Hooters Hall

Posts Tagged ‘agricultural show’

East of England Autumn Show

We’ve just got back from spending the weekend in Cambridgeshire and going to the East of England Autumn Show. Out of all the shows we’ve been to this year I think this was definitely the best and not just because the weather was amazing.

The main attraction and difference from shows we’ve been to recently was the number of animals. The shire horse show was at the heart of things and there was a very strong presence from the RBST, with loads of rare breeds including native horses which was really interesting. There was a really wide variety of chickens, sheep and pigs as well as donkeys and goats. We did find the fancy rats,  I’m still not sure why they are fancy though.   

As well as the animals there was the giant vegetable competition, with the biggest marrow in Europe. There was a  very interesting sausage and salami making demonstrations from the Cambridge Self Sufficiency Group. Chris picked up some tips and has been inspired to try salami making. All the usual clothing and country accessory stalls were represented with a lot of good deals because it’s the end of the season. Chris bought a very nice tweed shooting coat and I got some muck boots. We also picked up yet more smallholding books from the smallholder bookshop stall. Food wise as well as some old spot sausages from farmhouse direct we also got a syrup sponge pudding from the old fashioned pudding company for our tea tonight.

There was also a vintage steam powered carousel, dog agility, welly wanging and archery so something to keep the whole family occupied. The East of England Agricultural society organised the show and they put on a number of shows and events throughout the year; which if they are half as good as this show would definitely be worth a visit. Here’s a link to their website http://www.eastofengland.org.uk/index.htm  

And here are some pictures of the day.

Sissinghurst smallholder show

This weekend it’s the first ever smallholder show at Sissinghurst castle and gardens. Sissinghurst is a National trust property in Kent near Cranbrook. The famous gardens were developed by Vita Sackville-West and Sir Harold Nicolson around the surviving parts of an Elizabethan mansion. We didn’t get chance to check out the gardens but hopefully we’ll be back to visit in the future. We did get to have a good look around the vegetable garden and polytunnels that supply the restaurant on the site and they were very impressive. Although there are some full time gardeners employed by at Sissinghurst a army of volunteers make sure the veg patch is successful and the restaurant kept well supplied with tasty organic produce. There is also a working farm on the site and we tried out some of their very tasty Sussex beef.

The show itself was quite small although they did have a programme of talks including Monty Don and Sarah Raven. Kent smallholders were there and there were a lot of plant stalls (I picked up some herbs for my new herb bed and some box (Buxus sempervirens). Chris got some cheese making supplies from goat nutrition limited, here’s their link http://home.btconnect.com/gnltd/shop/index.htm and we had some very tasty ice cream from Taywell ice cream.

It was an enjoyable day, despite the rain, but hopefully there will be more smallholders and more livestock there in the future. On the way back we popped in to the Taywell farm shop and picked up a very tasty sponge cake as well as some steaks and veg. It a decent farm shop although there wasn’t a wide selection of meat. They are the same people who make the Taywell icecream that we got at the fair. This is the link to the website http://www.taywell.co.uk/farm-stores.html.

Here’s some pics from Sissinghurst including some of the vegetable garden and polytunnels.