. He showed us the range of parasitic and predatory “good bugs” that he produces to attack insect pests in glasshouses. There were interesting questions about the recent banning of certain insecticides (neonicotinoids), because these seem to affect the behaviour of bees and other beneficial insects. Wye Bugs links closely with the larger commercial outfit Biological Crop Protection based along Occupation Road. Together they provide internationally recognised expertise in biological control.
Sarah and Martin Mackey then showed us the Ripple Farm fields spreading up towards the Crown. Ripple Farm produce a wide range of vegetables and the kale and chard are proving very popular with customers at Stoke Newington Market as well as around Wye. Pest and bird control are ongoing problems for organic farming and Martin explained how various types of horticultural fleece enable brassicas in particular to become well established, protected from
flea beetle and pigeons. Martin checked out his early potato crop for us and the good news was that the spuds were ready for picking so we had some free samples.
We spent almost two hours looking at various aspects of veg production and crop protection. I think the questions would have kept us out for longer but it was getting unseasonally cold -what a surprise! A lasting impression was that all of the veg growing activities from allotment plots to raising small predatory mites and organic farming require a lot of hard work and attention to detail. The
enthusiasm for crop production that remains in Wye shone through.
The three pizza making sessions for kids at Wye Bakery, on Wednesday afternoon June 19th, were a very happy occasion. 25 kids in total participated. Protected by aprons lent by the Brownies, they shaped the balls of pizza dough prepared in the morning by Mary and Nigel, spread them with tomato sauce, and decorated them with a tasty selection of toppings. Then 10 minutes in a very hot oven, during which time they could see them rise and brown. Finally out of the oven and into pizza boxes, to take home and enjoy. Everyone - kids, parents and bakers - had a really enjoyable time.
The 3rd Wye Food Festival kicked off in style an the extended Wye Farmers Market (a few pics below). And round the corner on Church Street, Botanic was bedecked with bunting and offering gluten-free treats to taste and buy, Wye Butchers were giving crash courses in sausage making and the KIngs Head ran a fun kids foodie quiz.