Monday, August 19, 2013

Bon Appetit

For this month's Bon Appetit magazine I was commissioned to stock the pantry....
....and taught how to pickle, pull and shave!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

wednesday 6.45pm

walking down towards priory farm a light breeze teases the oilseed rape pods. it rattles the jet black seeds inside their crisp pods - a chorus of quivering maracas accompanying the twenty-four hour thrum of the combine harvester.

at the edge of the field a hare sits motionless. we pause. both waiting for the other to make the first move. 

two male whitethroats dart out from the corn stalks. they spit rasping warning cries at each other before chasing off in dissension. 

sundown burnishes the landscape. each ear replete. only hours away from the ravage of the combine harvester.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Out with the old, in with the new.

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see".  Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862

Is there a more rewarding time of year in the veg garden? I just love hanging around in the evening, musing, hose-pipe in one hand, hoe in the other, bee identification chart in my pocket and the chickens on the far side of the fence telling me about their day. 

There’s a tangible energy in every verdant row. The parsnip leaves are looking particularly exuberant after a rain shower. Below ground their less glamorous roots swell in secret. 
Papery onion skins are splitting to expose creamy corpulent flesh. I want to hurry their leaves to wither... I’ve got cabbages waiting to fill their space.

The broad beans are finished already, I ripped out their holIow stems to give a good home to some orphan cauliflowers. My mother couldn’t bear to throw away her surplus seedlings and I had neglected to sow any, so we’re both happy.

On reflection, I should probably have given away some of my cucumber plants. I was insuring myself against the slug attack that never came. But that’s the lovely thing about abundance, I can always find a friend delighted to receive a giftwrapped cucumber!

Lots of veg means lots of weeds. With the soil baked and trodden hard, I’m afraid shears are the most effective tool for clearing the paths. Topped with a good layer of grass cuttings however it feels as though I am stepping on decadent carpets as I pick the beans.

The ghostly silouette of a lone cabbage white drifts silently by, perforating my reverie... and my Brussels sprouts!