Looking for that Perfect Present?

The ideal gift for the man (or woman) who has everything – The Erlas Victorian Walled Garden calendar 2016 is now available for purchase.

Featuring twelve (yes, one for each month!) high-quality photos taken in our garden over several years. Additionally the cover features a lovely watercolour of the West Gardens by Linda Beswick.

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Collect yours from the Garden for the bargain price of £5!  If you buy 2 or more, we’ll even deliver them to your door at no extra charge (within a 3 mile radius of Wrexham).

Copies are limited so call us now to reserve yours and avoid those disappointed faces on Christmas morning!

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Xmas Fayre Competition Winner

Many congratulations to Damon Hughes who won the Treasure Hunt competition at our Christmas Fayre.

The £25 voucher was kindly donated by Split the Difference (www.split-the-difference.co.uk), a local company with a fleet of Vintage and Classic VW Campervans for self-drive holidays and chauffeur driven wedding hire.

The main photo shows Damon receiving his prize from Paul Williamson of Split The Difference

Damon and mum- Prize from Paul
Luck winner Damon with his mum and Paul alongside a classic VW Camper
Everyone next to the VW
Some of the Erlas Victorian Walled Garden team posing with the Camper van

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a local business who’d be prepared to donate a prize for our regular competition and get a mention on our website, please get in touch.

Christmas Fayre Success!

Thanks to everyone who supported, attended, and donated to our Christmas Craft Fayre on 21st November.  We raised over £1200 from the various stalls, raffle & competitions which will be used to help the charity continue it’s services.

The winner of our raffle was Andrew Bailey

Special thanks again go to Ian Lucas MP who attended with his wife Norah, and Lesley Griffiths AM for their continued support.

And of course, Mr Woolberry made a special guest appearance – with a mystery companion!

Recipe of the Month – Potato & Leek soup

The recipe for this warming & tasty soup is below:

To make 2 pints soup:

Ingredients:

4 to 6 leeks, (depending on size).
4 medium sized potatoes.
1 large red onion.
2 vegetable stock cubes.
1 teaspoon mixed herbs or celery salt.
2 pints water (to cover vegetables).

Method

Peel and finely chop all the vegetables and place in a pan.

Pour 2 pints of stock onto vegetables, and bring to the boil, stirring. Add 2 stock cubes and some mixed herbs or celery salt, plus some ground pepper. Turn to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Some nutmeg can be used to ‘spice up the soup’ and some oatmeal can be added to thicken the soup. (The soup can be made creamier by adding some milk instead of the water.)

and ENJOY!

Amy enjoying our Potato & Leek soup
Amy enjoying our Potato & Leek soup

Don’t forget we have leeks & potatoes available from the Garden!

September Competition Winner

Congratulations to Steve Anderson of Northwich on winning our September Competition. Steve correctly found that our sneaky fairy had hidden herself on our home page, in the background of the Visitor Comments section!

Steve wins a gift voucher, donated by Redslade Communications, along with a selection of fresh produce from the Garden.

Unfortunately Steve couldn’t collect his prizes in person so his partner, Val Joy (who had also submitted a correct answer!) accepted them on his behalf.

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Val receiving the selection of fresh produce from Libby Hughes, Garden manager.
Dave Jacobs, owner at Redslade Communications presenting Val with Steve's prize
Dave Jacobs, owner at Redslade Communications presenting Val with Steve’s voucher

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe of the Month – With Spaghetti Squash

We’re now harvesting our Spaghetti Squash at the Garden – pop in to see us, buy one and then try our latest Recipe of the Month!

Spaghetti Squash has solid, bright yellow flesh and is similar to other raw squash but when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti – hence the name!

