Cooking With Charl

Amateur home cook, with a love for baking and all things garlic :)

The Garlic Farm, Isle of Wight (my favourite place in the world!)

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As today is national garlic day i thought it would be the perfect time for me to tell you about my favourite place in the world, The Garlic Farm, Isle of Wight.

The Isle of Wight is somewhere that me and my boyfriend have visited for the last 5-6 years and we love it there! The views, the beaches, the villages and most importantly the food!!

As we all know i love everything about food, cooking and eating! but a food that i have always loved in large amounts is Garlic! I could quite happily live on good quality freshly baked garlic bread for the rest of my life :). As you can imagine as soon as I found out about the Garlic Farm on our first visit to the Island I just had to go there and see what they had to offer. The first time we went there it was quite different to what it is now, it was a rather basic farm shop but I fell in love with it non the less, with the smell of garlic in the air, witty garlic related signs hanging everywhere and bulbs as far as the eye could see. Right at the back of the shop there was a tasting table full of their homemade chutneys and relishes much to my delight :). It was on this visit I was first introduced to elephant garlic which now is one of my favourite things to eat just simply roasted with some good toasted bread mmmmm amazing! I asked a lot of questions when i was there about the different varities of garlic and how to grow garlic and the shop assistants are always very friendly and full of knowledge, its so lovely to see staff really care about what they are selling.

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fresh green garlic, solent wight bulbs, scapes and elephant garlic

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me with my oil of wight, isle of wight flour and garlic farm grinder refill 🙂

A brief history of The Garlic Farm

The Garlic man himself is Colin Boswell who moved to the island with his parents in the late 50’s. Mersley Farm (where the Garlic Farm is situated) was acquired by the Boswell family and was originally used for cash crops such as sweetcorn which took off in the 60’s and 70’s becoming the UK’s largest sweetcorn producers. As the farm got bigger they needed to expand their crops and decided to start growing garlic after Colins mom, Nora grew some lovely bulbs in their own garden. Colin began to study all aspects of garlic travelling to California and France to further his studies. By 1979 they managed to break into mainstream supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsburys and Marks and Spencer. Through the 80’s and 90’s Garlic became loved by many across the UK and demand for colins garlic grew. By 1999 they returned to where they started selling to farmers markets across the UK, getting back to their roots. After many Tv appearences by the Garlic farm their popularity grew and they are now the Uk’s largest specialist garlic growers.

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As I mentioned before, The Garlic Farm is quite different today, it has expanded dramatically since my first visit, they now have an even bigger farm shop, tasting centre, cooking demos, growing information, tractor tours and a fantastic restaurant.

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The farm shop now has an even bigger selection of goodies from garlic bulbs to garlic gadgets and fantastic selections of homemade garlicky products. It is most definitely the place to go if ever you visit the Isle of Wight, but to be honest id say The Garlic Farm is worth the ferry ride all by itself! And remember if ever you buy garlic with ‘wight’ in the title you can thank the Garlic Farm for your amazing garlic!

The Garlic Farm Website

The Garlic Farm Facebook

The Garlic Farm Twitter

Why not stay at The Garlic Farm on your visit to the island?

Mersley Farm Holidays

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Chocolate chip cookies

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These chocolate chip cookies are really quick to make and are packed full of chocolate! They also double up as a great DIY cookie mix gift, by layering up the ingredients inside a lock tight jar tying with ribbon and placing the method on a tag. Fantastic as a last minute gift or to bake when friends come over, they don’t stick around for long!!!

Ingredients

115g butter
115g light brown sugar
1 egg
100g porridge oats
1 tbsp milk
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
170g plain chocolate
170g milk chocolate

Method

– Preheat oven to 180c/ gm 4, line and grease 2 baking sheets

– Mix softened butter and sugar together until well combined and paler in colour.

– Add the egg, mix well and add the oats and milk.

– When mixed together add the flour and baking powder and mix until all the ingredients come together.

– Place chocolate into a bag and smash with a rolling pin until broken into pieces. I like to leave it fairly chunky.

– Stir in the chocolate and place tablespoon size dollops of the mixture onto baking sheets. Wet hands and gently press the down slightly.

– Bake in the oven for around 15-20 mins depending on how dark you want them. They will still be quite soft when cooked and will harden when cooled.

– Leave to cool for at least 5 mins as the melted chocolate will be molten!

This is the gift I made my friend with the addition of cocoa powder 🙂

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Happy baking 🙂

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