Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Welcome to the cow shed

One of the drawbacks of living in the country is getting from a to b. Scant public transport and winding roads can mean a lot of time spent behind the wheel. But I treat this as an opportunity to revel in extraordinary skies, keep abreast of crop rotation and appreciate the richness of East Anglian architecture.

Time permitting, I would also mention that there are glorious surprises in store if one takes a spontaneous trip down a stony drive to investigate one of the many chalked up roadside placards. Sunday was no exception. I had completed my parental taxi duty and it was such lovely evening I decided to take the circuitous route home. I was soaking up the beautiful mackerel sky when I saw a sign that said ‘raw milk fourth left’.


It was a long drive.

Keep a troshing??
Norfolk dialect for carry on with the threshing, roughly translated as keep going! I think. 

Anyhow, I kept going. 
Past lawns peppered with geese and peacocks.

To a little wooden shed, with a fridge, an honesty box, and deliciously creamy raw milk, 
straight from the udders of six beloved Jersey cows named after Goddesses.

Yes, I’ll be volunteering for that taxi run every time!

Keep up with the developments @Old Hall Farm, Woodton, on social media, 
there are plans afoot for more local produce in a bigger shed! 

Monday, May 15, 2017


"Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

This weekend I barged my way into a lot of borders. I wriggled under prickly raspberry stems to tug out buttercups and squeezed between the black elderflower and a red brick wall, to prise out nettles. I felt cumbersome and clumsy, my giant clodhopping feet pushing plants aside every step. 
But as I became absorbed in my task, and began to piece together the subtle comings and goings of the intricate world I had imposed myself on, I began to feel very humbled and very small.  

Just above my head, the remnants of an old blackbird’s nest were slipping through the vines of the clematis. I remembered last year’s fledglings, beaks relentlessly open. 
Tucked behind the base of the clematis were a heap of empty snail shells, hollow fragments of a passerine feast.

My trowel uncovered a couple of split walnut shells, so that’s where the squirrels hid them.

A broken eggshell, large, pale brown with speckles. A gull's egg?

As if to confirm my suspicions that nature doesn’t depend on a gardener's meddling, even my favourite tulip this year was one that I didn’t plan. A cross-pollination resulted in an exquisite cream and red striped bloom. And in decline, it is still beautiful.