Herefordshire Royal Visit 2013On Wednesday 30th October, the Wiggly Wigglers Farm in Blakemere was very proud to host the Royal Visit to Herefordshire’s Farming Community. This was combined with the launch of the Fantastic ‘Made in Herefordshire’ recipe book, which is on sale now! It was all very exciting and obviously the preparation of the venue had begun weeks and weeks before (honest!) So we got to work with oodles of Fairy Lights, hop wreaths, union jack table cloths and a Goat Sock Washing Line (!) and all decided that the place looked pretty fab – for a shed! So the Seed Shed has been transformed and the buzz is in the air. The wonderful Jo Hilditch has arrived and is sorting out logistics, along with the fantastic Becca and Simon, who have arrivedwith their gorgeous little boy Dylan.The Shack boys have arrived in their sparkly clean van and unloaded the brilliant Shack Revolution Bar and they have changed into shirts and braces and are ready to rock. It’s 9.30am and everything is going smoothly – what could go wrong? I’m sure word has got around by now and most of you know – however – for those of you that don’t know, there was a gorgeous, scrummy, beautifully made, chocolate Cake, a Cake fit for a King! Well, for sure a Duke! And this particular cake was made to present to The Duke (of Gloucester!). There is no real way to explain this, and there is simply no point in beating around the bush – Toast the Chocolate Labrador ummmmm…. ate the cake. Now – as some of you also know, our Heather loves to crack a joke, so when the news was broadcast of ‘CakeGate’ it was thought to be a joke…. Only when the cake was presented on the kitchen table was it a confirmed reality. Yes, there were a few tears… and an investigation into the tooth marks… and Toast was duly banished from all Royal Duties… But in good true HereFOODshire spirit a mirror was added to the back of the eaten cake to create the illusion of the other half of the cake. Brilliant! Following all this ‘excitement’, lots of lovely people began to arrive. Patrick and Rachel Barrett from P&R Design who were the design team behind the recipe book arrived along with many people from local Herefordshire based businesses - all of who contributed in some way to the book. Everybody got to know each other and enjoyed scrumptious shakes from The Juice Shack, in the seed shed with the twinkly lights and half a launch cake. So, now to the more prevalent topic of the day which involved HRH The Duke of Gloucester visiting Lower Blakemere Farm in order to launch the book and meet the farming community of Herefordshire. HRH arrived, on time of course, at Lower Blakemere and was happily greeted by Phil (Farmer Phil) and Heather along with Jo Hilditch and Mr. Ron Whitfield, and escorted by Lady Darnley – the Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire. The Duke was then led and introduced to members of the farming community. This ranged from members of the NFU, to Potato Farmers, to Dairy Farmers, the Agricultural Chaplain, to Young Farmers, to Tenant Farmers to Fruit Farmers, to members of the RABI, to CLA members and our very own farm workers, Kevin, Owen and Becci.
Might I just add, this was all completed with an intently captivated audience from the farmyard.Leading on from here, we head into the Floristry where the Duke meets our very own Jan the Flower who is busy at work and some more staff at Wiggly Wigglers. During this time Heather takes the time to explain the reasons behind the development of The Great British Florist and why it is important to sustainability and diversification in the British Farming Community. Next stop, Worms! The root of all things Wiggly Wigglers, the Duke meets our little friends in the worm-packing shed and learns the ins and outs of the purpose of the worms and why they are so important. The Duke was then introduced to the wonderful wonderful couple behind Photopia Photography – Becca and Simon and their gorgeous little boy Dylan. Photopia are the brains behind the brilliant Made in Herefordshire recipe book and Dylan is just the most content happy baby I’ve ever met! HRH was then introduced to many more people including, The Shack Revolution, Frome Valley Vineyards, Pixely Berries, Brockmanton Oils, Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen, Dewsall Court, Golden Valley Goats, Sue Gilmour Chocolates, British Cassis, Celtic Vale Water and many many more. This was then followed by a great speech from Jo Hilditch who thanked the Duke for coming which was reciprocated by the Duke who said it was an honour to be there and that he believes there is much importance in the recognition of local producers. HRH was then told about the cake, which he found quite hilarious and was then asked to cut (half) the cake. (Note: may I add, he did eat a slice in full knowledge.. Good Sports these Dukes you know!) The producers presented him with an apple crate full of goodies and a Great British Bouquet (and he asked for mealworms for his garden birds…!) Then he was on his merry way.SO that was that! It really was a great day and a brilliant way to celebrate this amazing recipe book. THANKS LOTS TO EVERYONE!! :)