Ann's Farm Journal

Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!

Back to School + Juicing time

Back to School + Juicing time

Hello Everyone,

Well this week has been a busy one! Including me going back to school. We were asked to present a lesson on a Friday afternoon to a year four class! As Bob is delivering to you, our lovely customers in the Tyne Valley and West of Hexham, the eight year olds had the pleasure of Farmer Ann…Me!

The topic was The Potato. Can I talk for about half an hour on The Potato…the answer is yes. It is amazing what information you can find out there. Obviously I can explain the planting, harvesting, varieties, family, cooking and eating of the potato. But I wanted to make it a little more entertaining as eight year olds are quite inquisitive. So, here are some interesting facts about the humble potato:

There are 4000 varieties of potato around the world, with many colours, shapes and sizes.

Potatoes belong to the same family as tomatoes, peppers and aubergines.

The Spanish brought the potato across to Europe after finding them in Peru, thousands of years ago. But they only fed the potatoes to livestock. We started eating the potato during the 1700s.

Eighty percent of a potato is water.

The crisp was made by mistake…Cornelius Vanderbilt was the man behind train tracks and trains in America. A very rich man with staff around his home. Cornelius's chef, a Mr Crum, was upset when a complaint was made about the potatoes. For a little ‘pay back’ Mr Crum sliced the potatoes finely, fried them and covered them in salt. Cornelius loved them and the crisp was born.

The largest potato grown in England was 7lbs 1ounce.

NASA took the potato into orbit and is the first vegetable to be grown in space 

I had a captive audience of eight year olds and they had no idea how nervous I was, however, it was a fun afternoon and the lesson lasted longer than the half hour as the children were asking soooo many questions, mainly about how many, how big, was I really a farmer and do we have a tractor. It is really good to provide any knowledge to little ones about food and farming. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Hope they did to.

The apples have all been picked and graded. The good ones…you will be eating the rest are being juiced. Bob and I began juicing yesterday. Looking at the number of apples, we may still be juicing at Christmas! Seriously, we will need a few weeks of juicing to use all the apples. Fresh Local Organic Orchard Apple Juice is on the website from today. The animals are all very happy that we are juicing as they think it is Christmas…they get to eat all the apple pulp.

We are rapidly running out of space to store all our produce. But it is great to see trays of goodies piling up in the barn, the shelves in the barn and packing area are also bulging with vegetables and there are tons of organic produce still in the fields and polytunnels. 

The new "Mrs" Lucy, arrived back and has begun to plant out the various leafy and luscious greens for over the autumn and winter seasons. So far spring onions, vivid choi, pak choi and chicory have been planted out. Great to have Lucy back. 

Well, I am going back to the juicing, all take care,