Saturday, 3 September 2011

Community jam...........

A big part of the community shop in the village where I volunteer is actually involving the local people in it; one way we do this is be inviting and encouraging folk to bring in their surplus fruit and veg for sale - they can donate entirely , in which case the shop receives the full price, or they can do eg 50/50. Most folk donate, which is generous and community-spirited of them. As you are all aware probably, this has been a very good yeyar for damsons and plums - again! Not all of the last lot donated were sold, and were starting to go squishy in the trays. I brought them home and have turned them (half so far) into jam; this will be given back to the shop for their use. I am unable to sell it as I am not using an 'approved' (by Trading Standards) kitchen, so I enviage something like 'a free jar of local lum jam when you spend over £5' or similar. The rest of the plums I think will go for chutney, ready in time for Christmas. I'll print up some nice labels tomorrow for it all, and can't see it staying on the shelves for long!

County Show

This weekend is the coounty show, aka Dorchester Show; I love it. It's the real thing - all about agriculture, on which a lot of the county's economy is still pinned. Not your usual stuffy pretend to be country stuff with overinflated 'country'clothing stalls, nobs running around with ya ya screechy voices and knocking back champagne in the hospitality tents, the sort of show that people who think they are real country people go to and play at being suchlike - I'm sure you all know what I mean.
This is a good, honest, literally down to earth show over a couple of days with a dedicated showground on the outskirts of the town. Huge humber of classes - cattle, horses, sheep, goats, poultry, pigs, eggs, grains, bees, rabbits,  floral, handicrafts, horticulture.............local food by the truckload to buy and eat there - lots of space for sitting down....... sales of tractors and huge machinery, plants, local crafts , beers and ciders, cheeses and wines. I always see lots of folk I know there, it's great bumping into them in such a place. My favourite is the sheep tents (see post below), but I enjoy all of it. A loveley, calm, thriving atmosphere of friendly and fierce competition,  safe for children and dogs, all in all a hugely enjoyable day out, I always come home having learned something, usually lots! Here's a few photos of things other than sheep lol

Sheep at the show

I love my sheep, but I think you all know that! My favourites at the County show are the sheep tents; there was a huge number of entries this year, so I was thrilled to bits to find 3 tents to undertake some sheep browsing lol I could have taken each and every one of them home with me. Buoyed up by  finding both Shetlands and North Ronaldsays there - my two favourites; lots of others to look at too. The Grey Faced Dartmoors were represented well, with lots of entries, and some pinky-ish Charollais sheep, which I know little about, so will have to do some research on. Here we go then:

 Dorset Horn
 Hampshire Down
 Border Leicester
 Shetland ram
 Grey faced Dartmoor
 North Ronaldsay

Thursday, 1 September 2011

There are times.............

........ when I don't really want to be part of this world.
Please read this.


Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Keep it local

- as much as possible, anyway.

We are fortunate enough in our wee village to have a community run shop. The previous owners lost interest many years ago, and really ran the place down, stock and customer wise - rudeness and ignorance seemed to be their watchwords, and the shop and PO were threatened with closure. Long story short, the shop is now up and running, has been since April 6th of this year. I volunteer my services on a Wednesday, and really enjoy it in there - a wide range of customers, mostly local, stopping for a chat or a cup of tea if we have the kettle on (usually!); folk bring in surplus produce to sell, either donating all to the shop or splitting the money. I did part of my weekly shop there today too; plenty of lcoal stuff to buy - local sausages and ham, butter, bread ( sell by date, half price from freezer - we like a bargain), Vinny cheese (favourite in this house!) , locally picked brambles (Ii know the lads who picked them!), local cheddar cheese and a bottle of wine from the vineyard here in the village. Fair enough, I can't get everything I want there - free range meat isn;t stocked, or Ecover products, and they had run out of recycled loo roll; I also wanted 10 bags of sugar, which would have wiped out the whole stock of sugar! So, I did what I could, and put my money where my mouth is and shopped local, into cloth bags rather than carriers.
I am very glad I can do at least some of my shopping there - they stock a good mix of basics and local specialities, papers,  local milk and eggs from the far round the corner (the lady from the farm volunteers in the  shop too). I feveryone bought a wee bit regularly,from our village and the surrounding ones, then that would be wonderful.
Inevitably local village politics reared its ugly head, and there have been problems, but with a new committee (just call me Madam Secretary!! lol ) we are looking forward and I really believe we are on track to make a success of it all.
In addition, I learned today  that our pub will hopefully be re-opening in early December. A good day for the Caundles, I reckon!

Let's hear it for local..............  :))

Monday, 29 August 2011

Where I was brought up

Copyright photo, but can put link up. Stunnning photo of entrance to the village.

Lots more here. What a treasure to find :)

Oak Fair

I've been to each and every one of these so far, this being the 7th year. It's a wonderful, small, local ( and local-ish) celebration of all things wood and wood related. A huge range of interesting stands and stalls, displays and handmade items to look at and see - the most tactile of fairs you could imagine. You are invited to touch the wood, run your hand over sculptures, pick up and look, and spend time talking to the craftsmen about their work and ideas etc. As usual, I met some wonderfully inspiring and interesting people, some of whom I already know, lots of new ones too. Here's a few photos, just to give a flavour of it all -
 Stunning fox and hare wood carving, could have taken this home................just beautiful

 I'm not a fan of roped birds of prey and wild birds, but this wee chap was so beguiling and well behaved  I had to take a photo!

 Casting bronze...........

 My favourite sheep - Poll Dorset; some of the loveliest wool to spin too. These were three young ewes

By the cider tent

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Glastonbury wool festival
New event, I'm lucky enough to be going with a friend of mine. Really looking forward to this!

Bardsey apple

I should think there'll be quite a few appley posts over the next few weeks, this being the first...... I picked the first Bardsey apple last night - cool, very crisp, not too sweet, absolutely delicious. Well worth the wait and perseverence in trying to track down the tree a few years back. I got one apple last year, but a few more this year, will be picked later today when I can get to the higher parts of the tree.