Good Afternoon…!

This afternoon it was the Dyfed Smallholders’ Association annual Harvest Lunch.

It’s a much-anticipated event & as this is the first year we’ve been Association members, the first one we’ve attended.  For our contribution we took with us two napolis of gelato – one of our light, delicate Strawberries & Cream (which was awarded First Prize in its’ class at the Royal Welsh Show this year) & the other, of Chocolate Straciatella (basically rich chocolate infused with fine shards of crisp, dark chocolate).  

Our freshly freeze-churned Cioccolato Stracciatella

Our freshly freeze-churned Cioccolato Stracciatella

We contributed the napolis because we wanted to thank all those people who work so hard behind the scenes of the Dyfed Smallholders’ Association: whether in administrative roles; organising meetings; writing articles for the Newsletter; or hosting open days & social events such as this.  Each & every one of these is vital to keeping a thriving organisation such as the DSA, alive; & all are substantial tasks in their own right.  Knowing how busy smallholders are, it’s a tribute to their dedication & selflessness that they’re prepared to ‘burn the midnight oil’ on behalf of the membership.

Having been so busy with setting up the Dairy Complex we unfortunately haven’t been able to get involved nearly as much as we’d like; however we were determined that we’d attend today so that we could meet more of the members & offer our gratitude to the organisers.    We were made to feel extremely welcome by this great bunch of people: who are enthusiastic, dedicated & a lot of fun, too. 

The event was held at Nick & Glyn Falcon’s immaculate smallholding, which is a self-catering holiday cottage business nestling at the edge of the picturesque Preseli Mountains (see link for details if you want a really special & tranquil holiday).

The Harvest Lunch consisted of a hearty community barbeque followed by a charity auction & then the challenging Annual Smallholders’ Competition: with prizes for produce such as jams, chutneys, cakes, flower arrangements, baskets of fruit & veg, crafts, photos; & even hay, haylage & silage.  However this year – for perhaps the first time ever – no prize was awarded for the haylage because there were no entries to the competition: for nobody has, as yet, managed to harvest any.  So it’s worryingly ironic that for once the Harvest Lunch is being held before the harvest has even begun!

As we’d opened our makeshift ‘Gelateria’ shortly after the results of the competition were announced we didn’t manage to snatch the main course until after we’d served everyone else (these days we’re getting used to ‘upside-down’ meals of dessert first, main course later!).  But at least the gelato was enthusiastically received with only one negative comment – apparently the serving dishes weren’t big enough..! 

Once we finally managed to snatch something to eat, our meal certainly did prove worth the wait: the food we’d rustled up for the barbeque proved utterly delicious….plump chicken joints, marinated with Sylvia’s simply delicious, secret sticky glaze; & foil-wrapped parcels of succulent salmon topped with whole fresh prawns then dusted with a delicate concoction of selected dried garden herbs, a smattering of crushed green peppercorns, a knob of creamy butter & just the lightest squeeze of zesty, fresh lemon juice.  Tony conjoured up some piri-piri peppers: half a green pepper stuffed with tiny pieces of diced mushroom mixed with a combination of Worcestershire & piri-piri sauces.  It was delicious but the sauce unfortunately just a little too hot for my preference (to be honest it was postitively explosive – I’d recommend using the mild sauce unless you don’t care about burning out your tastebuds!).  Served with a light salad & washed down with a crisp chardonnay it was the perfect meal for a warm summer’s afternoon (that’s two in a row…!).  We rounded off our meal with baked bananas marinated in brandy, brown sugar & butter…& of course, a scoop of the luscious chocolate ice cream. 

One gentleman made the most lovely comment: he said that tasting our gelato was for him reminiscent of exactly the same delight he’d experienced when sampling the first-ever honey from his hive of bees….magical, & unforgettable.  I was truly touched because in that moment all that we’ve strived so very hard to achieve was suddenly, simply, all worthwhile.  After trawling through so much miserable paperwork whilst in the Military I have finally completed what now realise was a Bond-like mission: put a genuine smile of sheer delight upon someone’s face with something we’ve created. 

