BYO CONTAINERS TO THE BUTCHERY + DELI COUNTERS

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The next step in our quest to reduce our single use plastic here at the Farm Shop is to encourage you, our customers, to bring your own reusable containers to our butchery and deli counters to help minimise packaging consumption. This is by no means obligatory, but was suggested to us by a customer and is something we wholeheartedly support! 

Photo by our friend Rachel Kay.

NEW RAINBOW OF REUSABLE STRING BAGS AT THE FARM SHOP ๐ŸŒˆ

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We're really excited with the arrival of this rainbow of reusable Filt string shopping bags that has arrived at the Farm Shop. Normandy-based company Filt have been making netting bags since 1860. Originally used by fishermen, these lightweight, expandable bags are the perfect carry-all and fit almost as much as Mary Poppins' famous carpet bag.

As well as being incredibly practical, here are six great reasons to invest in a reusable string bag:

1. A plastic bag can take from 15 to 1,000 years to break down, depending on environment. 
2. Plastic bags donโ€™t biodegrade, but they can break down through photo degradation (exposure to light), breking into small, toxic particles.
3. An estimated one million birds, 100,000 turtles, and countless other sea animals die each year from ingesting plastic. 
4. The cost to recycle plastic bags outweighs their value, so most recycling facilities will not take them. Thanks to their light weight, plastic bags in landfills donโ€™t always stay there. They are likely to fly away and can settle in trees, block storm drains, and clutter beaches.
5. The average reusable bag has a lifespan equal to that of more than 700 disposable plastic bags.
6. One person using reusable bags over their lifetime would remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment. Now that's an incentive.

EASTER SAUSAGE SCHOOL ๐Ÿด

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Our butchery team is also preparing itself for our Easter Sausage School, where our expert butchers will share their sausage-making skills in a fun series of children's workshops. Here are the dates and how to book.

Mon 2 April - 2pm - FULLY BOOKED
Fri 6 April - 12pm / 2.30pm - FULLY BOOKED
Tue 10 April - 12pm / 2.30pm
Thu 12 April - 12pm / 2.30pm

Age: 4 years +
ยฃ6.50 per child (sessions are paid for on booking)

Please call 01244 533 442 to book spaces

FAMILY EASTER FUN AT THE FARM SHOP!

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We've lined up a series of exciting events to make the most of the upcoming Easter Holidays. As well as our permanent adventure play area and outdoor ping pong table, the Farm Shop will be putting on childrenโ€™s scotch egg making workshops, leading Easter egg painting sessions, hosting slack lining and circus skills workshops, hosting an Easter-themed natural play session and -for the most adventurous- tree climbing sessions with The Great Big Tree Climbing Co. Join us!

FRI 30TH MARCH โ€“ EASTER EGG PAINTING

FRI 30TH MARCH โ€“ SLACK LINING SESSIONS

SAT 31ST MARCH โ€“ SPLATโ€™S CIRCUS WORKSHOPS

SAT 31ST โ€“ MARKETPLACE FULL OF LOCAL TRADERS + PRODUCERS

MON 2ND APRIL - EASTER SAUSAGE-MAKING WORKSHOP - FULLY BOOKED

MON 2ND APRIL โ€“ SPECIAL EASTER NATURAL PLAY SESSION

WED 4TH APRIL โ€“ TREE CLIMBING SESSIONS         

FRI 6TH APRIL - EASTER SAUSAGE-MAKING WORKSHOP - FULLY BOOKED

TUE 10TH APRIL - EASTER SAUSAGE-MAKING WORKSHOP

THU 12TH APRIL - EASTER SAUSAGE-MAKING WORKSHOP

10% DISCOUNT FOR REUSABLE CUPS

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As part of our ongoing quest to reduce the amount of single-use plastic we get through here at the Farm Shop, we are now offering a 10% discount off all our takeaway hot drinks for customers who bring their own reusable cups. Don't have a reusable cup? Hang tight, we have some really good ones arriving any day now at the Farm Shop.

