Green books from Cumbria’s on-line food magazine…

March 25, 2007

We are lucky enough to live above a bookshop, not just any bookshop,
but according to the Times we live above the best independent bookshop
in the UK! Sam Read, run by Elaine Nelson in Grasmere.  We get most of
our books from Elaine,  but occasionally we will go further afield.

I recently discovered a publisher called Green Books who have a great
catalogue of books most of which I would buy. I have selected a few
here that they publish on food and organics. Over the coming months I
will highlight some of my other favourites. Here is a selection to whet
your appetite.  If you want to know more about a particular book, click
on the cover and you will go the publishers website providing you with
more details on each book as well as the chance to order it. 

I like this one as I am fascinated by the fermentation process, be it
for beer, cheese or breadmaking. It’s a natural process and I am
curious to know more,  this book will help me in my quest.

Ok, so this choice is heavily influenced by the arrival of Luke.  I
confess to giggling at the authors name, but the content is currently
right up my street.

 

The Schumacher College is an international centre
educating and inspiring for sustainability, based in the beautiful
Devonshire countryside of south-west England. Gaias Kitchen is a book
of
Vegetarian Recipes for Family and Community (ie. banquet quantity recipes) from this college.

 

Linda Moss runs a web site called www.organicholidays.com.
The book, Organic Places to Stay (based on the website) is the first
guide to B&Bs, guesthouses and small hotels in the UK that
specialise in serving organic food, this includes many from Cumbria. 
Linda kindly provided me with a great list of links to websites covering all manner of organic subjects, in return I provided Linda with an image of Howbarrow Organic farm!  

 

The seed is literally the key to sustainability, so what better than a
book that provides you with the experience and information in this
area. The only problem about living in a flat is not having a garden,
so this is one for the future for me!

I personally love to collect information, so this book goes down a
storm with me. My son bought me last years directory, last Christmas, a
particularly well chosen present. It is supported by the Soil
association and is a simple directory of a considerable number of
organic suppliers, producers etc around the UK. Each listing has a
description, a telephone number, an e-mail address and website if they
exist. In essence a great resource on organics. The directory is also
searchable online via a website called WhyOrganic.org, click here to go to the site.   

Enjoy. – Martin

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Green books from Cumbria’s on-line food magazine…

January 8, 2007

We are lucky enough to live above a bookshop, not just any bookshop,
but according to the Times we live above the best independent bookshop
in the UK! Sam Read, run by Elaine Nelson in Grasmere.  We get most of
our books from Elaine,  but occasionally we will go further afield.

I recently discovered a publisher called Green Books who have a great
catalogue of books most of which I would buy. I have selected a few
here that they publish on food and organics. Over the coming months I
will highlight some of my other favourites. Here is a selection to whet
your appetite.  If you want to know more about a particular book, click
on the cover and you will go the publishers website providing you with
more details on each book as well as the chance to order it. 


I like this one as I am fascinated by the fermentation process, be it
for beer, cheese or breadmaking. It’s a natural process and I am
curious to know more,  this book will help me in my quest.


Ok, so this choice is heavily influenced by the arrival of Luke.  I
confess to giggling at the authors name, but the content is currently
right up my street.

 
The Schumacher College is an international centre
educating and inspiring for sustainability, based in the beautiful
Devonshire countryside of south-west England. Gaias Kitchen is a book
of
Vegetarian Recipes for Family and Community (ie. banquet quantity recipes) from this college.

 
Linda Moss runs a web site called www.organicholidays.com.
The book, Organic Places to Stay (based on the website) is the first
guide to B&Bs, guesthouses and small hotels in the UK that
specialise in serving organic food, this includes many from Cumbria. 
Linda kindly provided me with a great list of links to websites covering all manner of organic subjects, in return I provided Linda with an image of Howbarrow Organic farm!  

 
The seed is literally the key to sustainability, so what better than a
book that provides you with the experience and information in this
area. The only problem about living in a flat is not having a garden,
so this is one for the future for me!


I personally love to collect information, so this book goes down a
storm with me. My son bought me last years directory, last Christmas, a
particularly well chosen present. It is supported by the Soil
association and is a simple directory of a considerable number of
organic suppliers, producers etc around the UK. Each listing has a
description, a telephone number, an e-mail address and website if they
exist. In essence a great resource on organics. The directory is also
searchable online via a website called WhyOrganic.org, click here to go to the site.   

Enjoy. – Martin

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Eat Carolinensis (the grey) , help preserve Vulgaris (the red)….

December 22, 2006

Ok, so I bet you don’t know what the headline of this post is referring
to, but if you listen to Radio 4 in the morning and caught the piece on
the ethics of killing the Carolinensis, then you just might figure it
out. Unlike its name, the Vulgaris is the cute one, with the
Carolinensis being the nasty aggressive one.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here it is Sciurus Vulgaris.

We like these cute little red “tree rats” as my American friend
recently referred to them, and the reds in Cumbria are being pushed out by the invading greys, being a local food website we have
decided to do our bit to help keep them alive with a foodie rescue package. We have slaved over
crock pots, risked life and limb and like Heston have researched it
thoroughly to come up with the absolutely best way to cook a Cumbrian
grey squirrel.

Cumbrian Grey Squirrel Fricasse

2 Cumbrian grey Squirrels, 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of
black pepper, 8 slices of Woodall pancetta, 1 Howbarrow organic onion,
4 tsp of organic lemon juice, 2 large apples from a local orchard, 3
cups of Lowther chicken broth.

