Eat Tapas Day Monday 28th February 2011

I have been sent an email about Spanish cuisine, produce and ‘Eat Tapas Day’ which is on Monday 28th February.

The information I have been given says that,

The fiesta, which falls on a Monday, is dedicated to the great Spanish custom of accompanying drinks with a small plate of food or ‘tapa’. Tradition has it that barmen in the Andalusian capital Seville, began the practice by placing slices of ham or cheese on top of glasses of sherry to protect them from flies; ‘tapa’ literally translates as ‘cover’ in Spanish. Tapas have since developed into a national obsession with most bars in Spain specialising in a particular dish. Going from bar to bar and trying a variety of tapas in each, known as ‘tapear’, is the favoured night out for Andalusians.

On ‘Eat Tapas Day’ the UK public is encouraged to have a go at making their own tapas feast or to search out their nearest Spanish restaurant. The farmers chose the 28th of February as it coincides with ‘Andalusia Day’, an important public holiday in Andalusia celebrating the region’s autonomy, culture and famous local produce such as tomatoes, peppers and aubergines.

Spain’s southern region of Andalusia is the home of much of what we think of as typically Spanish. It’s the birthplace of flamenco and fans and home to postcard-perfect sun-bleached villages. The cuisine is just as famous in its own right: gazpacho, Ibérico ham and sherry are some of the more well known Andalusian delicacies.

The area is nicknamed “Europe’s Vegetable Garden”, and fresh produce such as tomatoes, peppers and aubergines have always been at the heart of Andalusian cooking. The region is also the world’s largest producer of olive oil! Enjoying a taste of Andalusia’s healthy and vibrant cuisine has never been easier, as lots of the region’s finest fresh produce is available in UK supermarkets and green grocers.

I was also sent a series of recipes to share with you and here is my favourite Spanish recipe:

Andalusian Chicken Stew with Peppers

Andalusian Chicken Stew With Peppers

Andalusian Chicken Stew With Peppers

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4

2 red peppers

2 green peppers

2 yellow peppers

4 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika (pimentón)

4 chicken legs

50g Serrano ham

250g tomatoes, chopped

250ml white wine

salt and pepper

Preheat the grill to high. Halve the peppers and cook under the grill for 20 minutes.

Place the peppers in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to cool. When cooled, deseed and peel the peppers then cut into slices.

Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the garlic gently for a minute. Remove and reserve. Add the chicken and ham to the pan and cook until the chicken is golden brown. Add the tomatoes, wine, reserved garlic, paprika and the sliced peppers. Cover and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Serve with rice and green beans dressed with olive oil.

Calories per serving-


23g fat

5g saturated fat

39g protein

17g carbohydrate

15g sugars

4g fibre

0.5g salt

Let me know if you try this recipe!

For further information on Eat Tapas Day and for more tapas recipes visit

Big Butterfly Count 24th July – 1st August 2010

Sarah, one of the farmingfriend’s forum members has emailed through some info about the Big Butterfly Count taking place from 24th July to 1st August 2010.

Butterflies are disappearing and are in serious decline, they are both beautiful and vital to the health of our environment.

So be part of the big butterfly count from the 24th July to the 1st of August this year and help Butterfly Conservation gather information to save them.

Just find a place where you might see butterflies, such as a garden or park, and count the different butterflies you see in just 15 minutes. You can make counts in several places during the week.

Submit your sightings at and you’ll receive 10 per cent off plants when you shop online at M&S.

See the website for details.

Get Walking Day 23rd May 2010

Did you know that there is a a Get Walking Day will this year will be held on Sunday 23 May 2010.

The Get Walking event aims to encourage people to take up walking as a way of exercising.

Last years Get Walking Day was a great success with over 100 local Groups organising 150 short introductory walks with over 3,000 people taking part.

You can take part in a free and organised walk on the day with an  are free  an experienced rambler, if you would like to find out more about the event then you can visit the Ramblers Association website.

We get many villagers walking up the lane where we live, walking is a great way of exercising and also a great way to see the countryside and the flora and fauna and get up close to wildlife in their natural habitat.

If you decide to do a walk on Get Walking Day let me know where you went and what you saw!

Screening Of Pig Business Film By Tracy Worcester In York

City Screen will be showing the pork industry documentary Pig Business by Tracy Worcester which compares traditional, environmentally sustainable farming with industrialised agri-business on Tuesday 11 May at 8.30pm at York City Screen.

I am going to watch this film on Tuesday night which has been organised by Slow Food North Yorkshire. As I myself was recently a pig keeper and breeder I am interested in looking at the welfare of pigs and how high-welfare pork products are marketed in the British supermarkets.

Visit the website to find out more about the film Pig Business.

WFU Conference 28th-30th March 2010

I just wanted to let all you UK women farmer’s out thereknow about the Women’s Food & Farming Conference for 2010 will be at Askham Bryan College between the 28th-30th March 2010.

