close

Вход

Забыли?

вход по аккаунту

?

Home Farmer Magazine - January 2018

код для вставкиСкачать
PRACTICAL | INF ORMATIVE | ENTERTAINING
For dreamers and realists
January 2018 | Issue 118 | �25
Y
YOUR KEC
AL
I
T
C
A
R
P
O
T
SELF- Y
SUFFICIENC
Including?
HERITAGE BREAD FROM HERITAGE FLOUR
STAY HEALTHY WITH WILD WINTER PLANTS
HOME-MADE WINTER HARVEST WINES
COULD YOU BE A BEE-KEEPER?
?and don?t miss
January 2018 | Issue 118 | �25
EXPERT ADVICE ON FEEDING YOUR GOATS
THRIFTY GARDEN TIPS, HEMP AND SAVING OUR SOILS
LIVESTOCK | GROW YOUR OWN | RECIPES | FORAGING | CRAFTS | DIY
EDITORIAL
Home Farmer Magazine
Firtree, Furnace, Inveraray, PA32 8XU
Tel: 01499 500553
homefarmer.co.uk
Editor: Paul Melnyczuk
paul@homefarmer.co.uk
Content and Design: Ruth Tott
ruth@homefarmer.co.uk
This month?s contributors:
Claire Waring, Danielle Kay,
David Winnard, Debbie Kingsley,
Dot Tyne, Edwina Hodkinson,
Elizabeth McCorquodale,
Emma Hurrell, Gaby Bartai,
Helen Babbs, Ian Duke,
Jason Weller, John Harrison,
Michael Wale, Paul Melnyczuk,
Seren Hollins, Sylvia Kent
Be a contributor
We welcome fresh ideas from readers and
published authors. If you have an idea for
a series of features in Home Farmer, please
check out our guidelines on writing for us at
https://homefarmer.co.uk/write-for-the-homefarmer, then put your idea down in an email
and send it to ruth@homefarmer.co.uk.
Newsletter
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter:
homefarmer.co.uk/email-newsletter-sign-form
Mmm?
Rose-hip wine
page 30
YOUR KEY TO PRACTICAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY
W
elcome to the first Home Farmer
of 2018, and let me be the first
to wish you a Happy New Year.
It?s been a tough twelve months ? and
a tough decade for many ? and we
face more uncertainty, according to the
Chancellor in his budget. We can do little
to alter politics and the economy ? that
is not our role ? but a single-minded
and creative hobby, whether practised
in the kitchen, garden or on the holding,
is a pleasing distraction, and helps raise
my spirits, even when things go wrong.
It might be empowerment, but it?s also
the ability to make a difference, whether
keeping livestock or growing veg ? a
sense of purpose in that something
depends on me, and satisfaction from the
fact I won?t let it down. Hopefully our mix of
gardening, livestock, recipes and projects
will inspire you over the coming year too,
and rest assured we shall be bringing
you lots of new and exciting ideas and
inspiration.
As for our January issue, we have
much to inspire from our regular features,
but we also look out into the wider world.
A new body ? the Save our Soils Alliance
has galvanised many groups to work
together to restore soil health and ensure
our children and grandchildren enjoy
good harvests, but perhaps the nicest
surprise is how Environment Minister,
Michael Gove, supports the initiative,
which will throw a spanner into the cosy
relationship between agribusiness and
Defra. He爃as verbally committed the UK to
the EU?s neonicotinoid ban too, and given
his word we shall not ?buy ? our way to
trade deals by accepting chlorine-washed
chicken or any other reductions in animal
welfare standards. There was, however,
recent concern when MPs supported a
move to deny the existence of animal
sentience ? something no-one who has
worked with animals could possibly do,
and a clear attempt to make it easier to
repeal animal welfare legislation. It created
a real hullabaloo as organisation after
organisation voiced concerns. Again, Gove
reiterated his promise of no compromise
on welfare standards; had people told me
six months ago that this might happen
I would have laughed. We are perhaps
experiencing uncertain times, but they might
be exciting times too, if we continue to let
our leaders know what we want.