And don't forget to collect your stamps on our coffee reward card to earn your free cup of coffee or tea! 
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OUR CIDER RANGE IS CURATED BY THE FINE CIDER COMPANY

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We are excited to now be collaborating with The Fine Cider Company, who are now fully curating our range of cider here at the Farm Shop. Felix Nash and his team source and supply the finest cider they can find, hoping to show the wider world these undiscovered things. The role of the โ€˜cider merchantโ€™ was once an accustomed thing, particularly through the heyday of cider and perry in the 17th & 18th centuries. Today The Fine Cider Company supplies some of the best restaurants in London, from the emerging to the iconic, such as Lyleโ€™s, The Clove Club, The Marksman & Fera at Claridges. And now add to that list the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop. Head to the food hall and try some of they ciders The Fine Cider Company has selected.

Photo: Jonathan Cherry

AN ODE TO OUR FAVOURITE GLASSES; THE MIGHTY DURALEX

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We have long been members of the Duralex fan club; waving the flag, wearing the t-shirts, using Duralex glasses here in our cafe and at The Glynne Arms, and toasting its general French greatness. Duralex is a design classic and practically unbreakable โ€“more on this later- so its tough yet refined glassware is perfect for all ages and great for both hot and cold drinks. One of our favourite facts is that Duralex's largest export market is Afghanistan, where they are used as tea glasses in even the most remote villages.

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At the Farm Shop we stock the classic Duralex Picardie glasses (16/18/22cl). One of the things we love about these glasses is their history; Duralex dates back to the 1930s and such is its reputation that the glasses have been a staple in almost every French cafรฉ, school canteen or works cafeteria ever since. For decades French school children played a game where every child at the canteen table read out the serial number stamped with the Duralex logo on the bottom of their water glass (this could be anything between 1 and 48) and the child with the lowest number had to fetch the water for the rest of the table. It seems fair.

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What makes a Duralex glass so strong? It's made of tempered glass, a method where the glass is taken straight from furnace in the La Chapelle Saint-Mesmin factory and rapidly cooled. This makes it two and a half times as resistant as normal glass and almost unbreakable, which is why the original publicity for the glasses in the Fifties claimed that they could be "used as hammers". To give you an idea of it's strength, the same method is used to produce windscreens and bullet-proof glass. So it's pretty darn tough.

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These iconic glasses have been much imitated over the years, but never really bettered. Today they are found on many of the world's best tables from London to New York, Tokyo, Hawarden and beyond. Duralex glasses will offer you many years of loyal service; they are robust, elegant, heavy and hard to break. And, what's more, they are so inexpensive that you might as well fill your cupboards while you're at it. Head to the Farm Shop and stock up.

10 THINGS WE'VE LEARNT ABOUT CACTI ๐ŸŒต

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If you've visited the Farm Shop recently, you may have noticed that things have got a bit prickly. In a good way. We are now stocking a really good range of cacti, succulents and a few bulbs too. You can buy them as they are, or potted up in some lovely vintage jars, some of which are over 100 years old. Pretty cool eh?

Our spiky new friends look great all over your house, from the kitchen to the bathroom, hall, sitting room, you name it. And they also make great presents, particularly, we have found.

Here are some good tips on how to look after your cactus and your succulents.

And here are 10 things we've learnt about cacti:

1. You hardly have to water them. That's an immediate win. In fact, the number 1 reason cactuses die is from over-watering.

2. They improve the air quality in your home, removing bacteria and reducing radiation. 

3. There are 1500-1800 species of cacti in the world. Fact.

4. Cacti are real water reservoirs; their inner liquid is not pure, clear water but a thick viscous stuff, but perfectly drinkable, that saved many lives in the desert.

5. Cactus spines can be used for sutures, after they have been first sterilised on hot coal. And you'd need to be fairly desperate too.

6. They wear a pair of stick-on wobbly eyes well.

7. Recent figures suggest that almost 13 per cent of plants confiscated at Heathrow airport are cacti without the required permissions. There is now a protection treaty in place that prohibits the movement of endangered species. 

8. Cacti all flower, and some of the flowers are truly spectacular. Have a look.

9.  The wood of some cactus species is used for making walls, roofs and as reinforcement wood. It's strong stuff.

10. The roots of a Mexican cactus, peyotl (Lophophora williamsii), were chewed by Aztecs for its hallucinogenic properties, allowing the shamen to enter in trance. These properties of the cacti were also used by some Native Americans during the pre-Columbian era for anesthesia during operations.