Thursday, 23 August 2012

Bourne's Cheese Visit

In 1931 Bourne's were one of 153 cheese makers in Cheshire.
Today they are the only one left. So we were very privileged to see the cheese making process here and have John Bourne himself explain it to us.

 Above, you can see the curd being passed through a mincing machine prior to being poured into the cloth lined moulds, before being taken for pressing.

After the tour we were treated to a cheese tasting, which included their soft "Camembourne", Cheshire Blue, and a ginger cheese designed to complement Christmas cake.
You can learn more about Bourne's and cheese making in general at their website, but note that it has not been updated for some time.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Visit to L'Endroit Honey, Congleton.

Today (Sunday 5th Aug) as one of the F4MD member events we were able to visit Eli from L'Endroit Restaurant in Congleton and his bees who make the L'Endroit honey on our produce list.
He has 65 hives, 6 of which are in Congleton and the others spread over 19 locations. 

We donned our protective clothing and started off near the restaurant where he has his young 'Nursery Bees' then walked just 5 mins away to see the other group of mature hives. As you got nearer you could hear the hum of thousands of busy bees.

The pics show the filled honeycomb which is very heavy and the queen bee with a blue marker on it. The queen can live for up to 5 years but during the summer the worker bees only live for 6 weeks and in winter, 6 months. The queens are pedigree and often sent through the post if purchased.
Last year Eli was able to produce approx. 2.3 tonnes of honey which is about 6000 jars! When the honey is harvested there is always plenty left behind for the bees to have, approx 25kg over winter. We all really enjoyed the visit and none of us were stung!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Teggs Nose Bilberry Pick

F4M were invited to join Ranger Martin James who took a group of nearly 40 people around Teggs Nose pointing out the Bilberry berries and the best sites where the berries can be found. It was easy to spot them once you knew what you were looking for. The black bilberries are quite small (a bit smaller than a blackcurrant) and taste a bit like blackberries. 

It takes a while to pick them, I picked 450g in about 1 hour and a half! See picture. They can be used in pies or for making jam. We met other pickers and one man who had made his own Bilberry 'comb' for faster picking. There are more pictures and events listed on the ranger blog via . We hope to join up with them again next year.