Paul Melnyczuk
Editor
www.homefarmer.co.uk
Magazine | Online | Tablet | Mobile
Download HOME FARMER
on your tablet or
phone for �.99 a year
or �99 an issue.
www.homefarmer.co.uk/app
January 2018
3
18
Subscribe
YOUR KEY TO PRACTICAL
SELF-SUFFICIENCY
PAGE 33
26
40
WHAT?S INSIDE
03
THE EDITOR?S BIT
Paul ponders?
06 NEWS
Home Farmer related news.
10 THE THRIFTY GARDENER
Elizabeth McCorquodale shows how to garden on a budget.
14
WINTER VEG
Ian Duke considers the best veg to grow under cover in winter.
18
HEDGEROW MEDICINES
Edwina Hodkinson and Danielle Kay use some healthy winter wild plants.
22 SENSATIONAL SEAWEED
Healthy, free, and readily available ? David Winnard forages for seaweed.
26 SUPER SAVOYS
Gaby Bartai provides growing and serving advice for your Savoy cabbages.
30
NEW YEAR WINES
Sylvia Kent prepares wines using winter veg and a hedgerow favourite.
35 WINTER POULTRY TIPS
Jason Weller shows how to keep poultry comfortable and healthy in winter.
4 www.homefarmer.co.uk
52
60
64
THIS MONTH?S ISSUE
56 BECOMING A BEE-KEEPER
Claire Waring lists important things to consider before starting out.
40 THE SMALLHOLDER YEAR
Debbie Kingsley looks at each of the four seasons on the smallholding.
60 HEMP FOR SEEDS AND FIBRE
Helen Babbs features a most useful plant with a notorious close relative.
64 NEW YEAR SPIT ?N? POLISH
Seren Hollins creates cleaners and a pork pie to welcome in the New Year.
44 LIVESTOCK AND LEFTOVERS
John Harrison checks out the laws governing kitchen waste and livestock.
48 THE SMALLHOLDER?S DIARY
68 Dot Tyne?s diary includes preparing for tupping and sales, and a poorly Tim.
FEEDING YOUR GOATS
72 Emma Hurrell discusses goat nutrition for a healthy and productive herd.
52 MEDIEVAL BREADS
Paul Melnyczuk investigates how our medieval ancestors made their daily bread.
Have you got what
it takes?
?to
SAVE OUR SOIL
Michael Wale reports on the recent launch of the Sustainable Soils Alliance.
January 2018
be a bee-keeper?
PAGE 56
5
HOME FARMER NEWS
A yellowhamm
er.
CASE FOR FRACKING
WEAKENS
IT LOOKS AS if the previous
administration?s obsession with
fracking has cooled somewhat,
and this seemed to be confirmed
recently by Conservative MP
for Wells, James Heappey, the
man tasked with developing
the party?s energy policy. He is
on record as saying: ?I?ve been
encouraged by it fading away? I
don?t know whether by accident
or design,? when asked about
the omission of shale gas in
the recent budget and the
government?s apparent new
liking for renewables, although
this does fall short of the recent
cash injections offered to the
nuclear industry and offshore oil
and gas. There are still 20 billion
barrels of oil remaining in the
North Sea, and with renewables
now proving successful in
winning contracts solely through
their competitiveness, and other
new technologies arriving on the
scene, it seems the temptations
of fracking are no longer quite
so appealing, as it is effectively
undercut. Ironically though, the
fracking industry is still not quite
dead, and it is likely that the
first consent to frack in the UK
for 6 years will be granted in
December in Kirby Misperton
in North Yorkshire which has
seen years of protest by angry
residents. Sadly this comes at a
time when government has cut all
subsidies for low-carbon power
until 2025 under the pretext of
saving consumers money on their
bills. This money could be called
investment in the technology
which will fuel our economy in
years to come, and had that same
investment been made by the
oil companies during the good
FURTHER
DECLINES IN
FARMLAND
BIRD INDEX
years then they might not need to
come cap in hand to government
during difficult times. Perhaps it
would be a good PR exercise for
government to reject fracking and
begin investing in renewables
which even their own advisors
have said will continue to become
more competitive in years to come
as polluting fossil fuels become
ever more difficult, costly and
dangerous to extract.
NEW ENVIRONMENTAL
BODY
CONSULTATIONS ON THE
creation of a new environmental
body to hold government to
account after we leave the EU
will take place early in 2018.
