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The Latest News from Old Sleningford Farm

10th August 2018

11th December 2016

Apple pressing dates for 2018 are now on the Courses and Events Page

Well, 2016 is nearly over and what a busy, productive and social year it has been at the farm. Busiest ever for apple juicing with around 20 tons of apples pressed, a couple of new courses and well attended workdays.

So what will 2017 bring? Hopefully more of the same! A list of all the courses we run at the farm have been added to the Courses and Events page. Dates are yet to be confirmed, anticipated in January, but in the meantime if you are interested in any of them please register your interest and we'll be in touch when the dates are arranged.

11th August 2016

After 4 enquiries about apple juicing dates in the last week, it was about time we got them sorted! We have 5 dates available at the farm and 3 dates at other venues - all details are on the apple juicing information page. It's looking like a good harvest - one of trees in the forest garden already has a branch down despite thinning the fruitlets in July - so we expect another busy year. If anyone has bottles to return they can do that before the juicing dates as I can then get them sterilised ready for refilling.

There's also places still available on the sausage making and smoking and curing courses in November, see the course page for details

27th January 2016

After a very hectic apple juicing season (15 tons of apples juiced!), we decided to take a bit of time off doing farm things, which meant we're a bit later getting our 2016 dates sorted. All done now, see the Courses and Events page  for details. There's more details about each course on the website now, and bookings can be made online - it's a trial to see if it works, let us know if it causes any problems.

The website now has a separate Workday page with all the workday dates and an idea of jobs to be done. However, due to Rachel breaking her ankle, the February workday wont be going ahead, probably the work and wassail will be rearranged to March - depends on how well recovery goes. Keep an eye on the website or our facebook page .

17th August 2015

Well, the apple harvest is looking like a massive one so it's time our juicing open dates were sorted! This year, as well as having open days at the farm, Rachel will be out demonstrating at Harlow Carr Gardens, Newby Hall Gardens and the Walled Garden in Ripon and you can take your apples to be juiced at these venues too. All details of dates, times etc are on the Apple Juicing pages, please read and inwardly digest these before you contact us with any questions. For those who have been before, a couple of changes to note - the suggested donation is now 25p and please see the returned bottle information, we are being more strict about the state bottles are returned to us in!

Speaking of returned bottles, if anyone has any to return and can get them back to us before the season starts, that would help me assess if I need to order any new ones and I'll be able to get them sterilised before the mayhem begins. Let me know if you can and we'll arrange it, but please note they have to be spotlessly clean, any dirty ones will be returned with you!

An exhibition of works inspired by our Forest Garden is being held at Number 6 Studio Gallery in Pateley Bridge from 21st to 31st August 2015. Meet the artists Julia Poulton, Anna Poulton, Eloise Nash and Laura Birdsall on Thursday 27th August late night opening.

27th April 2015

The basket making courses are proving so popular, we are holding another day on Sunday 10th May 2015. Details on the Courses and Events page. And don't forget, no workday in May, see you all again in June.

2nd March 2015

New facebook page launched! A page dedicated to all the happenings at Old Sleningford Farm.

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28th December 2014

Well, another year nearly over and we've just had the first snow at the farm. Apple juicing wasn't quite as busy as the previous year, many people saying their trees had variable crops. We still juiced several tons though. And if Terry Wilcox happens to see this, there's still 6 of your bottles of juice to collect!

2015 course dates are now confirmed starting with the Willow Chair Making, Sausage Making and Curing and Smoking courses in March. Have a look at the courses  page to see the full list along with other events and our workday dates.

WWOOFing dates have also been confirmed, as usual they are on the week prior to our workday so the week is ended meeting like minded people. The first week in April/May is a short one, starting on Monday and finishing Friday, as the weekend will be full of Keith's wedding. That means no workday in May either.

11th August 2014

It's time to get some apple juicing dates organised, the first enquiries from people with early apples have come in. So take a look at the Apple Juicing pages for all the dates, times and other useful information.

We've also put on the Courses and Events page a Sausage Making course and a Curing and Smoking Food course to round off our 2014 programme. 2015 dates will be announced in November so if you're not already on it, join our mailing list to be the first to know what's going on.

31st March 2014

Well, the rain has finally stopped and we've managed a few days in the garden. Spring is definitely in the air, lots of green shoots and plump buds, fingers crossed for no frost or snow for the next few weeks.

It will be all hands on spades on our workday this Sunday, 6th April. We've got over 500 trees to plant so come along and help - we'll need it! As always lunch is provided, come anytime from 10am.

