Church Farm Ardeley

A Free Range Experience

Leave a comment

Swede and Bacon Pie

Christmas food!

Party nibbles, champagne, seafood bonanzas, magnificent meats in the form of geese, turkey, beef and more, puddings and cakes galore!



Now, I know, swede neither entices nor delights any of the senses normally. It’s large, woody looking root, that’s beige (never a good start) and is often left rattling around the veg cupboard because no one knows what to do with it.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the swede should not be estimated. Coupled together with a few delicious rashers of Church Farm bacon, a garlic clove, and some flavoursome stock, swede takes on a whole new light!

Swede and bacon pie! Its an excellent winter warmer, and really show cases this root vegetable, an opportunity it seems to rarely get! And this is such a shame, as swede is very versatile. You can roast it, stew it, soup it, mash it (swede make excellent mash), chip it (yes, chip it! Sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and parmesan for an alternative to potato wedges), and it keeps for ages. Just store in a cool place, and all is well in the land of the swede.

So, what you need is:

  • 1 x 350g pack Church Farm Bacon
  • 1 large swede
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 potatoes
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • 400ml chicken stock (home made is best but any good quality stock will do)


Fry off the garlic and onion in a little olive oil, add the bacon and brown. Dice the swede and carrot and add to the pan with the thyme leaves (strip them from the stalks) and season. Add the stock, and simmer for around 10 minutes or until the veg are tender.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water, when al dente, drain and mash with plenty of salt and pepper. Transfer the veg mix to a pyrex pie dish, and add the mash topping. Sprinkle with cheese, and grill until the cheese has melted and is golden brown. Delicious!

Leave a comment

Red Skies and Red Birds

Winter, at Church Farm, is turning out to be a very beautiful, but very cold season. We have already had some gorgeous clean and clear frosty mornings, and, at the end of the day, some magnificent sun sets that have set the sky a blaze. The view over the horticulture fields, as they slope down and on into Lowany and Upany fields, is particularly spectacular on these occasions.

Winter isn’t always the best time for wildlife, but there have been some treats on the farm. Not in the least, one of my favourite winter migrants, the red wing.
Red wings are thrushes, like black birds and song thrushes that are a regular sight in our gardens, that migrant over to the UK from Scandinavia, Russia, and northern regions of Asia. They are a very common sight in winter, with a distinctive red flank and creamy strips around the eyes. They are very pretty birds, and are a welcome sight darting in and around the hedgerows.

Severe winters can cause the redwing many problems; even though the world population is healthy, particularly bad weather can really push up the mortality rate for these migrants. Sadly, they rarely visit gardens, as the many bird feeders up and down the country would provide a real boost to these birds, but it is encouraging that organic farms such as Church Farm offer open country side birds like the redwing the chance to over winter safely and securely.

The British Trust for Ornithology are currently conducting a winter thrush survey, to understand more about birds such as the redwing and weather the UK offers a good home for them during the winter months and to identify what they need to survive through to the spring. The BTO are a fantastic organisation, so please register and give them a helping hand counting their thrushes!

Leave a comment

Xmas Box Gift Extravaganza

Its not long until Christmas ladies and gentleman! and what better way to celebrate the festive season than with a lovley fresh Church Farm box of meat and veg!

Our box team have compiled a gift really worth giving. Electric tooth brushes and bottles of whiskey are all well and good, but they are a bit on the tame side. Instead, why not send your loved one’s the opportunity to experience and enjoy organically produced fresh veg and high welfare rare breed meat, and support Church Farm in it’s endeavours to supply you, the public, with good wholesome healthy food.

So, what do you get?

Our Christmas Box Gift Voucher entitles the holder to one small vegetable box and one small farm variety box worth a grand total of 39 pounds.

The small veg box will contain 8 portions / varieties of fresh, organically grown vegetables including potatoes, onions and carrots, and the small farm variety meat box will contain a small roasting joint (min 1kg), six traditional sausages, 1 pack of bacon, a pack of mince, and a stewing/frying/grilling.

These boxes make an unusual gift and are a great way to introduce friends and family to a box scheme, and to Church Farm. All new box scheme members enjoy free farm membership with perks such as special discounts on events and courses as well as the chance to participate hands on with our farm experience days.

For further details and to purchase your voucher, please call the farm on 01438 861447 and ask for Ceejay, our Box Scheme manager, or email