It is intended to advise and
challenge both the government
and other organisations on
matters of environmental
legislation, and could even be
authorised to ?step in? to either
hold them to account or enforce
standards, if required. The aim
is to encourage transparency
and to prevent damage to
the environment as a result of
careless or irresponsible actions.
Currently the EU is responsible for
meeting targets and enforcing
legislation, with penalties broadly
designed to ensure that polluters
pay to repair the damage they
have caused. With爎esponsibility
for about 70% of the UK?s
land, the agricultural sector will
be a key player, but as it is also
recognised as a significant source
of pollution, it presents potential
problems for any policing body
as they will have to cooperate
whilst occasionally coming into
conflict. When commenting on
the new body, NFU vice president,
Guy燬mith, made specific
references to producing ?affordable?
food and ?appropriate levels of
regulatory equivalence with
trading partners,? which could
be taken to imply a possible
reduction in standards. Ultimately,
the main concern has to be the
independence of any such body
if it is to be able to perform its
task well, and this will almost
certainly involve a delicate
tightrope walk together with
some real teeth when it comes
to the policing part of its brief.
6
THE MOST RECENT farmland
bird index was published in
November and showed that
numbers in 2016 were less than
half their 1970s value, with most
of the decline taking place in
the 1970s and 1980s. The fall
in populations is attributed to
dramatic changes in farming
practices going back to the 1950s
and 1960s, although some more
recent declines can be attributed
to diseases such as trichomonosis
which has affected greenfinch
populations. The decline in the
index, which includes 19燿ifferent
birds, slowed to just 8% between
2010 and 2015, and this is
attributed to many farmers having
taken positive steps to conserve
bird populations, often through
incentive schemes which reward
environmental stewardship
initiatives. Between�70 and
2016, birds described as
specialist, which include the corn
bunting, lapwing, turtle dove
and yellowhammer, declined by
73%, whereas birds designated
as generalist, including the
greenfinch, jackdaw, kestrel and
woodpidgeon, declined by just 4%,
with jackdaw numbers actually
doubling since 1970. A爊umber
of specialists have also managed
to thrive, with goldfinch and stock
dove populations more than
doubling since 1970, but the
overall trend is downwards, with
three quarters of the category
falling in numbers, and 3 in
particular ? the grey partridge,
turtle dove and tree sparrow ?
declining by 90% compared to
1970s numbers. The figures have
once more prompted calls for an
overhaul of farming practices as
the UK leaves the EU and its rigid
system of agricultural subsidies.
www.homefarmer.co.uk
SHOPPERS? CONFUSION
AFTER CONSIDERING thousands
of packs of pork, gammon and
bacon in supermarket stores,
NFU Scotland has concluded that
consumers will often struggle to
find out exactly where the contents
of many have actually come from.
Most supermarkets sell products
from a number of countries
including the UK, with only the Coop, Waitrose and M&S selling just
UK produce, but the contents of a
number of ?own label? packs were
described as being from more
than one country, and some were
just described as EU produce.
?Fake farm? branding was also
still found to be a problem, with
many such packs found to contain
produce attributed to more than
one single country. NFU Scotland
is now calling on all supermarkets
to show transparency in their
labelling policy, specifically
with regard to the ?last point of
processing? oval on packaging,
and certainly for improved ?country
of origin? labelling post-Brexit,
saying that it makes sense for any
business to be transparent with
its customers, and to offer them
the choice they would expect and
deserve. They will also be liaising
with a number of other bodies to
see if any breaches in labelling
may have occurred.
LYNX KILLS
SEVEN
SHEEP
I WAS DISMAYED to read that
an escaped lynx has killed
7爏heep in Wales. The lynx, a
Eurasian lynx just like the ones
intended for release in the
Kielder Forest, escaped from a
zoo in Aberystwyth, apparently
killed all the sheep in a single
attack with bites to the neck, and
traumatised a number of others
in the flock. Just two of the sheep
were partially eaten. There are
currently conflicting reports as to
the potential damage lynx can
do, with Lynx Trust UK suggesting
that an average of just 0.4 sheep
are killed annually where they
have been released in other
European countries, but sources
in Scandinavia and other parts
of Europe suggest losses have
actually been quite high. I have
to admit I was in favour of the
release when I first heard about
the proposal, but this recent
occurrence shows just how difficult
a decision this will be, and how it
will genuinely worry many sheep
farmers.
