Archive for March, 2009

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River Cottage

March 29, 2009

Yesterday Matt and I visited River Cottage for their “Get Growing in Spring” event. This is the headquarters for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall‘s food and farming empire and is somewhere that I love to visit.

This is the view as you walk down to the farm. I think it looks so romantic, snuggled away in its little valley.

river-cottage

I love Hugh FW’s outlook on food, it should be as local, seasonal and organically grown as possible, and I’m glad that local food is becoming more widely available in farm shops, and even some supermarkets. I’ve always believed that even better than buying locally produced food is having a go at growing it yourself! That way you know exactly where it has come from and it tastes much better knowing that you put the time and effort in!

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These beautiful rows of seedlings planted in drainpipes were an inspiration as to what can be grown if you have the space. Unfortunately, I don’t. At the moment my growing space is limited to a small plot in my parents’ garden, but I guess it’s a good idea to start small and just grow what you can!

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There was a lot going on, with demonstrations and talks about growing veg and how to cook what you grow, sample allotment layouts and ideas of how to get the most from a tiny plot, and a chance to see some of the livestock on the farm, including the new lambs, who seemed to be the star attraction!

lamb

There was also a produce swap which was a great success. We took two jars of our homemade apple and date chutney and took home a jar of windfall pear and walnut chutney and a lovely looking cranberry jam.

We were lucky with the weather most of the day (except for a 2 minute hail storm which seemed to come from nowhere) so were able to enjoy a walk around the farm and nature trail in the sunshine. It was a really nice day out and I’d recommend a trip to a River Cottage event if you get the chance. There were also a lot of experts there to ask if you have any problems or just a niggling question about any aspect of growing veg or rearing livestock.

chickens

There was also a lot of information about a new scheme Hugh is setting up to find land for people who are interested in growing veg but don’t have the space. It’s definitely something I’m going to look into. It involves matching landowners who have the space but not the time or inclination to grow their own with people who would love to get growing but don’t have anywhere to do it. This is the Landshare website with more info if you’re interested (and live in the UK).

chard

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Little things

March 10, 2009

There isn’t much to beat the excitement of the last few overs of a test match when you’ve just got the 8th wicket and need two more to win the game…

Even though the West Indies just beat us for the first time in 11 years it was high drama, and sometimes that’s just what you want, regardless of who wins. That’s one of the things I love about cricket, and one reason why the test match is such an important part of the game. Twenty20 may be gaining popularity around the world but there can never be the same suspense, which is why I think games like today can do so much for the sport.

Almost as exciting, however, is discovering a new charity shop with an almost limitless supply of old buttons!

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…As well as lots of old postcards and several beautiful pieces of vintage jewellery, unfortunately mostly a bit pricey. I also managed to find this beautiful book at an antique shop for 50p!

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I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them all yet. But I will use them. Because that justifies buying them and keeping them in little jars where they look beautiful until I use them. Doesn’t it?

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Apology. With flowers.

March 8, 2009

Sorry for the slightly longer than intended absence from blogging. It’s funny, after the first week or so, when I was just busy, I found that whenever I had the time to sit down and write I couldn’t think of anything to say. Then it became a bit of a demon, something that I should do, not something that I wanted to do, and the longer I left it the harder it was to think of something to write about! I didn’t start this blog for it to become a chore, so I’ve just left it for a bit.

flowers

But having spent some time in the last few days catching up with some of the wonderful blogs I follow (many of them listed in the sidebar) I’m feeling much more inspired and ready to get back to regular posting. Does this lack of mojo affect all bloggers at some point? Probably not after only a month of writing! It does seem that most of the blogs I read are updated regularly and don’t seem to suffer from long periods of “I don’t know what to write”. Maybe there is a trick I don’t know about.

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Just to prove that spring is really on the way… Even though we were hit by another 4 inches of snow on Thursday!

key charms

These are some charms I’ve made recently for an upcoming charm swap hosted by Amber. They are made from little keys with beads wrapped around them. These old keys are another thing I tend to hoard, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to make use of them and let someone else enjoy them. I’ll try to be back soon to share some little pretties I found recently.