And to cheer up so many anxious smallholders, each & every one so very worried about the ‘credit crunch’ & this year’s harvest & whether they’ll actually manage to feed their poultry & livestock (this year we are literally, all in the same boat & tragically having to bale water rather than hay from smallholding’s sinking ship) – well, that’s surely something to smile about….especially as the ‘Countryfile’ weather forecast for the week has proclaimed this will be ‘Harvest Weather’.  Fingers crossed, eh….?!

Spread a little happiness....!

Spread a little happiness....!

Incidentally we’d just like to express our gratitude to Nick & Glyn for hosting such a lovely afternoon; & to the membership of the Dyfed Smallholders’ Association for extending such a warm welcome, to us.


About LittleFfarm Dairy

The LittleFfarm Dairy Team: Jo - Goat farmer & Gelatiere Artigianale, plus General Dogsbody; Tony - Airline Pilot & part-time Herd Manager, Product Taster, Accounts Secretary, Handyman etc!
This entry was posted in Cooking, Dairy, Diary, Entertainment, Farming, Food, Fruit & Veg, Ice Cream, Life, Locality, September 2008, Smallholding. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Good Afternoon…!

  1. Hello Jo,

    Since you haven’t written in a while, I’m ‘forced’ to travel the recesses of your blog (no guilt intended, I’m enjoying the travels); the comment is only to say I miss you and your updates!

    Hope all is well, I’m sure you’re busy. I’ve been guilty of not writing myself lately for that very reason. Incidentally, do you sell your “Lovespoon” aprons?

  2. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Sorry Kristeva,

    I’ve got a mountain of draft posts to climb that I haven’t managed to get around to publishing yet this month – what with Tony starting his new job, several trade fairs, meetings, managing the farm, making ice cream – & the ponies escaping – things have been pretty hectic here for me! Hopefully I’ll be able to get y’all back up-to-date with the aforementioned excitement, ASAP.

    Reference the aprons – funnily enough, quite a few people have asked me about them as they’re so lovely. I hadn’t really thought about selling them as a sideline but it does seem like a good idea – I’ve also been asked about the polo shirts & few other things too (including a jewellery range based on the Heart-&-Swirl logo – can you believe that?!).

    Anyway the aprons cost around £20 each embroidered (approx $37.35 CAD). Not sure what the P&P would be but I’d imagine not much as they’re a pretty small, light package. We don’t have any spares as we currently only have our two aprons which we use for shows – however they did get those made up for us remarkably quickly. They’re good quality & can be purchased in a wide range of colours & embroidery colours I believe – although don’t quote me on that….!

    We went for the scheme we did because we couldn’t get professional unbleached cotton aprons & chef’s jackets, which was what we originally wanted (not allowed in the food industry, alas) – so we thought that this was a classy alternative which reflected the brand values (i.e. luxury, natural etc).

    So there you go – the history behind the ‘Lovespoon’ aprons….!

  3. Good to see you back! Perhaps after we all get Xmas behind us, we could look into getting an apron from you. I do like your button up chef’s jacket too, very professional looking on you.

    cheers, HDR

  4. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Thank you!

    It proved surprisingly difficult to find a chef’s jacket in that colour, but we were really pleased with them. When we do more ‘formal’ events it gives us something a little more dressy to wear; almost our corporate business suit, if you will. We wear them with smart black trousers & elegant boots, must be the smartest Gelatieres Artigianles around!

    I’m sure if I talk nicely to our people in Pembroke, they’d be happy to sort out an apron – we’re really flattered that you like them so much! Just promise me you won’t be wearing it to do what you’ve been doing lately with all those fowl….ooerrr.

    I might order a couple of spares for us so we should always have extra stock, we’ll need ’em anyway. Anyone else interested….?

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