Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Guildford farmers market

September 4, 2012
Guildford farmers market

Guildford farmers market

autumn produce

autumn produce

honey and walnuts

honey and walnuts

rape seed oil

rape seed oil

Not long after 9am this morning it was quite cool with heavy dew on the grass. By midday hot and very hot during the afternoon.

Good time of the year to visit a farmers market. Soft fruit like strawberries still available, plus this season’s apples, pumpkins, sweetcorn.

Last month Coca-Cola hijacked the market, handing out free drinks. Today a company called Oasis. No idea who they are or who is behind them. I asked what was in it. The girl did not even know and had to read from the bottle. I wish I had had a look, as probably fruit drink with lots of nasty chemicals.

Surprise, surprise, when I check it out, Oasis is Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola should not be at a farmers market, it is not local produce and is a clear breach of the rules. Begs the question why is Guildford turning a blind eye?

15.7g sugar per 375ml serving which is very high (17% of recommended daily intake). Does not say what sugar, but highly likely fructose which is a toxin.

Ingredients water, sugar, fruit juices (only 5% and from concentrates) and host of nasty chemicals, including carcinogenic aspartame. My initial suspicions confirmed, an unpleasant chemical cocktail being promoted as a healthy fruit drink.

Off Celtic Bakers a loaf of bread and carrot cake. He did not have much left, he said it had been a good day.

Long chat with the lady who has honey. She told me how to handle the bee colony in my garden. I would need ladders, a two-man job, knock the bees into a box, leave until night to collect as then all the bees would be in the box and no stragglers hanging about.

She said it had been a bad year for honey. Usually her bees would produce one and a half tons of honey, this year lucky if half a ton. She was advising people to stock up with honey now, as there was going to be a drastic increase in price.

Jars of honey on her stall were £5-50, a small jar with walnuts £4-50 (but she said that was this year’s honey and reflected the price increase).

Usually she has lovely bees wax candles. None today as hot weather made them soft.

Later I popped back and asked how do I shake the bees into the box? Shake the branch, but to get the honeycomb, best to cut off the honeycomb from the branch. I was also advised to smoke the branch as that would remove the pheromones.

Secretts Farm used to have mainly green leaves, but I am pleased they are now diversifying. Lovely little cucumbers which are very tasty, as are their radishes. The tomatoes Pink Brandywine. Polish girl on their stall was a horticulturalist, had planted most of the crops and was able to tell me what they were.

Apple stall had a good selection of apples, Katy and Discovery. No plums. earlier yes, 100 punnets had gone by midday.

Late lunch at The Keystone. Excellent fish cakes and greenery. Pleasant sitting in their back courtyard, but very hot.

I was hoping they might do something for the Guildford Book Festival as last few years it has been an unmitigated disaster, but Kath said too late as programme already out. Says a lot for the organisation of the Guildford Book Festival and their use of social media as no mention on twitter.

It was tempting to go home, and sit in the shade, but I thought no, hop on the bus to Godalming and visit the coffee shop, Cafe Mila, that I found last week. But it did mean I was carrying there all my produce off the farmers market.

Guildford farmers market takes place on the first Tuesday of the month in the cobbled High Street in Guildford.

We are in charge now

January 23, 2012

Carrotmob Makes It Rain from carrotmob on Vimeo.

SUSTAINATION – Find us on www.PeopleFund.it from Ed Dowding on Vimeo.

Greening Alton

Greening Alton

apple Malus domestica var Cornish Aromatic

apple Malus domestica var Cornish Aromatic

Politicians have failed to wake up to the fact we are living in a new world where they are an irrelevance. If you want something doing, do it yourself.

Every time two-faced hypocritical Nick Clegg opens his mouth he becomes a laughing stock.

Spineless Ed Miliband and useless Ed Balls have rendered labour unelectable. They oppose the ConDem cuts, but will keep in place in the unlikely event they are re-elected. They will not oppose the cuts to the poorest in society. An odious Labour women on Westminster Hour (BBC Radio 4) last night said their only concern with the cuts was that it might hurt local councils!

Tories justify the cuts on the grounds the poor will be better off having their benefits cut! This priceless piece of news speak would have made George Orwell proud.

Unemployed are to be harassed and bastardised even more by Job Centres making their already miserable lives even more miserable. People are jobless because there are no jobs! Instead of harassment, provide encouragement to make productive use of the time on their hands so they retain their dignity as human beings.

With the ConDem government so hated and despised, Labour should be head and shoulders ahead but they are not, they are trailing, such is the track record of Messrs Miliband and Balls.

The Trade Unions should, as PCS are considering, cut off all funding to Labour and instead hand that money over to activists who are making a difference.

In the States we see an odious vile bunch of Republican wanna be President. Barack Obama should be able to walk the election against this odious bunch, except he has been an unmitigated disaster, the Houseboy in the White House, the tool of Big Business and Wall Street.

