Devon Farm Launches Kids’ Bangers in Support of Farms for City Children

Eversfield Organic, a family run organic farm based on the outskirts of Dartmoor, has joined forces with children’s charity, Farms for City Children. The partnership aims to raise funds to enable more children from cities and disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK to experience a week of muck and magic on the charity’s working farm.

Farms for City Children was founded by children’s author, Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare in 1976 in Iddesleigh. The charity has expanded over the forty years and they now have farms in Pembrokeshire and Gloucestershire, as well as their original farm in Iddesleigh, Devon. The charity inspires over 3,200 children and 400 teachers from far and wide to get stuck in and enjoy all that the countryside has to offer them during their week-long stay —from sunshine and fresh air, right through to mud and manure. But it is in amongst the muck (come rain or shine) that the magic really happens.

Out of the normal classroom environment and away from the inner city life that is everyday normality for these children they are encouraged to try new things, broaden their horizons and overcome their fears. As a result of a hardworking and very fun week’s work, children discover new confidence and independence. As they work together, talk and value one another for what they can achieve, their self-esteem blossoms.

To celebrate the partnership, Eversfield Organic is launching a new range of children’s favourite bangers via their online shop, with 5% from each pack sold going directly to Farms for City Children. The organic pork sausages will be made from organic rare breed pigs, bred and reared outdoor on lush Devon pasture. These fun-size sausages can be cooked in just five minutes, the perfect ingredient to get kids cooking at home.

Fingers

Eversfield Organic itself is born of a new generation farmer, Mark Bury, who embarked on his organic dream in 2002 with his wife, Emily, his daughter, Anna and son, Hamish. Their farm is Soil Association Organic certified as well as certified by the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, meaning their cattle and lambs are fed 100% grass throughout their life, without finishing on grain. Mark believes caring for the land and animals is not only sustainable and conscientious, but also results in a better quality, healthier and tastier meat.

The organic Kids Favourite Bangers were launched on 4 October with a special sausage-making session at the charity’s Nethercott House in Devon. Having spent the morning with the charity’s Large Black pigs, feeding them and learning about the cuts of the meat, Eversfield’s team showed the children from Whetstone Field Primary School from Walsall the tricks of the trade in making their Kids’ Bangers, using all natural sausage casings and a 95% pork sausage mix – a much meatier sausage than most and gluten free. The children enjoyed making and twisting the sausages, making their own batch for lunch. The best question from the day was how many sausages the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk can eat! The children estimated it would be 20,000! The children tucked in to the sausages for lunch along with mash and gravy – delicious!

Many children visiting the farm have a very limited understanding of where their food comes from and often what the food even is. Research carried out by LEAF and the British Nutrition Foundation found that 1 in 4 children doesn’t know a chick is a baby chicken, 1 in 5 doesn’t know pork comes from pigs, and many think pasta comes from animals. Often with limited experience of fresh produce and little opportunity to explore open space beyond the city, their visit to Farms for City Children is an incredibly special and impactful experience for the children.

Lunch

“The most important thing I could do for my family was feed them good food, grown and reared naturally and for them to understand how it reached their plates. That’s what hooked me on the idea of getting into organic farming.

For Eversfield Organic to have the opportunity now to help children gain a practical and meaningful experience of grass-roots farming is wonderful. We love that Farms for City Children gives kids the chance to enjoy our county’s beauty and get stuck in with animals, food and farm life. And if sausages aren’t the way to everyone’s heart, then I don’t know what is!”

Eversfield Organic’s Kids Favourite Bangers are available to buy from www.eversfieldorganic.co.uk from 4th October and cost £4.99 for 340g/10 sausages.

Katie Wade, Fundraiser at Farms for City Children, said, “We are delighted to launch this partnership with Eversfield Organic. Sharing the same values and enabling more children to experience a week of muck and magic is important to both of us – and spreading the word through Kids Favourite Bangers is certainly an innovative way to do this!”

