We now have a new stock of wholemeal Rye Flour, so why not make some rye bread? It’s delicious with many foods, especially smoked fish, and makes a good base for open sandwiches. Rye flour on its own does not rise much, so it’s a good idea to mix it half-and-half with our wholemeal wheat flour, and make it in the same way as wheat bread. If you’ve time, the rye flavours are enhanced by mixing initially 50 gm of rye flour with 50 gm of water in a small bowl which you then cover and stand for a day or two in a warm place. You can also include a pinch of caraway seeds if you like. When you’re ready to bake, add this starter to the bulk of the mixed flours and a little salt, together with a teaspoon of dried yeast and warm water, then knead, prove and bake in the usual way.
Turn left over the bridge at the rear of the mill and you will come to the ‘Wildlife Area’. This area had become very overgrown and has been redeveloped over the last two years to give safe access to an interesting site. The aim is to encourage wildlife to populate the area and to give visitors ideas about how they might develop parts of their own gardens to improve the habitat for plants and animals.
The area includes a small pond which attracts insects and amphibians. There are several wood piles, some of them old and rotting, some newly cut. These attract insects and birds.
There are dense brush areas and swathes of long grasses. Access to the different areas is by mown paths. There is a ‘wildlife hotel’ which has been converted from a brick barbeque. It has many levels and a wide choice of habitats. Small sheets of corrugated iron have been placed around the site. These warm up in the morning sun and are a haven for voles, slow worms, toads and numerous insects. The sheets can be lifted carefully to observe the ‘residents’.
The site lacked sunlight as it was dominated by very old large wild plum trees. These have been trimmed back and rotten branches have been moved to make the site safer and to allow in much more light. The remaining trees should now have a new lease of life. The white plum flowers in spring attract bees and other insects. The small yellow ‘mirabelle’ plums give autumn and winter food for many animals.
The dense grass growth was cut down in places to allow space for wild flowers to grow. In 2017 over forty species were counted. They include primroses, bluebells, poppies, arum lilies, cornflowers, corn marigolds and oxe-eye daisies. Some less common plants include viper’s bugloss, corn-cockle, and valerian. A few non-native plants have appeared and been allowed to grow e.g. buddleias which are very attractive to bees and butterflies.
The mill volunteers have created a path on the South-East side of the mill pond. This will create a circular walk for visitors, so they can go all the way around the mill pond. With some interesting old trees the kids are sure to love exploring along this nature walk, while adults will enjoy the views it offers.
We are pleased to announce that alongside our traditional quality wholemeal ground flour, we are now producing and selling Wholemeal Spelt and Wholemeal Rye flour. For full details, see Flour Sales
We are pleased to announce that we are now able to accept payment by debit and credit cards at the mill. You can now pay for mill entry, refreshments in the tea room, purchases in the gift shop – and of course flour – with Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards. So even if you have no cash in your wallet you can still come along and have a great day at Pakenham Water Mill!