27th January 2014

When will this rain ever stop? Puddles have turned in to small ponds and the ground squelches wherever you walk. We're so glad we decided not to have pigs over winter this year, it would have been horrid for them. But the weather doesn't stop us doing stuff, the courses and workdays are continuing and we've got a few group visits booked in for the spring. We've just had the first willow chair making course with two more beautiful chairs being made and are looking forward to workday on 2nd February when we will plant some apple trees that we grafted last year in to the Forest Garden. These trees will fill the last part of the Forest Garden and over the year we'll fill the space around them with other plants. A celebration may be in order in the autumn to mark the 10th year since we started planted - watch this space!

Speaking of courses, Jo Royle is once again running an Effortless Meditation course on Sunday 9th March. She has just got her new website up and running so have a look and contact Jo directly if you'd like to book.

There's spaces on all the other courses we're running. We're still deciding on dates for our WWOOF weeks as we've got other commitments and the Tour de France to factor in. If you would like to come for a week to help at the farm and have a date in mind then please get in touch as this might help us to make a decision on dates!

30th November 2013

Apple juicing is over for another year, we estimate around 15 tons of apples were juiced at the farm! It was great to see so many people, young and old, regulars and new visitors, coming and enjoying the process of making apple juice.

We now have dates for our 2014 courses, events and workdays, see the Courses and Events page. We have our usual selection of courses - Willow Chair Making, Pig Keeping, Forest Gardening, Hedgerow Foods and Medicines, Sausage Making, Curing and Smoking Food and Preserving the Harvest. New for this year is a Forest Garden Open Weekend in August where Rachel will be on hand to conduct guided tours and answers any questions people have and Tree medicine, a follow on from the Hedgerow Food and Medicine course. There are likely to be further additions to the programme of events so keep an eye on the website for updates. If you'd like further information on any of the courses then please use the contact form to request it.

30th September 2013

Apple juicing is well and truly upon us, and for the first time since we started offering the open days, we've had requests for days early in October. Therefore, an extra date has been added - Wednesday 9th October. Please note, this is only for juicing to take away, no juice can be left for pasteurising. We're aware that this is a weekday so if there is enough interest, the equipment could be made available until 6pm. Please contact us  (by email not phone please) if you would like to book a later session, these will be allocated on a first come first served basis. You will be turned away if you arrive without a booking! The dates now on the Courses and Events page are the only ones we are offering, and the 9th October is the only date we are offering an evening session, please do not contact us to ask if there are any others!

For any of you who are coming juicing, just a couple of points to make the process quicker and smoother for you: 
Wash your apples before you arrive - if you can't or don't have the facilities to wash them beforehand, don't worry as you can wash them when you arrive. The water will be cold, rubber gloves can help so bring some along.
Stacking the presses is easier and more efficient if you use your hands to spread the pulp. We notice that some people won't get their hands in the pulp so if you're one of them, bring some rubber gloves! 

Happy picking and see loads of you soon! 

18th August 2013

It's been a while since a news update - that doesn't mean there's been nothing go on at the farm, far from it! We're having the busiest soft fruit season ever, thankfully the weather is nice (well, most of the time) so picking has been a pleasure rather than a chore. July workday saw 40kg of gooseberries picked and topped and tailed, and August workday 69kg of blackcurrants, and that was only about half of the crop! Rachel is stocking up her jam supplies and trying out new recipes to use up as much as possible, gooseberry and ginger cordial will be on the shelves soon.

The apple harvest is looking good this year and we have put 5 juicing open days on the calendar. Saturday 21st September, Sunday 20th October, Saturday 26th October, Sunday 27th October and Wednesday 30th October which is in half term week. Please have a look at the Apple Juicing page if you would like to come along as all your questions should be answered there.

Speaking of apples, if anyone is looking for new trees for planting, a friend of ours has some grafted trees for sale. They are in pots so are ready to go now and there's a mixture of eating and cooking varieties. The scions were taken from trees from our Forest Garden and the orchards at Ampleforth Abbey and Husthwaite. She has some 2012 trees for £12.50 and 2013 for £10 each. Contact Anna by email or telephone 07811 33 21 77.

We still have a few courses left to run this year including Forest Gardening, Growing Organic Fruit and Veg and Effortless Meditation. See the courses and events page. We also have places available on the last 2 WWOOF weeks of the year, 26th August to 2nd Sept and 30th Sept to 7th October. These are still a busy time of the year for us, especially as the apple harvest is going to be a big one, so if you'd like to come for a week helping on the farm, have a look at the WWOOF  page to see if it's for you.

