Schools break up today, wahey and lots of you will be jetting off on holiday for a week or two of fun in the sun. But if you're staying at home here's another newsletter to keep you hentertained...and when you see the details of our new competition you might just be glad you haven't got plans for the next two months!
We had an amazing response to the Eglu Go competition, with hundreds of inspiring entries. There were poems and photos, tragic tales and pleas and some funny little stories along the way. It was a mammoth task to choose just one winner, but a decision had to be made..
So congratulations to Margaret Etzel. We hope you enjoy it!
For the rest of you don't be too heartbroken, all is not lost...read on for your SECOND CHANCE TO WIN AN EGLU GO! With chickens too, and some celebrity status sprinkled on top...
Have you spotted the latest feature on the website yet? Along with the shop, club and guide pages, you will now find Omlet's very own tv channel! It sneaked onto our screens a couple of weeks ago and has been creating a buzz ever since, so if you haven't spotted it yet, click here to check it out. We have created a mini series about beekeeping, featuring the Beehaus itself, and the Omlet bee family. The Whittingtons were complete newbees to beekeeping, and you can follow their progress...
The more eggciting news is that we are now on the lookout for another family to take part in a chicken versian of this, so if you didn't win last month's competition, here is another opportunity for you to get a brand new Eglu Go plus chickens. Not only will you receive the best chicken house a bird could ask for along with our personal eggspertise, but you will be a tv star...just imagine! Think your family would be perfect for the role? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details, and ideally include a photo of you and your garden. The closing date for entries is next Wednesday 28th July, so be quick!
We are a nation that loves eggs. Boiled, scrambled, poached or fried, it's a favourite for us Brits. But we didn't eggspect them to be even more popular in India...where restaurants are dedicating entire menus to the humble egg. That's right, there are restaurants all over the country that are making eggs the focus of their food. In many of these places you won't be able to find a single dish on the menu that does not contain eggs. How eggstraordinary!
Eggsunday is one of these popular outlets, located in a busy food court in Mumbai. Customers sit and watch as the chefs cook egg after egg (700 a day on average), and as well as the usual dishes of omelettes and egg biryani, there are some more unusual dishes on offer such as Spiceggsunday – a dish made from hard boiled eggs topped with hot sauteed vegetables. The best-selling dish is the Bomblette pav – a basic omelette filled with the owner's secret masala. This is one we are very tempted to try, so we might just have to take a visit...purely for research.
Read the article from the Times of India by clicking here.
We know that bee numbers are in decline, but now there's some good news for beekeepers. Rumour has it that this season will be great for honey production. Despite the fall in bee numbers, the cold winter and warm spring has caused our busy bees to work overtime and produce more honey. Most hives produce around 50lb of honey a season, but some farmers are harvesting three times as much.
Tim Lovett, of the British Beekeepers’ Association, said “It’s looking like the best harvest for at least five years...The cold winter has helped keep the number of parasites down... we have had a good spring, which has provided the bees with plenty of forage and nectar.”
This is good news for apiarists everywhere, so if you keep bees you might be enjoying lots of honey on toast for breakfast this Winter. Let's hope you've got a sweet tooth!
Read the full article from the Daily Mail by clicking here.
Schools are breaking up for the holidays today, so lucky kids everywhere will have six weeks of fun in the sun to look forward to. It's not always so fun for Mums and Dads though, trying to think of ways to keep the little darlings hentertained for all that time. So here are some ideas:
The RHS Show at Tatton Park is currently running until this Sunday. This is a colourful show full of food, fun and flowers. See inspiring show gardens, eat some tasty grub and say hello to our chickens. Kids 16 and under go free and if you order tickets on the website you will save £5.00.
Also running until Sunday is the CLA Game Fair at Ragley Hall. Kids will love to have a go at all the activities on offer, from archery to quad biking to trampolining, plus there are some eggciting displays and loads of stalls.
The New Forest Show will be running from 27th - 29th July. This is a great show with displays from the Devil's Horsemen, miniature horses and of course our brilliant chicken houses! Visit the website for more info.
And after all that fun why not chill out at the Big Chill Festival at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire. This is a festival that's suitable for all the family, with music from top artists, yummy food and loads of stalls, so come and say hello!
The Omlet Team
With the school holidays just round the corner and the weather really hotting up Summer is well and truly here. Horray! Here are my money saving tips to keep you cool…
Don’t buy bottled water! Invest in a trendy reusable water bottle and always keep it handy for trips out. The money you spend on a water bottle will soon be recouped from the money you save on buying bottled water, plus you will be doing your bit to reduce the mountain of plastic bottles we throw away each year.
With all this heat you’re bound to want to cool down with some refreshing ice lollies but with shop bought ones costing pounds and containing any number of additives and colourings why not make your own? You can get as creative as you like with this – from simple squash or milk shake (semi-skimmed milk works best) to peeled bananas dipped in yoghurt and covered in grated chocolate. Why not experiment with the kids? Just try not to eat the ingredients before they make it into the freezer!
Finally, fresh British fruit is abundant now so why not make the most of the glut by making your own preserves? If you don’t have a bounty of your own to pillage why not go down to your local pick your own farm? Fruit at the height of the season can be surprisingly inexpensive. And its not just jam, you can make fruit leathers or have a go at drying fruit. Why not try your hand at sun dried tomatoes in olive oil or my favourite – Bursting blueberry muffins!
The warm dry weather that some of the country has been having is a mixed blessing for gardeners. At this time of year fruit and veg need water to grow and without watering in such conditions crops can suffer – at the same time the warmth can be great for some crops that thrive in such conditions.
For many crops this time of year it is a case of weeding, protecting from pests and diseases and watering. It is also the time to be planting many ‘over winter’ crops – if you haven’t planted them already leeks, sprouts and purple sprouting are great for fresh veg over the winter.
