Pumpkin Time at Shropshire Jelly

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

Do you work yourself? Is your business based at home?  Have you ever thought about having a day working alongside other homeworkers?  Chance for a chat over coffee and lunch – and still catch up with emails and paperwork?  Join me at Whitchurch Jelly and find out what co-working is like.

Whitchurch Jelly is held at Holly Farm Garden Centre and today I am surrounded by pumpkins waiting patiently for Hallowe’en. If you haven’t grown your own you can have great fun choosing one straight from the field in Holly Farm’s pumpkin patch.  When you have carved your eerie face ready for candlelit fun on Hallowe’en, don’t throw away the pumpkin flesh.  You can dry the seeds on baking paper in a cool oven to make very tasty pumpkin nuts and make pumpkin soup with the rest – fry in butter with a diced potato, onion, tomatoes and herbs and spices – I use thyme, cumin, cloves and a pinch of cayenne, chilli, and allspice – add some stock, simmer until cooked then liquidise and you have a nourishing, wholesome soup to serve on Hallowe’en.

It’s October – the first chill of winter, late autumn sunshine, misty mornings, bejewelled cobwebs, the garden is getting ready for winter. The last of the harvest, storing potatoes, freezing the last of the runner beans, clearing the garden, bonfires, woodsmoke on the breeze.

Now is the time to plan for next year – deciding which vegetables to grow, looking at new varieties available – Jonathan Allen is always happy to discuss which vegetable varieties are likely to do best in your soil and which flowers prefer shade or full sun.   It’s also time to plant bulbs to brighten up tubs, rockeries and borders in Spring.  Holly Farm not only have a wide selection of bulbs, they will also provide advice on how to plant them for the best displays – indoors as well as out.  Snowdrops like their bulbs firmly rooted outside but hyacinths and daffodils can provide the tantalysing scents of spring much earlier grown indoors.

Have you ever  thought of making your own cider?  This is a traditional recipe for Wittenham cider: Put 3 lb of roughly chopped apples into a bucket and pour on 12 pints of cold water; leave for a week, stirring night and morning.  Strain, then stir in 2 lb sugar and grated rind and juice of 3 lemons, leave for 24 hours then strain again and bottle. Should be drinkable within a week – just ready for Hallowe’en. For more recipes visit www.barbararainford.co.uk

Jelly days provide an opportunity to discuss local news and current affairs – Blackberry Fair will no doubt be one of the topics of conversation at the next Whitchurch Jelly.  If you have recently moved to Shropshire, Jelly days are a mine of information on what’s going on in Shropshire and where to find things.


Have some family fun in the pumpkin patch, choosing your very own pumpkin for Hallowe’en

The next Whitchurch Jelly is on Tuesday, 7th November 10.00 am – 3.00 pm but you don’t have to stay all day, call in for a coffee and see what co-working is like.  Jelly co-working days are free to attend.  For further information visit:


Published in the October edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate – at Dearnford Lake

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

Jelly is a free co-working day held at different locations all over the world. Anyone can go along with a laptop and work alongside other like-minded people, enjoy coffee and lunch, share some intelligent conversation and get lots of work done in a friendly environment.

Apart from hosting Whitchurch Jelly for the last few years, Dearnford Lake has some exceptional activities – like open water swimming – and events – the recent Open Air Shakespeare lit by the setting sun was spectacular.


Coming up is the Fireworks Extravaganza on 5th November, and Dearnford is offering a special Christmas lunch on dedicated days during 1st – 17th December – available by pre-booking only. Three courses £25.00, two courses £20.00. Apart from traditional turkey with all the trimmings, choices include: prawns and smoked salmon with Colcannon mash and buttered leeks and a butter lemon and brown shrimp sauce; chestnut and mixed bean roast; cod on a bed of watercress; and roast white onion soup with goat’s cheese toast, followed by a selection of puddings and Christmas truffles. For further information and to book go to www.dearnford.com

Shropshire Jelly is growing. There are now three Jelly days in Shropshire, all with free wifi. Although Jelly is free to attend, where days are held in a cafe, guests are expected to buy tea/coffee and lunch. Jelly days usually run from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm and you need to book via www.eventbrite.com

Whitchurch Jelly is moving: to The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Nurseries on the A49 near Prees – and it will be on the first Tuesday of the month – next one will be Tuesday 3rd November. In the meantime, you can call in at Holly Farm Nurseries to Pick Your Own Pumpkin – lots to choose from ripening in the field – a great half term activity in preparation for Haloween.


Shrewsbury Jelly is on the 2nd Thursday of the month and alternates between the Alb and the Quirky Coffee Shop – forthcoming dates: 12th November at The Alb (near Shrewsbury bus station) and Quirky Coffee & Gift Shop (11 Fish Street, SY1 1UR) on 10th December.

And new in October is Telford Jelly at Brodie House – totally free to attend and you can take your own lunch. Tea and coffee making facilities are available for a small donation. Third Thursday of the month – next one 15th October.

For further information and to book visit www.eventbrite.com and search for ‘Jelly’ in Shropshire

Published in the October edition of the Whitchurch Gossip