We turn our attention North of the Border this issue to look at Errington Cheese, a family-owned artisan dairy. They specialise in raw milk cheese and are based in Carnwath, Lanarkshire, founded by Humphrey Errington in 1981 following a move from Dumfriesshire.

At this time, Humphrey started looking at ways of diversifying and became interested in sheep milking and ewes milk cheese because of the ancient tradition of this activity in the Upper Clyde area. It also offered the chance to add value to a farm product and be free of dependence on government subsidies. Sheep milking in the winter months is not a practical possibility in Scotland, so in in the late '80s, they began buying in cows' milk to keep themselves busy in the winter. Now, avid cheese fans may have heard of the dairy for a very negative reason as Humphrey's entire stock of cheese was seized and he was banned from selling it by Food Standards Scotland (FSS) due to an alleged food poisoning incident back in 2016. The dairy always insisted that there was no ‘provable’ link to the outbreak, indeed they had faced problems with Clydesdale District Council way back in 1994 after they claimed the cheese showed unsafe levels of listeria, a charge which was subsequently wholly dismissed. It seems the authorities North of the Border really have a

It’s picking time!

Little hands (my grandson again) enjoyed taking the first of the Sungold tomatoes in the greenhouse; he loved to sniff them, offered them to me to sniff and devoured them. It makes my heart glad. Sungold is my favourite and I’ve been growing this variety for many years now. They are delicious taken straight from the vine. They also roast beautifully in a slow oven drizzled with olive oil and studded with garlic cloves. I’ve frozen this for use in sauces for pasta or casseroles later in the year. Other tomatoes which are growing steadily, are the large Mediterranean ones which will take a little longer to fatten up and ripen to a deep red.

Courgettes that I’d grown in the greenhouse have been a bit weedy, so they’ve gone outside to the courgette/pumpkin raised bed and we’ve eaten their meagre fruits. I’m hoping this will encourage them to produce a better crop. The larger Nice (as in France) variety of courgette however, has done well. With only 72mls of rain last month, it’s a wonder they grew at all but with judicious watering, their fat round fruits are great cut into slices and barbequed or roasted.

Little hands have gathered peas too. It’s the first time I’ve grown Nairobi. These are much smaller than the


problem with the production of raw milk cheeses and specifically, with Humphrey! Happily, links to the 2016 outbreak were disputed and the business was cleared of breaching food hygiene regulations late last year in a judicial review which declared all the products safe to eat, which is a good news for all lovers of properly produced, raw milk cheeses. They are made the way cheese should be, with love and dedication and above all, cheese with a fantastic depth of flavour throughout the range.

original unpasteurised sheeps milk cheese made from the milk of the farm's Lacaune ewes and rightly known as Scotland's answer to Roquefort, rich, deep and satisfying - three attributes I wish I had! Lanark White, a seasonal raw sheeps milk with a delicate natural crust and a delicious sweet, almost nutty flavour. Finally, Sir Lancelot named after Humphrey's illustrious father (no, not that Lancelot! Humphrey's father was a naval commander who went on to become one of Britain's most senior civil servants) a gentle, earthy and lactic little round of sheepy loveliness. We must support our raw cheese producers in the UK, here is where true invention and heritage is to be found - if we don't everything will be reduced to a homogeneous whole!

We at the Churchmouse are proud to stock Errington cheeses! Three to try; The Godfather - Lanark Blue, the

John Natlacen, Owner

sow it, grow it, eat it! by Annette Gibbons

Annette Gibbons OBE is renowned as a champion of local food and whilst supporting Cumbrian farmers and growers, she cultivates her organic vegetable garden on the banks of the Solway Firth

sugar snaps I’ve grown in the past but nonetheless they are sweet and crunchy. Delicious raw or stolen straight from the plant.

It’s the beginning of July, as I write and I’m continuing to resow a number of vegetables in the hope that the summer continues to give us warmth and rain. I’ll be soaking another batch of these lovely peas for a September crop.

Garlic is another matter. Theirs is a long growing season, which requires a period of freezing temperatures to make the bulbs divide into cloves. I’m pulling up garlic every day at the moment, as I

One of my now favourite ways of preserving the summer bounty, has been to softly cook sliced onions in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, then to add slices of sugarsnap peas and courgette slices in similar size. This is barely cooked and then cooled and frozen. These boxes of summer veggies make a brilliant base for a green vegetable risotto. Just thaw and add the rice and slowly stir in stock. Finish with some fresh peas and spring onions and it’s a treat.

May your summer bounty be as good.

Annette Gibbons Email:

ISSUE 433 | 18 JULY 2019 | 22

notice that the leaves of each bulb are dying off. There are orange rust spots on the leaves, but these will go into the garden rubbish bin hoping that the council’s compost is heated to a high temperature to kill off unhelpful spores. On saying that, the garlic itself appears unaffected, so I’ll be listening to the radio whilst peeling lots of cloves of garlic to simmer in olive oil and place in glass jars to use over the year. I’ve noticed that the garlic I planted in November in the greenhouse, which helped to establish them initially, was then transplanted into a raised bed in time for snow and ice, has developed the best.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48