Why Local Mineral Water is a Good Thing

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What is the difference between Natural Mineral Water and Spring Water?

 Natural Mineral Water – must come from an identified and protected source. It is guaranteed to be consistent in composition and naturally wholesome without any treatment – except in some cases the addition of carbon dioxide to make the water sparkle. Natural Mineral Water status is only granted to waters that are demonstrated to be free from pollution and have a characteristic stable composition.

Spring water – there are certain treatments permitted, so this is not necessarily as pure.

So, natural mineral water must be free from pollution and this means ‘Few other industries, except perhaps organic farming,’ Jo Jacobius of the BBWP insists, ‘play such a major role in protecting the countryside, doing much to minimise environmental damage.’ (as printed in an article in The Guardian, by Lucy Siegle).  Overall, if the land is to be free from pollution, then the land around commercially appointed springs in the UK are ‘some of the best managed environments in the country’ (British Bottled Water Producers).


Keeping it local

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But it’s not all good news – the water that has been brought from overseas will carry a huge carbon footprint.  Some luxury brands will have travelled thousands of miles to be brought to the table and nearly a quarter of the bottled water we drink in the UK comes from abroad.

There are so many compelling reasons to buy locally – not just because the quality of the water is much better if not stored in bottles for a long time, but also the carbon footprint is reduced.

It also helps keep the local economy buoyant and of course, in this Brexit transitional no-mans land, there is the stable cost without factoring in the Euro exchange rate as you’re buying a UK – local, even better – product.  The bottles, by the way, are also made in the UK so cost is as stable as any manufactured product can be.


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Health Benefits

So why do we drink mineral water and not just tap water?  Our tap water is perfectly clean, but particularly in the South Downs, our water tends to be very hard and the taste can be tainted by the chlorination processes in filtering the water.

South Downs Natural Mineral Water is drawn from over 400ft underground, enriched with minerals deep from within the Sussex Downs it is untouched at source. South Downs Water is naturally filtered through deep chalk layers and the water has a delicious fresh taste. It is naturally high in calcium and low in sodium.

The only addition to the water – well, the sparkling, is a slight burst of carbonisation to give a gentle effervescence.

The well at South Downs water is right in the South Downs National Park, near Chichester.  So, although it is bottled – the bottling plant is very small and water is not left for a long time on shelves.  So like any other product – is supplied as fresh as possible.


The Technical Data

When South Downs Water started drawing their water commercially, the technical analysis showed that the mineral water is low in sodium and has a pH value of 7.5.

So because it is drawn through layers and layers of chalk, then the result is a water that is high in calcium and low in sodium with a balanced flavour.

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We stock South Downs Mineral Water in our online shop.

Come and visit us at www.finandfarm.co.uk

 

Why Local Mineral Water is a Good Thing

The Best Non-Alcoholic Mocktails

Yep, when you’re the designated driver, standing at the bar leaves you with difficult decisions.  To leave the pub at the end of the evening with your heart racing from probable caffeine overload – or the nasty sugary taste left after too much fake raspberry.

Non-alco drinks don’t have to be dull/sweet/fizzy.  A little while ago, Nick and I were invited to join a group at an award evening.  It was a foodie award sponsored by our own Brighton Gin.  A bottle of gin was drunk with a very special Kombucha mixer – according to the brochure.  We had a massive pitcher of this deliciously decadent tasting pink stuff on the table, so assumed our hosts had kindly pre-mixed and left us a gin cocktail.  After much sharing, a red-faced waiter came over WITH OUR GIN.  We hadn’t even noticed that we’d been drinking the unlaced mixer.  So, clearly debunking the power of conditioning is that a great drink must be alcoholic (or maybe that’s just us…).


Kombucha Mocktails Muddle with fresh herbs and juices – Kombucha gives your mocktail a kind-of sophisticated, adult flavour…and there are some gorgeous recipes to be found just here >>.

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Apple Juice – well, we are in Sussex, aren’t we?  If we didn’t have more varieties of juice than you can possibly count, then things aren’t as they should be.  It’s a joy walking through the orchard at Ringden Farm, where there are fields of apple trees of heritage and modern varieties.  All these are picked through their season and some are pressed at the farm.