Roll the squirrel meat in the flour, salt and pepper mixture. In a
large Creusot type pan, fry the pancetta. remove it and set it aside.
Turn up the heat and brown the meat in the pancetta fat. Sprinkle with
chopped onion and lemon juice. Return the pancetta to the pan, add the
apples and chicken broth. Cover and simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours over a low
heat. Serve with mashed potatoes, spiced carrots and roasted sweetcorn.

Enjoy….Martin

ps. I’m not sure it’s a good replacement for Christmas dinner, maybe leave this one until boxing day!

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Pig to slaughter, slave traders and jokes galore….

December 12, 2006

An early start this morning – our first pig of the Autumn to Slaughter. A stress free 15-minute journey for the pig. (Its more stress-full for me as the slaughter house is in the middle of the A590 roadworks) Our second pig will be available for Christmas. Again we will butcher on the farm and hope to have a second-hand mincer and sausage making machine by then…….. Its very rewarding to stock suppliers in the shop that we encouraged to go organic. I remember enthusiastic conversations with Jim Hadwin at Mansergh Hall, whose meat we now stock and from this week we will stock cheese from Low Sizergh Farm. It is encouraging to think that our own conversion to organic may have sowed the seeds for them and other farms in the area to do the same. Friday sees me attending the AGM of the Growing Well project in my capacity as a director. The project is now entering its third year, it has turned from a ‘shared vision’ into a productive organic holding with far reaching benefits for the community. Visit http://www.growingwell.co.uk for more info. A reflective view from the farm this week, maybe because it’s the anniversary of living at Howbarrow for 20 years this month. 1986 feels like a long time ago. I had a brief walk up to one of our fields that has been organic since 1986. The view as ever was stunning and that one organic field, the first in South Lakeland, helped start an ever expanding movement.


The box packing area (www.artisan-food.com)

Interesting to hear that Tony Blair on behalf of the UK Government is apologising for our past involvement as a Nation in Slavery. Only this
weekend I read a poignant article in the Observer on the pineapple trade in South America – workers planting 5000 plants a day that are
pre soaked in pesticides, causing the workers’ finger-nails to fall out. Young workers, prematurely aged, being paid a pittance, so that UK
supermarkets can challenge each other as to which one can sell the cheapest fruit! So I wonder when we will get around to apologising for
the modern slave trade of industrialised farming in third world countries – a few hundred years maybe? And while I’m on my soap box,
should the criteria for towns to have ‘Fair Trade’ status, include a requirement that you can’t get the award if you have a Walmart (Asda)
supermarket in the town? Wal-Mart being the 21st century epitome of modern slave traders…..

Mud everywhere on the farm, final picking this week of winter salad and stir fry leaves with only some lovely herbs (parsley & thyme in
particular) still looking great in the polytunnels.

‘Swim for your lives’, said the turkeys as the wall of rain water swept down the field…… The long dry summer, drilling bore holes for water
seems a long time ago. My children and I stood outside in the weekend storm and watched the large Sycamore tree on the farm sway and buckle.
You could hear it creaking, the trunk twisting and straining to each stronger gust, but it survived, incredible to watch. In our most
exposed field you could lean into the wind – it was like flying. My comments (above) on the evil empire Walmart have provoked more emails
then ever before. The general result of the straw poll seems to be a definite show of hands for Walmart being 21st century slave traders.
One of our staff did admit to going in ‘that’ store this week ‘…but only for cat food’…. But that’s not the point, make a new years
resolution NOW and do yourself a favour (and the rest of mankind) and don’t shop there.

Ok, this time three in one!

What do you get when you give King Kong brussel sprouts? King Pong!

In the school dining room little Jimmy goes back for a second portion, please can I have some more onions? No jimmy that’s shallot…..!!!

A man walks into a doctor’s office. He has a cucumber up his nose, a carrot in his left ear and a banana in his right ear. “What’s the matter with me?” he asks the doctor. The doctor replies, “You’re not eating properly.”

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technorati claim text for artisan food in Cumbria

October 14, 2006

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Artisan-food.com the on-line food magazine for lovers of the Lake District….. (artisan or artisanal food)

September 12, 2006

We run the Lake District’s on-line food magazine. The Lake District is in a county called Cumbria in the north of England. The farm below is called Yew Tree Farm, it is one of the main locations for the filming of Miss Potter, starring Rene Zelleweger and Euan McGregor. Hilltop Farm, where Peter Rabbit “lived” was a little too small for the film crew and so Yew Tree Farm was “converted”. A number of scenes took place on Loughrigg Terrace which overlooks Grasmere Lake were we live, so we are really looking forward to the release later this year.

We live in Grasmere

It is a beautiful part of the world. We are lucky enough to have some fantastic food producers, chefs and restaurants in our National Park. If you like food or want to see more of Yew Tree Farm (Herdwick lamb, and Belted Galloway beef), then visit our site here – we run a few blogs on the site, on the left are the latest postings.

We photograph and write about the best food in the lakes, our site is as much about people as it is about food. We cover stoneground milling and artisan bread, rare and local breeds like Longhorn Cattle and Herdwick Sheep, we cover subjects like smoking of food, cheesemaking, organic food and lots lots more.

We have features on the best chefs in the region and run a restaurant review section, there are interactive maps, directories, useful links. If you like food, cooking or eating then this is a great site to visit. – Martin


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