Food speculation and crops for fuel, is driving up the price of land and food, driving poor people off the land.

All though is not lost. We can re-engineer from within, bypass Parliament, bypass Big Business.

Occupy is not just about occupying space, it is about using that space, creating a multiplicity of ideas, a parallel world.

Last week St Paul’s in-the-Camp got their marching orders, they are due for eviction later this week. The judge claimed the camp was obstructing the highway, blocking access to St Paul’s, neither statement was true.

Occupy is growing urban food, investing in urban food distribution networks.

Flash mobs and social networks are being used used to re-engineer how food is grown, distributed and sold.

Carrotmob targeted stores in an area. The one store that delivered the best environmental proposals would have a large number of purchasers delivered to the store when its doors opened. Within a couple of hours, over $9,000 had been spent in the store, normal take $1,000 to £1,300, on an exceptionally good day $3,000.

For example Waitrose uses plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables. There is no reason why they cannot use paper bags as does the local street markets. What if we formed a buying flash mob, a buy pod, to target Waitrose on this one issue?

In the States we have Community Supported Agriculture. The community supports the farm, the farm supplies what the community wants. A world of difference to being ripped off by supermarket chains and food speculators.

Cultivate is small farm of 5 acres south of Oxford. The community invests in the farm, the farm grows what the community wants. The farms goes to the community with their produce. They catch the commuters as they come off the trains, they catch the parents as they pick their kids up from school.

Curitiba has a had urban agriculture for some time. It also encourages farmers outside the city.

Greening Alton finds little plots of land and grows vegetables. There is a plot at Alton Station. Whether one is supposed to help oneself is not clear. They also match people up, those with a garden, those who wish to grow food, and an arrangement reached to share to produce.

Transition Heathrow has taken this to a whole new level. When the threat of a Third Runaway was mooted for Heathrow, the area became blighted. Transition Heathrow seized a derelict market garden and turned it back to productive use. They even had a positive impact on the local crime rate. The owners of the land, now that they see a success has been made, are trying to seize it back.

What has been achieved at Alton and Heathrow has been taken to a whole new level by Incredible Edible Todmorden. First, like Alton, small plots of waste land, now the whole town is involved, food grown by the town for the town. It makes a pleasant change to find a local council working with a behalf of a local community, not in the pockets of developers.

Christchurch was all but demolished by the earthquake last year. Town planners are looking at Todmorden as the model for the new Christchurch, that it will grow its own food.

Sustaination is making it easy to link growers, and restaurants and other local buyers. I eat in a restaurant, I ask where did their delicious lamb come from, or I can tell them where I get my top quality food from.

Food security is the issue. Without food we starve and die. We cannot carry on as though the rest of the world owes us a living, that they are under some obligation to feed us, as they are not.

We have to grow our own food. It is ludicrous to import tasteless apples from France, and grub up our own orchards. English strawberries put to shame those imported from the rest of the world, to give all-year-round, out-of-season strawberries. What is wrong with waiting for for the new season strawberries fresh from the fields?

The only food imports should be luxuries, pineapples and bananas, and when in season from southern Europe melons and water melons, and citrus fruits from southern Europe and the Middle East, similarly apricots and peaches.

In Petersfield, there is a walled garden, the Petersfield Physic Garden, all that remains of a medieval burgage plot. There I found the most delicious apples. I know, because I ate one. When the lady came to lock up, I owned up. That is what they are there for she said, please help yourself. A very peaceful and tranquil garden.

We have to move to Open Government, Participatory Democracy, where we are in charge. Social media now makes this possible.

Generation Food
A sense of the masses – a manifesto for the new revolution
Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel

Shifting seasons

July 25, 2011

Middle of July, if not earlier, wild blackberries were ripe and ready to eat. For the last few years I have found them along the River Wey flowing through Guildford end of July, early August, but never this early. The wild blackberries in my garden are also ready to eat and they are usually later than those along the River Wey. As a child we used to pick blackberries at Gibraltar Point on the Lincolnshire coast last two weeks of August.

Tomatoes in my garden variety Gardener’s Delight, planted out early May, have been turning red from mid-July, at least a week and a half ago. Yesterday evening I picked two for my tea. Delicious! I would not normally be picking until late August.

Discovery apples are ready for picking. These are the first season apples, light and crisp and juicy but have to be eaten within days of picking. The supermarkets prefer tasteless French Golden Delicious for long shelf life. According to growers, Discovery are weeks ahead of their usual picking times. [see The English apple ‘renaissance’]

I am looking forward to finding Discovery at the farmers market in Guildford next week, first Tuesday of the month.

My Father was picking Runner Beans from the garden for dinner end of June. These would normally be picked end of August.

And there are those who say global warming, climate chaos, does not exist!

Spring Easter Monday April 2011
Beans