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Thanks to Pat from Split The Difference, the Vintage VW Camper Hire Co. for this delicious recipe

Meatballs with ‘squash’ spaghetti (Serves 4 people)

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
Olive oil for rubbing on cut surfaces of squash
Salt and black pepper

For the sauce: –
2 tins chopped tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon mixed herbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ red pepper, cut into thin slices

For the meatballs: –
½ small onion
500g good quality minced beef/steak
Salt and pepper

Grated parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves

Method
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and rub the cut surfaces with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper
Place the two halves on a baking sheet, cut surfaces down, and bake at 200C for approx. 20 mins

Make the meatballs by mixing the onion, salt & pepper and beef, by hand.
Shape into small balls and dry fry until cooked all the way through

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and heat gently for 20 mins (may need to add a small amount of water)

Once the squash is cooked, the flesh will come away in spaghetti like strands (run a fork lengthways through the flesh)

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Place the ‘spaghetti’ on a plate and top with the tomato sauce and then the meatballs.

Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and torn basil leaves, serve & enjoy!

Visit to Oaktree Farm – 17th September

Thanks to funding from the Federation of City Farms and Gardens and from the Community Land Advisory Service, 31 students, volunteers and staff members were able to enjoy a visit to a similar project called Oaktree Farm, in Staffordshire.

A few of us had travelled there before, so we knew that we would be welcomed by David Moreton, the manager, and his enthusiastic team members, who help run a rural project, based on a farm. Everyone was excited about our day out, made even more enticing by the recommendations of being able to stroke the farm animals, and eat lovely sandwiches and cake in a recently constructed café and training kitchen there. (Washing our hands in-between, of course!)

James stroking the tame goat
James stroking the tame goat

We arrived safely at 10.45am, and then were shown the hens, goats, guinea pigs and ducks. Just before a delivery of hay, we were able to look at 4 young calves, which the farm had recently acquired.
They were very tame, and didn’t mind being stroked. Then some of our group went to see the green and glass houses, some of which had tomatoes and dahlias growing inside. Some people went to see the small orchard with the medlar tree, and the growing plots, which had some lovely flowers and vegetables ripening there.

Others were keen to see the shop, to pick up some lovely pottery work, which is produced by their team members under the guidance of a potter.

Ray buying a lovely pottery pagoda in the shop
Ray buying a lovely pottery pagoda in the shop
The Pottery shop at Oaktree Farm
The Pottery shop at Oaktree Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Others were keen to eat up their sandwiches, as it was getting on for that important time of the day.

Dilys, Chris and Jean enjoying a lovely lunch
Dilys, Chris and Jean enjoying a lovely lunch

Everyone paid a visit to theOaktree Tea Room, which was built about 5 years ago with National Lottery Funding. David and his volunteers told us that this had proved a big success, drawing people to their project, who could buy some plants or crafts and enjoy tasty light refreshments, all prepared on site. Geoff and Ian were particularly impressed by the food, as were Jean and Chris. Dan liked the lemon drizzle cake, and Avril bought a piece of cake to take home to her carers.

We could see that the team members there were involved in many tasks either in the café, the kitchen, the farm and the greenhouses,
and gained many useful life skills.

Sylvia and James by the medlar tree
Sylvia and James by the medlar tree
On the way to lunch
On the way to lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kay, Ben, Jane and James admiring the guinea pigs
Kay, Ben, Jane and James admiring the guinea pigs
Bartek enjoying himself
Bartek enjoying himself

Everyone had a good time, and some of our students were so tired, they fell asleep on the way home.

It has been agreed that we will definitely go on another day trip out soon, and the visit has generated lots of ideas for us to consider as we go forward in our own growth and development.

Hunting for the Erlas Fairy?

If you haven’t entered our prize competition yet, there’s still plenty of time for a chance to win a gift voucher and some tasty fresh produce.

We know she’s a sneaky fairy and well-hidden but the Elf police have given us this photo which may help you to track her down!

Don’t forget to submit your entry via our competition page.

Happy hunting!
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Fresh Produce!

We have potatoes, cabbage, runner beans, dessert and eating apples available at the moment.
There will soon be spaghetti squash ready, and our mulberries are continuing to ripen.
Crab apples will be also ready soon, as well as leeks and squash!

All grown organically, in Wrexham!

Call us on 01978 265058 to check availability and arrange a visit!

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