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.


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!


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!


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!


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.


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).



One comment

  1. This is all so gorgeous! What a wonderful place. My hubby and I really want to try and eat more locally. Easier in the summer of course. Wish we could grow some of our own. What a wonderful place!


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