At the moment we are digging potatoes – we have just about used up the first early varieties and have moved on to using our second early potatoes. Courgettes are growing like mad and seem to need picking almost daily at the moment. Some of our earlier carrots are now ready and our shallots have been dried and strung – these usually last into the winter, with some being pickled as well.
Many fruit bushes provide an easy maintenance crop. These simply need planting, weeding and pruning once a year, net to protect from birds when fruit is ripening and they will produce an excellent crop year after year. A couple of weeks ago we picked 14 lbs (6.4 kg) of gooseberries off just one bush! These go straight in the freezer and are great for making crumbles, fools or adding to a summer pudding. We have one bush each of whitecurrants (despite the name they are actually pink when ripe), redcurrants and blackcurrants. These are great frozen for use in a mixed berry pavlova or summer puddings. Blackcurrant jam is lovely and one of the easiest to make as it sets easily. Redcurrant jelly is excellent on many meats, traditionally lamb, but also great with poultry or ham. Our one redcurrant bush produced over 10 lbs (4.5kg) of berries – some are in the freezer and the rest is a redcurrant jelly with red wine to use with meats. Once established, apple trees, pear trees,
and raspberry canes are equally easy to maintain and will
give you a good annual crop. We have planted different types of raspberries (summer & autumn varieties) – this means we have raspberries almost constantly from mid-June to mid-September. These are lovely fresh, but also freeze well to be used later in the year.
So keep watering and weeding and plan your winter crops. Consider planting some fruit trees or bushes for crops next summer.
Your names and ages:
Jordan, Phil, Lewis, Jake, Dylan, Kim, Frankie, Kim & Theo (Staff are Phil, Sean, Rachel, Richard & Colin), aged 13-16.
How many of you are there?
There are almost 50 young people who access our service, working with 5 staff.
What kind of things do you do as part of the programme?
Weekly activities such as football, bike rides, cooking, art and climbing. And the chance to engage in positive activities for young people (PAYP) in the holidays (Trips, fishing, camping & Mountain Biking) and volunteering on our 'Community Space Challenge' project which aims to improve our green spaces and has led to the creation of our allotment gardening project & adopting our hens.
How often does the programme run?
There are activities 4 days a week in term time and almost every day in the school holidays.
How many chickens do you have?
We have 3 Chickens at the moment.
How long have you had your chickens?
We collected 4 hens from the British Hen Welfare Trust in early June, sadly one of the girls died after a week which made us all sad.
What are their names and how did you choose them?
Warrior passed away, she was so named because Jamie thought she had survived a hard life, had probably had lots of battles and was a warrior in the chicken world (RIP warrior x). Princess was named as she had the best coat of feathers, like a ball gown! Cluckers was named by Kim as she liked the name. I called the baldest hen 'Turkey Neck' and sadly the name has stuck!
Why did you decide to keep chickens?
We started our gardening project as part of our Community Space Challenge and we knew another project that had chickens, we wanted some too! It has been an eye opener for staff and young people and has converted many a visitor to free range when they see how poorly they looked when they arrived!
Do you take it in turns to look after them?
We have a rota of young people who work in the garden each week, so everyone takes a turn at the big clean!
Who gets to keep the eggs?
We have used some of the eggs in our kitchen for baking and for egg mayo sandwiches, we also barter eggs, 6 eggs for a drumhead cabbage as the chooks get through a cabbage a day!
Ahoy there me hearty! Every pirate needs a decent breakfast to start the day, in order to prepare for setting sail, swashbucklin' and hunting for buried booty. And the best breakfast to keep a shipmate fighting fit has to be boiled egg washed down with a nice bottle of grog. With that inside you you'll be the strongest pirate of the seven seas, and there'll be no chance of you ending up in Davy Jones' Locker.
Please note if you haven't got a parrot to carry on your shoulder, a chicken will do the job just as well.
This egg cup is made from ceramic, hand-painted and presented in a gift box.
Rabbits love carrots but they don't usually last long. This carrot cruncher is wooden and will last much longer and help keep their teeth nice and healthy. As rabbits' and guinea pigs' teeth grow constantly it is important for them to have something to chew on to keep them trimmed, otherwise they will end up needing dental work and you will have to pay for it.
This colourful, scented wood chew is fun and stimulating, and most importantly it will keep your pets in tip top condition!
Measures 17 cm long, with hole in centre to hang up if you choose.
If you don't fancy keeping bees but you're worried about their decline, one of the best ways to help them is to plant bee friendly flowers in your garden. You don't need to be Alan Titchmarsh to do this - anyone can, even children.
This kit is especially for children, with everything needed to grow a patch of bee and butterfly friendly plants. It includes a packet of seeds to plant, a giant label to mark who the garden belongs to, and a sweet-smelling bee soap to wash muddy hands after a hard day's planting.
Kids will love to have a bit of garden to call their own and they will have fun learning about nature. A great little gift to encourage children to get outdoors instead of watching the telly!
When the sun is out there's nothing better to cool you down than a good old fashioned ice lolly. You've got your Fabs, your Rockets, your Sun Lollies and your Feasts but the classic Calippo still remains a firm favourite with many. Oh the fun of squeezing the lolly out of the cardboard case just enough to get your teeth, without catapulting it into the air. And swigging back the leftover lolly liquid is pretty good too!
Wouldn't it be great if you could make your own Calippo lollies to keep in your freezer for when it's really hot!? No need to walk to the shop to get your hands on one, saving time and money - woohoo! Well, with this set you CAN make your own, and all your need is a bit of imagination! Forget those boring old moulds in the back of the cupboard - you'll never use them again after trying these...