This picture is taken from the cottage garden with the excellent view across the valley. Yes, everywhere you look there are red poppies ! There seem to be more this year than in previous years. The carpet of red across the wheat fields in the Rother Valley is a stunning sight and one which fills many a photo album.
Occasionally the seeds scatter across the farm and you get the solitary poppy which somehow is extra special.
The field poppy is an annual flowering plant and has four petals of a vivid red colour with distinctive black spots at their base. Once the flowers develop into seed pods they gradually dry then open allowing the seeds within to be released. The petals and seeds are entirely edible but the leaves are not as they are mildly toxic. The Field Poppy contains no opiates unlike the Oriental Poppy grown in the Far East.
The petals make an excellent garnish for salads and the seeds for baking. We often bake bread for the guests on the farm and occasionally we sprinkle poppy seeds on the loaves.
During the renovation of the cottage we found evidence of an old bakers oven which would have been used to bake bread in the old days. Using the wheat grown in the fields, the poppies to sprinkle on the top and an old bakers oven you end up with an excellent, nutritious loaf of bread. Come and join us and hear a little more of the story of Coldharbour Cottage.