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Spend an enjoyable and relaxing weekend in the lovely surroundings of Abbey Home Farm as you weave a basket or two. You may also wish to make a piglet or chicken, or even some plant supports for your garden. During this holiday, you will not only learn about basket weaving, but you will also learn a variety of techniques and methods to create delicious dishes using fresh ingredients straight from the farm.
Abbey Home Farm is a 1600-acre mixed organic farm on the edge of Cirencester. You will stay in the brand new bedrooms, made of wood from the farm and nestled into the side of the wood, overlooking the vegetable garden and beyond. All rooms open up into a wide south-facing veranda and are en-suite, with underfloor heating.
The Organic Farm Shop will provide organic cotton bed linen, which is hand block printed in the farm's own tiny workshop in Rajasthan. There is a large communal space with a wood burner for eating, chatting, and relaxing, as well as an outdoor fire for finer nights.
Vegan and vegetarian foods will be the highlight of this holiday and the fluid environment will allow the program to be versatile. While you are here, you will learn about micro greens and sprouting; how to grow and use them. You will prepare a five-course fine dining menu, including tips on timing and presentation. Healthy brunch recipes, delicious and healthy recipes for a sweet tooth, and a tour of a certified organic vegetable garden will also be included.
During your holiday, you will learn knife skills, a variety of cooking methods, and vegetable preparation techniques. You will also learn which are the cupboard essentials for the natural kitchen and the foundations in cooking a variety of grains, beans, and pulses.
You will be working with stripped and unstripped willow, which will give a variety of colors and textures and will allow you to create beautiful baskets and other decorations. All the tools and willow will be supplied by the tutor and there will be books and photographs to browse through and perhaps also a DVD to watch in the evening about growing willow on the Somerset Levels. This course starts on Friday evening and finishes before lunch on Sunday.
A tour of a certified organic vegetable garden is included in this holiday.
Norah made her first basket nearly thirty years ago and then trained with basketmaker Bryn Mathews. She has also traveled to study the work of basketmakers in Ireland and Poland. Norah is now a full time basketmaker and tutor; teaching day and residential courses all year round. She produces a range of baskets for sale and has expanded her range to include willow Christmas decorations, garden plant supports, and living willow structures. The bulk of her willow comes from Musgrove Willows in Westonzoyland but she also incorporates more unusual colored willows from Powys and Herefordshire.
This cooking and willow weaving holiday will take place in the town of Cirencester, England.
Much of the food served over the weekend is grown on the farm itself, is all cooked on the farm by the great café team, is vegetarian, and is 100 percent organic, licensed by the soil association. Start with a two course supper on the Friday evening and a good breakfast to get you going on Saturday morning, followed by a light lunch, and another veggie feast in the evening. Sunday will start with breakfast and then the traditional Sunday roast with a meat option from the farm. Tea, coffee, herbal tea, and homemade cordials will be available throughout the weekend. Alcohol will be available to buy in the evenings.
During this holiday, you will enjoy green smoothies for breakfast, along with protein and vegetable-packed ways to start the day. Salads for all seasons will also be available, including the basics of dressings and delicious garnishes, as well as soulful soups, made with homemade stock and seasonal vegetables. Since there is a very fluid environment, you can expect the following dishes to change.
Bus number 51 / 151 / 51a runs between Swindon and Cheltenham via Cirencester, while bus number 881 / 885 runs from the station to Cirencester center.
Both Cheltenham and Swindon have mainline train stations. The nearest train station is Kemble, which is 5 miles from Cirencester. A number of national trails run through the Cotswolds. The Cotswold Way, The Thames Path, The Macmillan Way, and the Monarchs Way all pass very close to The Organic Farm Shop.
A wide number of taxi services are available from Kemble train station or from Cirencester.
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