Marie-Claire Kidd's blog

Meeting our producers

Peter Sargent

A big thank you to grower Peter Sargent (pictured), beekeeper Yvonne Kilvington and Rackel Liles of Longley Farm for hosting our first meet the producer event last Thursday at the Green Valley Grocer.

Lots of fun was had by all, as adults and children alike enjoyed asking questions and tasting the producers' delicious, locally made food.

This week we have two more meet the producer events at the Green Valley Grocer:

Wednesday September 5, 2-5pm, with Mike Shaw, producer of Scape Honey and Carl Warburton, who makes Pextenement Cheese in Todmorden


Thursday September 6, 2-7pm, with Michael Blake, who grows on a Slaithwaite allotment, Matt Betts of the Handmade Bakery, Slaithwaite, and Rob North of Pure North Cider Press, Holmfirth

Please do come along, have a taste and find out more about the great local products available in the shop.

Spoon to be held...

Thank you to Alan Scully of Birch Forest Schools, who led the recent wild food walk for the Green Valley Grocer.

He is taking bookings for a spoon carving course, which will be held in Slaithwaite on September 23.

Please take a look at his flyer....

Spoon to be held...

Thank you to Alan Scully of Birch Forest Schools, who led the recent wild food walk for the Green Valley Grocer.

He is taking bookings for a spoon carving course, which will be held in Slaithwaite on September 23.

Please take a look at his flyer....

Product of the month - strawberries

Strawberries and cream or ice cream. Oh yes.

Strawberry cheesecake. Mmmmmmmm.

Strawberry crumble. Amazing.

But why not try something different with our prettiest fruit?

How about strawberry and spinach salad. It's easy. Just combine 500g spinach with 1 large punnet of strawberries, sliced finely, and a handful of toasted pecan nuts.

And dress with raspberry vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon of mustard powder, vegetable oil of your choice and 2 teaspoons poppy seeds. Season to taste (you don't really need any with this salad, bt it's up to you).

It may sound like an odd combination but it's addictive.

And for the grown ups, it's strawberry daquiri time!

Blend 4 ripe strawberries with 2 teaspoons of white sugar, 35ml of white rum, a teaspoon of strawberry liqueur or strawberry schnapps if you have it, the juice of a lime and an ice cube. When the mixture is well blended pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with half a strawberry.
Chin chin!

Growers and preservers, we want you!

Would you like to grow or make preserves for the Green Valley Grocer? If so we'd like to hear from you.

We're looking for new suppliers who grow or produce in the Colne Valley, or anywhere within 30 miles of the shop.

If you're interested, take a look at these advice leaflets, which are designed to answer frequently asked questions. To view them just click on the attachments below. If you're having trouble viewing them simply ask a member of staff for a copy in the shop on Carr Lane, Slaithwaite.

Tax advice for suppliers is also available from the shop or on this website (in the 'growers' section).

After you've read the leaflet and had a think, let us know that you're interested and we'll talk to you in more detail about your produce and how and when we'll buy it.

If you have any questions please ask shop manager Carol or local food co-ordinator Marie-Claire Kidd and we will do our best to advise you.

(If you'd like to come to the shop for a chat about local food Thursday afternoons between 1pm and 6.30pm are best - that's when Marie-Claire is working).

We look forward to hearing from you!

Product of the month - peas

Now is the time to buy the first of the season English peas, in the pod. The earlier in the season you get them, the more delicious, and expensive, they are, but they are worth it

They are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin and Manganese.

Peapods are botanically a fruit, since they contain seeds developed from the ovary of a pea flower. However, they are considered to be a vegetable in cooking.

They are delicious raw. They're a great treat for children instead of sweets, and much more fun!

They make a lovely salad. Try a simple garden pea salad, made with raw or cooked peas and a dressing of your choice - olive oil-based or creamy. Add boiled eggs, spring onions and, if you like, cheese. Reccommended is a fresh mix of peas, feta and mint with good olive oil, generously seasoned with salt and pepper, wiht just a splash of lemon or white wine vinegar.

Raw peas make a great hummus-style dip. Blend them with garlic, oilive oil, lemon, salt and pepper, to create a great dip or sauce.

Boiled or steamed they're a great accompaniment to any meal, but there's no reason they shouldn't be the star of the show.

Try this recipe for pea soup, from the Yes Peas website. You won't regret it:

30g butter

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 small leek, white only part, washed and chopped

1 stick celery, finely chopped

1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock

150ml double cream

Sea salt and black pepper

750g peas

1 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped

Melt the butter in a large heavy based saucepan; add the onion, leek and celery and cook gently until the onion is soft, season with sea salt and black pepper. Stir in the stock and cream. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for approximately 5 - 8 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. Add the peas and thyme and bring to the boil and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the peas are just tender. Do not overcook the peas. Remove from the heat and blend the soup until smooth, season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

New products, from down the road

We've expanded the shop, and we're still expanding our range to fill it!

The Green Valley Grocer is home to several new-to-us products, including authentic spice mixes from Linthwaite, handmade toiletries from Golcar and rapeseed oil from North Yorkshire.

We also have a new range of preserves from Lily Pickles of Holmfirth. Her top sellers include hot'n'smokey chilli jam, rhubarb and orange chutney, caramelised red onion and cranberry marmalade and pear and walnut chutney.

