One of the weekly routines here at Manna from Devon is planning for the week and seeing what ingredients we have and what we need to get in. We’re limited by space by the amount of stock we can carry which sounds crazy as we’re in quite a big old house; however every cupboard and shelf seems to be packed with clobber acquired over the years so it’s a “just in time” planning system that’s in place, not through any great business acumen you understand but more of a panicked “where are we going to put that”.
The upside of that is we get to see our suppliers regularly and catch up on their news so we thought we’d start blogging about where we source various ingredients and why.
Our most local supplier is Edward Jones of Fountain Violet Farm, just up the road and round the corner.
We get our fabulous eggs from Edward who has 5000 happy hens pootling around a field at the top of the hill, overlooking Start Bay and up the river to Dartmoor, a really lovely spot. As well as supplying Waitrose, the girls’ eggs head off here, to the Dartmouth Butchers, Kaywana Hall, Kingwear Post Office, Nonsuch House and Rockfish.
We use them for our cooking classes and for our B&B guests’ breakfast and the guests invariably comment on their eggs – full of colour and flavour.
As well as our eggs, Edward supplies another crucial delivery for the cooking school – seasoned hardwood logs for our wood fired ovens. He supplies a lot of homes and businesses around the area for their wood biurners but keeps ours back an extra year as we need very dry wood – less than 15% moisture and cut to a certain length. The wood comes from the farm and the village and is a mixture of oak, beech and sycamore with the occasional bit of eucalyptus which livens things up by spitting vigorously when put on the fires.
Ordering is simple – the eggs we pick up from the farm and leave the cash if Edward or Emma aren’t there; if they are there is an exuberant greeting from labradors Buffy and Willow followed by a quick(ish) coffee and catch up on news. And the wood arrives after a facebook message or 2 (or 3) in the back of the Landrover and down the stairs to the deck. That does require planning as it needs to be stacked and not when a course is about to start….
Fountain Violet Farm now has a fab AirBnB converted Granary which means our students can use it if they need accommodation and as long as they are quick to book; it’s such a lovely place to stay and such a gorgeous conversion that it doesn’t stay unbooked for long. Check out one of the views from the farm –
So that’s the first blog about our local suppliers – hope you enjoyed it and if you’re in the area do make sure you pick up a box of Fountain Violet Eggs and see what we mean.