The theme for this year’s conference is Food for the Future.

The speakers this year include:

  • Will Cockbain – who will be speaking about Food and Environmental Security.
  • Paul Brereton – who will talk about Lost Food – tracing the origin of food.
  • Heather Parry – who will speak about the challenges faced and benefits of using environmentally friendly materials.
  • Graham Ward OBE – who will talk about the food crops which could be grown in the UK as growing conditions change, he will also include developing new varieties by traditional and genetic modification methods.

The three day conference  commences with the annual dinner on Sunday evening, the conference on Monday and a trip to visit the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s new premises on Tuesday morning.


Conference Day Ticket (includes refreshments and lunch) £15

Conference Dinner £25

Conference Day Ticket plus one evening accommodation ( all meals included) £75

Conference Day ticket plus accommodation for 2 nights ( all meals included) £110

Tickets can be obtained from Sally Robinson at Valley View Farm, Old Byland, Helmsley, York YO62 5LG by sending a cheque or email and telephone 01439 798221 to pay by credit card.

Let me know if you are a member of the WFU and if you are attending the WFU conference.

National Food Weeks In The UK 2010

I have been asked about national food weeks that are celebrated in the UK.

After a google search I have found the following national food weeks are celebrated in the UK.

Some of the dates are for 2009 and the dates for 2010 have to be confirmed.

  • British Yorkshire Pudding Day Annually on the 1st Sunday in February – Sunday 7th February 2010
  • National Bramley Apple Week (UK) 7th – 14th February 2010
  • National Chip Week UK 15th – 21st February 2010
  • National Bread Week 7th – 13th May 2010
  • May is Asparagus Month
  • National Honey Week (UK) 4th – 10th May 2009
  • National Doughnut Week 8th – 15th May 2010
  • National Herb Week – 6th – 9th May 2009
  • National Vegetarian week 24th – 30th May 2010
  • National Watercress Week 16th – 23rd May 2010
  • British Sandwich Week 16th-22nd May 2010
  • National Barbecue Week (UK)25th to 31st May 2009
  • National Salad Week (UK) 7th – 13th July.
  • British Cheese Week 25th September – 3rd October 2010
  • National Steak Week from October 12-18
  • National Chocolate Week (UK)12th – 18th October 2009
  • British Sausage Week 2nd -8th November 2009
  • National Curry Week 21-27 November 2010

Let me know if there are any other food celebrations in the UK that I have missed.

Smallholder & Garden Festival By The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society May 2010

I have just found out that the Smallholder and Garden Festival held by The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society will be held on the 15th & 16th May 2010 at Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, Powys, LD2 3SY.

It sounds like it’s an ideal event for all those dreaming of the good life.

“The event is geared for the smallholder and the gardener and everything you want to know about how to make a start on a small country living can be found there, including experts to answer all your questions. There is even a property road show where you can find just the place to buy or rent to become a smallholder.”

2010 Attractions at this event include:

  • Black Mountains Falconry Display.
  • Scurry driving competition.
  • Blacksmithing and farriery competition.
  • Programme of demonstrations organised by the Welsh Farriers and Blacksmiths Association.
  • Ferrets 2000 – ferret racing.
  • See the third Folk Dance Festival.
  • Meirion Owen’s Quack Pack – duck herding demonstrations.
  • Rockwood Dog Display Team deliver an exhibition full of daring stunts and clever routines.
  • Swansea and District Beekeepers’ Society.
  • Titan the Robot show!
  • A new Spring Poultry Show is also being introduced at the Festival.

Buy Smallholder 2010 Tickets Online

Take advantage of the discount available by buying Smallholder 2010 tickets online and avoid the queuing on the gate!

Adult One Day Ticket Advanced online £ 9.00 On the gate £ 10.00
Child One Day Ticket (5-16 yrs) – Children Under 5 – FREE Advanced online £ 5.00 On the gate £ 5.00
Weekend Caravanning & Camping Advanced online£ 35.00 On the gate £ 35.00
Family 1 day ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children) Advanced online£ 25.00 On the gate £ 25.00

Hubby and I have pencilled in going to the event – let me know if you are attending.

LAMMA 2010

LAMMA 2010 is the 29th Annual Exhibition of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association.

The event will be held at the Newark showground on 20th & 21st January 2010.

There will be over 500 trade stands showing products and services from companies from all over the world.

There will be a wide range of productson show from farming and rural industries.

The event has free admission and free parking.

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British Cheese Week – 26th September – 4th October 2009

I have just heard that it is British Cheese Week next week, from Saturday 26th September til 4th October 2009.

The week involves a nationwide campaign to promote British cheese with the Great British Cheese Festival and the British Cheese Awards Dinner taking place in Cardiff.

Events will be taking place across the country.

Support British Cheese next week and let us know how you celebrated British Cheese Week.