Thursday, November 12, 2009

Local Food Movement in UK

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Transition in the Garden

By far the best way to become seasonal is to grow your own veg. This summer we have been fairly self sufficient in many summer treats especially tomato.

We don't have a lot of space just a side yard where I have constructed two raised beds and a bucket garden made up of 15 home depot buckets

So today it is time to clear way the last of summer (although my peppers are still cropping along with the basil) and plant up for winter

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Basil infused lemonade

Got lots a basil and a few lemons still on the tree then this a great refreshing drink for summer.

Add about a cup of water and a handful of fresh basil to the juice and zest of each lemon used. Blitz in blender and sweeten to taste (blitzing again to blend the sugar or honey)

Pour over ice or chill in a pitcher. Drink neat or added to some vodka

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Missing in action

Well it has been a while since last post hasn't it! Bit of a distraction finding a new job unfortunately. But I am back and hoping to get back to blogging again.

In my garden the tomatoes are ripe and tasty, the basil is trying to flower (pick regular!) and just had my first cucumber.

As we move into August the early season apples are in season so get your one a day. Planning on making scrumpy cider this year a throw back from my roots created from the orchards of Cupertino.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Enjoy your Strawberries (Organically)

I am the inclined to go for seasonal and locally sustainable above organic when buying vegetables. That is in most cases. We are entering Strawberry season and the stores, farmers boxes and even roadside sellers are trading in the wonderful bounty. But I would offer a word of warning and that is with Strawberries, more than any other fruit or vegetable, I would suggest you look out for the organic ones. Strawberries have a very high retention ratio of pesticide residue. A study done in the UK found that over 67% of the Strawberries for sale had higher than safe (even legal) limits of pesticide residue.

So please buy organic Strawberries and enjoy this wonderful fruit while it lasts.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Love Apple Farm

Love Apple Farm in the Santa Cruz mountains is the kitchen garden for Manresa restaurant. Located in the Santa Cruz mountains (coastal central California), Love
Apple Farm is located at 9299 Glen Arbor Road, Ben Lomond. It is run by biodynamic gardener Cynthia Sandberg.

Turns out this farm and the associated web site is a gold mine for local gardeners, offering classes on a wide range of topics, including bee keeping and online guides.

Worth a visit for any local food enthusiast as an example of what can be grown at the highest quality in your back garden which is the freshest way to get your veggies for your plate.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Book

If you are concerned about your diet then one book you should read this year is In Defense of Food by Micheal Pollen
This book talks about a diet based on food, it is about eating real food  practice performed by humans for thousands of years. Yet only now, at this time, in the most developed nation on the earth, with the most health conscious population, almost more nutritionalists than lawyers are we facing a diet related health crisis on multiple fronts.

Read this book, it won't tell you what to eat, it won't tell you to change what you eat, it will simply help make better decisions in choosing what you eat.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

January Vegetables

Well enough preaching, and with a notion of forcing me to post on more of regular basis I thought I would post just what is in season during each month of this year. I will add a post on how to get your hands on seasonal Veg in a future post but here is what you should be looking for at the moment.

Fruit &Vegetables

  • Chicory
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Parsnips (these tend to be sweeter after they have had some frosty nights)
  • Green Garlic (like large spring onions, surprisingly pungent)
  • Winter Greens, like Kale and Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi
  • Winter Radish
  • Navel Oranges
  • Cardoons (Quite hard to find, looks like large celery, normally cooked by braising)

Also this is the best time to find Dungeness crab. You can get this in the stores but I like to take a trip over to the coast and get them off the boat. I go to Pillar Point Harbor at half moon bay. There is normally a whiteboard outside the harbor masters office which lists the vessels that are selling. The most activity is on the weekends. You can expect to pay a little less that store prices and the crab is much fresher. If you go during the week, and/or nobody is selling try the Princeton Seafood Company, they are extremely helpful and will probably have some nice crab to sell you. Remember that off the boat is cash only and take a large cooler.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Human Eco-system

I am always seeing reports in newspapers, magazines, and online about how someone or something is destroying an ecosystem and how fragile an ecosystem is. Generally this is considered a bad thing and often leads to some kind of legislation and lots of protests.

As I was wondering my local super market I began to wonder about the human eco-system. There is a lot of concern about what we are doing to nature but not so much about what we are doing to ourselves. Not wanting to preach here, that isn't the intent, but it is something to think about the next time you pick up some kind of processed food or some produce that has been shipped in from another country halfway around the world.

Do you know what is in what you are eating or about to prepare for someone you care about? do you recognize the ingredients? Do you know where the food you are eating came from? the region, the area, the person. What is the real cost of the tomato in January in your basket on the human eco-system.

You either care about this or you don't, and for the most part I would assume that people won't even think about it and the questions above would not enter their mind. Convenience is king, cost trumps quality, and the recipe you are using has no concept of seasonality. But if you did consider the questions above, would it change the way you shop for food. Personally I think it would, and I think it would better support your community and what your community produces, as well as the human eco-system in general.

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