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So, from Ringden, there are varieties of juice to choose from, which are as complex as choosing a bottle of wine.  From the heritage Grenadier – a tart, citrussy juice through to the honeyed sweetness of a Russet.  All the apple juices and apple-juice blends are described here in their categories.

So….the blended juices. Whenever we have done a farmers market, we always have bottles of Beetroot and Apple.  Most people are not so keen to try but nearly all are converted and love the slight earthiness that beetroot brings to a sweet juice…which is obviously preaching to the converted, if you’re a smoothie maker.

The Apple and Strawberry is also a winner with the drivers, as surprisingly, it’s one of the less sweet juices.  Not sure why that is- it just has a kind of pleasant fruitiness.

Mocktails Using Apple Juice – Well, naturally, as it’s a great base to lighten up or add punchy flavours like ginger.  A refreshing one for us is the Virgin Mojito or for a party pitcher, maybe a Red Apple Sangria type cocktail is light and add as much lime as you feel will add a bit of zing.

Or, warm the cockles with a lively glass of Mulled Apple.

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Elderflower Cordial combined with apple, is something you can keep as a drink all year round (and not just for sloshing into fizz).  Apple, Elderflower and Mint is light and refreshing for adults or kids.

Or for a drink that has a sparkle of colour, since it’s the party season descending, after all -then Jamie has the ideal unboozy fizz with this Elderflower Lemonade with Frozen Berries.

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Visit us at www.finandfarm.co.uk

See our range of juices and water online.


 

 

The Best Non-Alcoholic Mocktails

Ethical Sussex Turkey

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Here’s Rita – the new addition to our Fin and Farm team.  At the moment, she’s getting to know some our farms, so first stop last week was Holmansbridge Farm, over near Lewes at the foot of the Sussex Downs – to see the Turkey flock.

You can see from the pic, that the turkeys are free to roam in a spacious field – although the whole experience was a bit disconcerting at first for Rita, who hasn’t picked up a turkey before!

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Space to roam is important for the birds to be unstressed and be allowed their natural behaviour patterns of roaming, scratching around and getting enough fresh air and exercise.  In bad weather they have their barn to retreat.

Holmansbridge Farm have been rearing and preparing turkey in the same way for three generations.  The turkeys are reared on the farm and fed a natural diet – no growth hormones – and since all the preparation is done on the farm, you can be sure of receiving a fine ethical local bird.


How to choose?  White or Bronze?

Holmansbridge rear White or Bronze turkeys.  Firstly, obviously their plumage, but otherwise it’s a matter of taste.

Bronze turkeys were originally brought to Europe from the Americas, domesticated from their wild bird species.  So the Bronze varieties are gamier and darker with a juicier, meatier texture.

White turkey is the result of breeding in Europe over the last couple of centuries and has a lighter, more delicate flavour – and is the variety we are most familiar with here in Britain.  It also tends to carry more breast meat, as a general rule.

However, all the birds are hand plucked and hung for around 14 days for maximum richness of flavour and texture.


What size do I need?

Our birds start at around 4kg and grow up to around 12kg.  Obviously as a natural meat, the size is not exact when you buy, so you must expect to give or take some grams.

The size guide below tells you how many you can feed per kg – allowing enough leftovers for your turkey sandwiches!

  • 4kg:   Serves 4
  • 5kg:   Serves 6
  • 6kg:   Serves 8
  • 7kg:    Serves 10
  • 8kg:    Serves 12
  • 9kg:    Serves 14
  • 10kg:  Serves  16
  • 11kg:   Serves 18
  • 12kg:   Serves 20

How to carve?

You can make the most of your turkey and not make a mash of it, with good carving skills….

Good old Jamie Oliver, has an easy video you can see here, so you can look like a pro.

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Roasting and Leftovers?

We will cover this in a separate blog as we’ve been looking at tons of amazing ways to cook a turkey – including freeing your oven by using your barbecue….


 

blog from Fin and Farm

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Ethical Sussex Turkey