Friday, 27 November 2009

The Freedom Manifesto - print your own!

From the rather wonderful Tom Hodgkinson:

Let's hear it for Hester Pinney

I just found out about this amazing and awe-inspiring woman last night; thought I'd share this with you all:

Coconut oil soap

I made this yesterday; stocks of soap are getting a bit low, and I had quite a few bottles of coconut oil to use up. Scouting about on the net, I found a basic recipe here:

Very pleased with the resulting soap, it's now cut and waiting to go upstairs to cure. Looks to be a nice smooth result, and should lather well. By the way, coconut oil soap is the only soap to get to lather in salt water. You may be glad you knew that one day!! lol

Thursday, 26 November 2009

BBC Radio 4 Farmer of the Year

Farming Today announced its Farmer of the Year last night, here he is:

Take time to have a look around the site if you can, it's wonderful. Organic and biodynamic - doesn't get much better than that for me! :D

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Searching for something "I thought I'd read about somewhere", I went back, in a roundabout way, to one of my favourite permaculture sites:

Take a look - I find it upbeat and inspiring. I then went on to have another look at the uk permaculture forum and decided to join it today - lots to read, lots to learn. They're at

There's also

to look at, and various DVDs available. I find actually physically listening to the people doing it , very inspiring.

I've been interested in permaculture for years, and have been using various aspects in my gardens. There are a few projects I want to incorporate next year, so have been looking about for ideas and inspiration, reading suggestions and information. I'll seek out my permaculture books over the winter and re-read them, ready to get going when the weather is right.
It's nice to have projects and dreams, something to scheme over and plan, and with permaculture, there's always something you can do quickly/easily/make a start on/cheaply or free right away.
With a bit more hard work and diligence out there, I'm sure I can finally close the almost closed loop in the garden, and would like to try for a year buying in nothing for it - we'll see how it goes, but I feel the little germ of excitment already.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Clotted cream and chestnut fudge

200g chestnut puree (I used tinned for this one)
275 g granulated sugar
100g golden syrup - scant measure
225g clotted cream (1 tub)

Put all ingredients into a heavy based saucepan and heat gently to dissolve; increase heat, bring to the boil, then put lid on for 3 minutes. Remove lid and continue to boil to 116C/240F, soft ball stage.
Remove from heat and beat well until thickened and grainy. Turn into lightly oiled tin and leave to set. When almost set, mark into squares. Keep in an airtight tin if you can :)

(This is my adaptation of a basic recipe I found on the internet.)

Monday, 23 November 2009

Isn't it nice to.................

- shut the thick curtains agains the dark and cold night

- have a lovely family and home

- enjoy good health

- have good friends

- have nothing planned for tomorrow

- look forward to an evening's knitting

- have a new book to read

- have a new catalogue *about* books to read

- know you have warm and nourishing food to feed your family

- see the moon

- shut the door behind you, knowing you don't have to go out again today

- have got a difficult meeting over with

- have time to stop and look in the garden even in the pouring rain

- fold clean, dry washing and put it away, smelling of fresh air

- look forward to things

- drift off to sleep having knowledge of the above

- be able to count your blessings

I hope you're as lucky as I am. :)