The spice mixes come from The Spice is Right, a small manufacturer based at Colne Valley Business Park, Linthwaite. The team there mix restaurant style curry spices into handy sized packs and.... this the best bit... there's a really easy to follow recipe on the back of each pack. Mixes include tikka masala, balti, vindaloo, dopiaza and bhuna. There are also dhal and bhaji mixes for simple side dishes.

We have expanded our range of Lily Bee products to include lots of different soaps, with delicious fragrances like rosemary and spearmint, lemongrass, olive, and chamomile and neroli. And we're still stocking her fantastic honey balms and creams. Look out for the new display next to the till.

Another new addition is Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil from Malton, North Yorkshire. As well as the original oil, which is great for both cooking and salads, we're selling their flavoured oils, mayonnaise and garlic mayonnaise. For a limited time only, 500ml original cold pressed rapeseed oil is £2.99 at the GVG.

As you may know, our aim is to make sure half of our stock is sourced locally - from within 30 miles of the shop - by 2015. Please help us reach this target by looking out for local products when you shop at the GVG.

Edibles leaves are back!

Edibles, a co-operative grower based at Paddock Farm in West Slaithwaite, is once again supplying the Green Valley Grocer with salad leaves, fresh from its polytunnel.

It has also made us some yummy Seville orange marmalade, which is available at the shop now too.

The co-op is a relatively new enterprise but is already one of our biggest local growers. We hope to receive a wider range of produce from the team - Rosie, Steve and Pip - as they develop their seven acres.

For more about Edibles see its website:

Product of the month - honey

It's springtime and the local honey is flowing at the GVG!

We have three local honeys to choose from: Colne Valley Honey, produced in Slaithwaite by Paul Webley; Scape Honey, produced in Scapegoat Hill by Mike and Sue Shaw; and Joyce Jones' Yorkshire Honey, produced in Elland.

None of these honeys are processed. They are strained to take out the impurities and heated gently to 40-50C to get the honey into jars, but they are raw, unfiltered, pure and natural.

Thousands of people swear by honey as a natural remedy for hay fever. A spoonful a day, preferably starting well before the pollen season, is said to reduce the symtoms significantly and in some cases completely.

The principle behind this is desensitisation. The pollen bees collect is the heavy-grained variety that doesn't cause problems. But, honey being sticky, it may also contain small amounts of the lighter, wind-blown pollens that inflame the lining of the nose and eyes. These are chiefly from grass and trees such as birch, which normally begin to blossom around the third week of April and trigger allergies in a quarter of hay-fever sufferers.

Those who believe in this remedy say time is of the essence. Apparently once the symptoms start to appear, honey won’t be much of a cure or a benefit. So it’s best to start before the pollen season begins. That way your body gets used to the pollen before it starts flying up your nose -  so now is the time if you want to try it.

Studies have shown that as an antibacterial and healing agent honey can be better than over-the-counter remedies for coughs, colds and sore throats. With hay fever however, evidence is anecdotal. Bee-keepers are wary of making extravagant claims because, although many people are convinced of its effectiveness, it doesn't seem to work for everyone.

Nettle tea is known to be a natural anti-histamine. Adding a teaspoon of honey will sweeten it up a little, and could help prevent hay fever.

Whether you're looking for a  natural remedy or not, you can still enjoy honey for it's delicious sticky sweetness. We love it drizzled on porridge, or as a substitute for sugar in baking and cooking.

Honey mustard salad dressing is a simple classic - honey, olive or rapeseed oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Or try whipping up a creamy one with honey, mayonaise, lemon juice and mustard. It also makes a great dip.

Honey's fabulous in stir fries and marinades, it's great on roasts, epecially duck or ham, and it's wonderful with cheese. To make a simple starter, grill slices of goat's cheese log and serve with green salad leaves, figs, a drizzle of runny honey, and a slice of ham if you like. Yum.

Tax advice for suppliers

GVG shareholder Michael Blake has kindly put together tax advice designed to help our smaller suppliers make sure everything's above board. We strongly recommend that you read it if you supply or are thinking of supplying the shop.

This advice has been updated to reflect the changes announced in the Chancellor's March 2012 budget.

Highlights include:

- The profit suppliers make on selling fruit and vegetables to the GVG are taxable if your total income from all sources (e.g. wages, pensions, bank interest ) including the profit from the sale of the fruit and vegetables is more than your tax free allowance each year. In the 2012 tax year the tax free allowances are £7,475 if you are aged under 65, £9,940 if you are between 65 and 74 and £10,090 is you are aged 75 and over. In the 2013 tax year the allowances are £8,105, £10,500 and £10.660 respectively.

- The profit is what you receive from the sale of the fruit and vegetables (in cash or kind) less what it cost you to grow the produce. The cost of seeds and any fertilising or pest prevention measures may be claimed as costs but not the cost of your labour. If you pay rent for an allotment or garden you may claim the whole of the rent if all your produce is sold but only part of the rent if part of the produce is sold. 

- If you need to register for tax and National Insurance Contributions, you need to do this within three months of starting up in business or you could be face a penalty of £100. You can register with HMRC online at   HMRC will then send you information giving you the options for filling a tax return.

- If you are selling the surplus from a garden or allotment you do not have to pay NIC.   If you have planted the produce specifically to sell you may have to register as a self employed person and pay Class 2 NIC.  There is an exemption from Class 2 NICs if your profits for the tax year are less than the “low earnings limit”. For the 2012 tax year this limit is £5,315. The Class 2 NIC rate is £2.50 per week.

You can download Michael's advice here, just click on the attachments... 

Syndicate content