Market day

Market day

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Dripping with apples.

Good afternoon people!

We have been so busy here preparing for the Novikov Autumn Market that I’m afraid the blog has been rather silent. However now that the storm has passed I can reveal some of what we have been up to. Selecting produce to exhibit is always a painstaking process. The weather so heavily dictates specific ripening times – even with glasshouse grown produce (variable light levels/ambient humidity etc) that it’s really not right until the day before that we can tell what will be ready and in prime condition.

We really wanted Novikov’s customers to get a taste and feel for what we do here, so focussed on things that are currently in season, taste great and look stunning.

Our vines are looking great and despite not being quite ripe, we cut some for display…

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Dessert grapes, freshly snipped from the vine house.

We anticipated that the figs would catch the eye and taste great. Here they are being harvested from the walls…

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Harvest day for the market, dawned wet, cold and miserable. Here Benjy and Raffe pick figs tucked up in winter woollies!

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Ooooh look. Custard squash, waiting to be chosen. Pick me. Please.

Piling up all the produce in the potting shed, it was great to see so much of what we have grown from seed (and generous hope) transformed into such colour, texture and size.

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We loaded up the bounty late in the evening, ready for our 5.30am departure. After putting so much effort and love into our growing, we didn’t want to leave anything to chance. Being country bodies, we all dread the London traffic with a passion (nothing fills us gardeners with more dread than being stuck in rush hour with wilting produce). Up here the roads are wonderfully empty with most delays caused by tractors and cyclists who tend to pull over as soon as about five car’s accumulate.

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We made my trug one of the focal points, filling it with a tumble of radish, elderberries, grapes, apples, nasturtiums, runner beans, lavender, sweetcorn and more. I even managed to fit in the beautiful spoon that Frank the tree surgeon carved from box wood.

On a prominent corner we had a cornucopia of pristine microherbs tumbling from planters…

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In open bowls and on chopping boards we had a selection of tasters and trials. They went down really well, with customers enjoying the peppery kick of the mustard in the Asian mixes.

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Benjy with Radish ‘supernova’ , Chard ‘bright lights’ damsons, elderberries, Victoria plums, apples (yes, we did polish them) and boxes of our figs.

Here we all are looking very proud of our display…

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From left: Raffe, me and Guy

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Myself and Benjy

On the stand behind us, look what we found!…

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Our beautiful BE produce transformed into a fantastic selection of produce.

Meet Jun, Head of Patisserie. He has been whipping our fruit into shape…

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Jun, with some of the BE preserves.

Jun also made these…

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Respect where it’s due. These are a work of art. The fig tart was AMAZING. But OMG. The chocolate cake? !!!

I may not be much more of a farmhouse cook than a chef, but I do love feeding people with sun and rain raised food, and the samples of BE figs, tomatoes, apples and microherbs were going down a treat which made me very happy.

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Safely back at base camp its caffeine fuelling getting me and the gang through. I apologise if some of these images come to you on the ‘huh’ as the Suffolk saying goes (or crooked) I think it’s a problem with the website I use – the images are definitely correctly aligned when I publish. I’m looking into it.

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See you soon X

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