Ice cream — Macalla Farm style

A good ice cream maker is an expensive piece of kitchen equipment, but every time we use ours, we find that it was money well spent.
As we have plenty of sheep’s milk yogurt in the summer, we make plenty of delicious frozen yogurt (we refer to them with the generic term: ice cream). This greatly increases our range of desserts.  Furthermore, there is usually very little work required, as can be seen in the recipes below:

Blackcurrant sorbet

  • .5 litre of blackcurrant juice (we have a steam juicer which we use to make blackcurrant, blackberry, and grape juice), again, a very worthwhile investment to preserve our summer gluts of soft fruit) I don’t know if it is possible to get good quality blackcurrant juice commercially and doubt that Ribena is a worthy substitute…
  • a good dash of organic honey or agave syrup

Mix and pour in the ice cream maker for 40 minutes. The surprisingly smooth consistency and exquisitely fruity taste makes this sorbet one of my favourites.

Lemon Verbena frozen yogurt

  • .5 l of sheep milk yogurt.
  • .2 l of strong lemon verbena tea
  • 30 g organic raw cane sugar
  • a handful of fresh lemon verbena leaves, chopped finely

Sweeten the tea with the sugar and cool it down. Mix it with the yogurt and the lemon verbena leaves and pour in the ice cream maker for 40 minutes.
You can replace the lemon verbena tea with elderflower cordial, to make an equally delicious Elderflower frozen yogurt.
Best served immediately as it will get too hard if kept for long in the freezer.

Rhubarb and elderflowers

We have several elders bushes on the farm, and they have just started producing their annual crop of creamy-white,  musty smelling flowers— a bit later than usual.
I love elder flowers. They have a subtle and light aroma and are traditionally used to make cordial.  We also make gallons of elderflower champagne with them, and drink it throughout the summer.
But the real treat is this recipe, which I devised a few years ago. It makes use of the rhubarb which we also have in abundance at this time of the year. This is actually a double recipe, as it makes delicious jam and then, equally delectable cordial–in one go! Read more


kumbucha with lemon vervena leaves
Stefanie’s kombucha with fresh mint flavouring, just bottled

Our love affair with fermented food is forever deepening and growing stronger!

In the early days, it was just sourdough bread, and gallons of elderflower champagne in June.` Then, in 2005, I discovered lacto fermented vegetables while woofing in the South of France and there was no turning back. After many jars of sauerkraut and kimchi, the arrival of our  two milking sheep at Macalla farm in 2009 presented us with yet more fermentation opportunities—in the form of yoghurt, cheese and kefir.

The recent visit to our farm by Dan from Australia, another serious fermentation aficionado, expanded our fermentation repertoire even further as he brought with him to the island some live Kombucha. Read more

Nettle and wild garlic soup

nettle and wild garlic soup

Serves 4

  • 4 large potatoes (about 1 lb)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large bag of fresh nettles tops
  • 1 handful of wild garlic leaves
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or sunflower oil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This is a delicious soup to make in the spring, when the nettles are young and the wild garlic is growing.
Wear gloves and pick nettles (just the very top), preferably on sunny morning. Wash them and put aside. Wash or peel the potatoes and dice them. Chop the onion in small bits.
Fry the onion in ghee, (or sunflower oil for vegan alternative) on medium heat until soft, stirring constantly, add the diced potatoes and keep stirring for another 3 minutes, then add the washed nettle tops and chopped up wild garlic leaves. Add 1 litre of water, bring to the boil, add the salt and peppter, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Liquidize and serve immediately with fresh cream as a garnish.

Wild garlic and rocket pesto

Allium ursinum

Wild garlic (Allium ursinum), also known as ramsons, doesn’t need to be wild at all. It’s growing happily in a shady patch in our garden so we don’t have to venture very far to forage for it. However, being “wild”, it doesn’t need any work, other than harvesting–no planting, weeding or pruning, and no need to buy seeds, as being wild, it’s a perennial.

But the best thing is its subtle taste of garlic which includes a vibrant sharpness and a very definite pungency, and the fact that it comes up at a time when there’s not much else to harvest outside.

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Natural worming for horses


Using herbal alternatives to chemical wormers to keep your horses worm free

Most horse owners are aware of the need to worm their horse to avoid symptoms such as weight loss, colic and poor condition and indeed, controlling the worm burden of your horses is an important aspect of caring for them. It must be noted, however, that healthy horses can carry a small load of worms without ill effects. It is even possible that in a healthy gut, a small infestation plays a supportive role in maintaining a balance. But there is no doubt that a heavy worm infestation in a horse can be very serious and may lead to all sorts of problems.

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