17th November 2012

2013 course dates are now on the Courses and Events page , our usual range of smallholding and food related courses plus 4 new ones - Really Useful Gardens, Gardening for Wildlife, Organic Fruit and Veg Growing and Five Days of Forest Gardening. We may also be running a basket making and willow structure course, please get in touch if you are interested in either of these. Sausage Making and Curing and Smoking course dates yet to be confirmed, again get in touch if you are interested in them and we'll put you on the waiting list.

WWOOFing dates  for 2013 are also now on the website.

Rachel has set up a Facebook page and you can now become her friend and be kept up to date with goings on at the farm. Click on the logo at the bottom of any page on the website to join.

The apple juicing season has finished for another year and as expected numbers were down. We still juiced around 5 tons of apples though. Let's hope 2013 is a better one for fruit and course attendance than 2012, it's been a challenging year to say the least!

10th September 2012

Anyone Got Any Apples?

Details of our annual open juicing days are now on the Courses and Events page. PLEASE NOTE - due to the lack of apples and late ripening, we have reduced the number of dates. It may be possible to come on dates other than those advertised when Rachel is using the equiment, this will be by prior arrangement only.

Rachel is also appealing to anyone who has spare apples to get in touch . Picking and collection may be possible, and a thank-you bottle of apple juice or cider for every 30kg picked, or 20kg collected, will be given. Thanks in anticipation!

And don't forget, anyone who comes juicing is invited to our annual cider festival in June. See you then.

27th August 2012

Even though the weather hasn't been conducive for spending too long in the garden, I don't seem to have had time to keep on top of the website as I promised myself! However, I have managed to update the Past Courses and Events page and included a gallery of WWOOFers showing the variety of jobs they do whilst with us for their week.

2012 is proving a slow year for course bookings, we think due to people being careful with their spending. We still have places available on the Forest Garden Course on 8th September , which will be going ahead.

2012 is also proving a bad year for top fruit, we have about a dozen apples on all the trees we have in the forest garden and orchard, no pears and half a dozen plums. We hope that others will have apples and are still planning on doing our open days for juicing, but these dates may change nearer the time when we know just how many/few there actually are. IF YOU KNOW OF ANY SPARE APPLES, I WILL USE THEM! Even if it's just a tree full, and I may be able to arrange for my team of helpers from Ripon Community Link to come and pick them if they are close enough to the farm.

There will be a members evening for Old Sleningford Preserves members, and future members, on Wednesday 19th September, a chance to come and sample some new and interesting flavours which may make it in to the delivery bags in the future. Please get in touch if you would be interested in joining us for the evening to find out more about monthly and bi-monthly membership options.

1st May 2012

After a few weeks of sun and warmth, the rain and chilly north winds have returned. Not good gardening weather but it does mean that other jobs can get done. One that has been on the to do list for a while is to update the website - not only has the design had a face lift, but there are now lots and lots of new photographs, especially of the Forest Garden . There is a brief timeline with a more detailed look year by year. Unfortunately, we don't have many pictures of the early stages of the Forest Garden so if anyone has any they wouldn't mind being put onto the website, please get in touch. It would be great to have a full record of the Forest Garden development.

Many of the other pages on the website have been updated too, with lots of photographs on every page so have a good look through. The Past Courses and Events page will also be updated shortly (when the next rainy/cold snap arrives!).

As usual, we have a full programme of courses coming up and May and June are particularly busy with Forest Gardening, Hedgerow Foods and Medicines, Sausage Making, and Curing and Smoking Food. Also in June is the annual Open Gardens, this year on the evening of Wednesday 6th June as well as the weekend of 9th & 10th of June. An extra attraction on that weekend is Anna Poulton and Stuart Whitehead opening their studio at the farm as part of the North Yorkshire Open Studios . More details on all of these on the Courses and Events page.

 And there are still places available on our WWOOFing weeks for anyone who would like a week working in our Forest Garden, raised beds, scything, feeding pigs, eating lots of food and meeting like minded people.

14th February 2012

After a frozen couple of weeks, it's finally looking like a bit of gardening may be possible. Good job too as we've got 420 trees to plant! We are doing this on our workday, Sunday 4th March, and hope to see lots of people - bring a spade if you have one. Details on the courses and events page.

We've decided our 2011 WWOOFers did such a good job that we are going to offer placements again this year. Dates and some information of the WWOOFing  page.

We are still able to accommodate group visits under the LAND scheme, if you are a voluntary group of more than 10 people you could claim your travel expenses in order to have a guided tour around the farm. See www.permaculture.org.uk/land

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