 

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Bumper Honey Harvest for Princesshay

Heatwave Quadruples Princesshay Honey Harvest

The exceptionally hot weather in June has resulted in Princesshay’s bees producing a bumper batch of honey. The beekeepers at Princesshay are expecting 400lbs of honey, 4 times more than in previous years, which will be sold exclusively at Chandos Deli in Princesshay in aid of Children’s Hospice South West.

Princesshay Beekeeper Jason Wallis, said: “This is our fourth honey harvest and it is set to be easily the biggest yet thanks to the exceptionally warm weather during the early part of the summer. The honey will be collected at the end of August, ready for sale in Chandos Deli at the start of September.”

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Bee hives and flower beds on the roof of Princesshay in Exeter. © Photograph – Richard Austin Tel: 07831-566005

Princesshay’s City Bee project began in 2012, when a tranquil rooftop garden was created for honey bees high above the shopping centre as part of an environmental initiative which forms part of the company’s wider biodiversity strategy. Princesshay regularly encourages visitors to visit the project and get an insight into the busy world of bees.

To date, the city bee project has been visited by over 1000 school children, students and members of the public. Now entering its 5th year, Princesshay’s city bee project continues to grow, with the project now housing 5 hives with approximately 300,000 bees.

The bumper crop of honey comes just as Princesshay celebrates its 10th birthday this September with a series of events including an aerial art installation and a giant birthday cake being cut on 20th September.

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Bee hives and flower beds on the roof of Princesshay in Exeter. © Photograph – Richard Austin Tel: 07831-566005

Foodie Fundraising Feast by Lauren Heath

Recently the wonderfully charming Andy Cooper, Editor of Devon Life magazine, lost his darling Zena warrior princess to that awful disease Cancer. Obviously nothing can bring her back or heal the wound fully but as in life one must find the good within the bad.

So apart from deciding to run the Taunton half marathon in her honour to raise funds towards his chosen charities, Bowel Cancer UK and St Mary’s Hospice, he also enlisted the help of ex-River Cottage chef and fellow Devonian, Tim Maddams.

It was to be held the same evening of the half marathon in Andy’s local village hall, with 100 seats available. So Andy would have certainly earned a feed! Tim is no stranger to pop up dinners so apart from knowing the food would be great, we thought this seemed a wonderful idea to raise funds through a foodie feast, so Stephanie of Exploring Exeter and I decided this was a worthy ticket to purchase.

There were many wonderful raffle prizes to be won on the evening thanks to many incredible businesses in Devon and Cornwall who gave generously including afternoon tea for 12, jewellery, spa days and so on.

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The hall was filled with locals and business connections, tables of friends and some tables of ‘strangers’, as ours was, but conversation soon flowed. Many of us were armed with a bottle or two of something to celebrate Zena’s memory with Andy as well as his efforts.

It wasn’t just Tim Maddams in the kitchen in the end; Robin Rea of The Rusty Pig was also there to make up a dynamic foodie duo. Not content with exceeding his steps for the day, Andy had his waiter hat on for the evening and served the guests too.

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The menu consisted of:

Starter – root vegetable and wild garlic pottage, nettle and water mint pesto.

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Meat main – slow roasted mutton, smoke rooted loin, spring greens, barley, rooting juices

Vegetarian main – Saffron polenta, purple broccoli, romesco sauce

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Pudding – rhubarb upside down cake, honey and raw milk custard.

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It was just so incredibly delicious, local hearty fare. We had a great evening.

The main reason I am writing this is not to shout about my experience but now that I have your attention, if anyone out there with a few pounds to spare, please can you donate to this very worthy cause.

So don’t delay; visit the #TeamZena fundraising page now. Let’s help stop this awful disease in its tracks or at least help those currently suffering. He has already managed just shy of £6,000!

Well done to everyone involved in #TeamZena’s memory.