Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Wholesome fun....

Absolutely no shortage of bunnage on offer this weekend. And it never fails to amaze; just how much cake arrives; and is subsequently consumed by the assembled. As you can see from the photo; 'Open Day' is an inter-generational epicurean effort. No one needs a second invitation to help themselves.

Great to see so many folks enjoying the victuals on offer; and casting an appreciatory glance about the veg field too.
 Long socks; a frock; and a bunnet were deemed as a 'sensible' garb for a meet and greet day... 
Not that this 'disguise' was used as a tactic of evasion... Well, hardly at all..
The whole event was most like a traditional afternoon tea party; only; in a field.
 However despite my feeble efforts to avoid the subject; there was much heated discussion around the 'European situation'.

There seemed to be general agreement; as to how precarious things have been left, after the 'shock' outcome... But time will tell; and fretting about it won't get anything achieved here... I can always take out my angst on the weeds.... There are just a few left, for the bugs naturally. And a good few tonnes of compost need spreading in the coming days.

Perhaps opportunities for change; will arise from the perceived mess that has been left, by 'our' leaving. Certainly 'the game' has changed; for good or ill.
 Maybe there will come a greater awareness of how things actually are; for so many people; and how improvements could be made with some considered action.

The age old curse " May you live in interesting times" has indeed come to pass.
But that is both the beauty; and the beast; of the future. You seldom know for sure; what is around the next corner; or over the next hill.

Help yourself.... Oh! Fantastic; you already did....
Plus helped a few others too... With the addition of a postal contribution; we raised over £160 for 

So it was lovely to have visitors; and to bask replete; in the uncommon sunshine at days end. 

But solo working; or sharing tasks; with a companionable silence; has much to recommend it too.

Monday morning; found me back weeding the kale seedling bed in the company of Girl Monday... Satisfying to look back and see where you've been. But must make more diligent efforts to gather mugs; as I go along.. 

Kale: varieties Moss Green Curled. Cavello Nero, Hungry Gap. Red Russian, and Jagalleo Nero; for winter cutting
Here awaiting transplanting to their final home in the next couple of weeks.

And then further delights in paper form arrive with the post . This is one publication; whose arrival will always find me scuttling away to some quiet corner for a peruse. Even if there are more pressing tasks to hand.

For many a year now; 'The Land' has been a supportive, informative, and entertaining read, for those engaged in what could loosely be termed 'ecological land based occupations'. Or for those interested in such matters.
This is its twentieth issue...

Most of its contributors are; or at least have been; associated with landworking in some way.
It is the 'go to journal' if you want to keep abreast of whats going on on the more outlying fringes of agriculture, horticulture, and forestry, especially where those subjects overlap with ecology, organic production, land rights,  both national and international. and social justice in the widest sense...

But who knows what; of the activities considered 'a bit weird' now; will be seen as 'mainstream' in ten or so years?
 Very difficult to forecast...

This magazine also has some beautiful illustrations; many of them original wood engravings; a further reason for it being the one periodical that gets hoarded here..... Not in a precious way; there's plenty of dog ears; and mug rings. But they will always bear a reread.

In depth journalism; with all facts; properly referenced. No pandering to the rather patronising; supposed; goldfish like attention span; of your usual magazine reader...

Moreover there is plenty of dissection; nuanced argument; and counter argument.

 So this is no preaching to the converted 'we're all on the same page' anti- establishment for its own sake; collection of writings. As many questions are raised; as are answered.

One of the topics this issue is the various cultural; and even legal aspects and approaches to the age old peasant tradition of 'foraging' for wild food.

Not the usual "Gosh! Did you know you could eat this?" Kind of gush; that is so often presented by 'greenish' tinged publications.

The retort to that; often being; a rather dry....

'Yes I know you can; but to be honest I've tried it once; and that was enough'

I'm not suggesting that gathering properly identified leafage from by the wayside doesn't have it's place (particularly if you're on foot; and chlorophyll is in short supply  :)

But it on the whole; for most people gathering wild food is a harmless hobby rather than a  source of great sustenance. More than likely you'd use as many calories gathering your pot herbs as you're going to get from eating them.
Maybe that's no bad thing; and perhaps there are vital micronutrients available in some edible wild plants scarce found elsewhere?

After all, most herbivores will; given the chance; graze the hedges; in addition to any lush sward; made available to them

However if you're not averse to the odd rabbit or pigeon for your repast, you are, perhaps in a lazier (and bloodier), but more efficient way; making the most of that animal having done the foraging for you. There's certainly no shortage of those tender morsels in these parts... If anyone fancies doing a bit of pest control..

Whatever the subjects covered; and this issue also offers amongst many other topics: The Church of Englands' pattern of land ownership and management; alternative pig foods; Local planning authorities varying attitude to travellers; the proposed privatisation of the land registry; and the growing movement of veg producers within the London Boroughs.

 Definitely worth a look if you have a thoughtful interest in land; and how it is used; and oft abused. Or are concerned about decent food, clean water, and air, a respected; but not sanitised; rural landscape. And whether the people; and other creatures; living and working in that landscape; are being given a fair deal.

So with any luck; that pretty much includes any half sensible human being.

Certainly; one would hope; that there are no insensible people who read this blog

"The Land is written by and for people who believe that the roots of justice, freedom, social security and democracy lie not so much in access to money, or to the ballot box, as in access to land and its resources..."

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