ANIMAL SENTIENCE DENIED,
THEN REAFFIRMED
UNDER EU LAW animals are
recognised as feeling both pain
and emotion ? generally referred
to as sentience. However,
with EU law now about to be
transferred into UK law, a recent
attempt was made in parliament
to transfer the appropriate
protocol in order to guarantee
continued recognition of this fact,
but sadly it was rejected by a
majority of 18 votes ? 313 voting
against and 295 for. I?m pretty
sure that anyone who has ever
dealt with animals of any kind is
aware that they exhibit a wide
range of different responses,
from joy and fear to fondness
and even a sense of loss, and
anyone who has accidentally
trodden on a dog?s tail is unlikely
to forget the horrendous shriek it
elicits ? all not dissimilar to the
way a typical human reacts, in
fact. The general fear from most
charities and animal welfare
groups is that this backwards
step will make it easier to reduce
our animal welfare standards in
an attempt to court future trade,
and the government?s suggestion
that the Animal Welfare Act
2006 provides ample protection
falls well short of assuring them.
The original acknowledgement
of animals as sentient beings
was the springboard for many
improvements in our welfare
standards, and it is a matter
of great shame that a majority
of our elected MPs might think
otherwise.
Fortunately the overwhelming
view in the UK in 2017 seems
to be that those 313 MPs are
now seriously out of touch, and
it was reassuring to see the
criticism the vote provoked from
the farming community and all
other relevant groups. This led
to a swift reassurance from the
Environment Minister, Michael
Gove, that animal sentience
will continue to be recognised
and protection strengthened.
He爎ejected suggestions that the
vote was in any way a rejection
of animal sentience, suggesting
instead that the bill was flawed,
and pointing out quite correctly
that many EU countries were
lagging badly behind in their
own welfare standards. He also
referred to proposals to increase
sentences for people found guilty
of cruelty to animals and plans to
install CCTV in all slaughterhouses,
while suggesting that restrictions
or a ban on the live export of
animals for slaughter would
only be possible once we have
left the EU. Gove?s reassurances
were welcomed by the Humane
Society UK (HSI), although both
the HSI and the RSPCA argue
that nothing short of officially
recognising animal sentience can
provide appropriate protection in
the case of new laws, and in the
case of animals in the wild and
those used in experimentation.
Protections granted in law can
always be removed but an official
recognition of animal sentience
would make this much more
difficult for any government to do.
December 2017
7
HOME FARMER NEWS
FLY TIPPING DEBATED IN PARLIAMENT CORNISH
FLY TIPPING IN rural areas was
a subject of debate in parliament
recently, and one of the issues up
for discussion was how best to
use available evidence to trace
the culprits as catching them red
handed has proved unsuccessful.
One MP cited evidence relating
to a potential culprit which police
presented to the Driver and Vehicle
Licensing Agency, only to be
told that releasing the person?s
details would be a breach of data
protection. Apparently only 0.1% of
fly tippers are actually prosecuted,
with an average penalty of just
�0 ? described as woefully low
and no discouragement to serial
offenders. Two thirds of farmers are
said to have reported fly tipping
on their land, and hard-strapped
local authorities deal with over a
million incidents each year at a
cost of over � million, effectively
costing us in reduced services. It
KERN TAKES
TOP PRIZE
IN WORLD
CHEESE
AWARDS
is now regarded as an organised
crime, and Defra is currently
assessing a 5-point plan put
forward by the CLA which includes
the reasonable suggestion that
victims should not be charged
by waste disposal sites for
disposing of waste dumped
illegally on their land. There is also
a review of sentencing taking
place, and penalty notices for any
householders whose waste is
fly-tipped are under consideration,
although given the extent of the
problem, this may prove too blunt
an instrument.
INCREASE IN DOG ATTACKS GLYPHOSATE
GETS 5-YEAR
ON LIVESTOCK
the importance
REPRIEVE
of ensuring they
DOGS ATTACKING LIVESTOCK
are costing farmers millions of
pounds and considerable distress,
and the extent of this growing
problem is revealed by a report
from the All-party Parliamentary
Group for Animal Welfare.
More爐han 1800 have been
killed, more than 1600 have been
injured, and over 90 dogs have
been shot in so-called ?worrying?
incidents. The report showed
that most incidents involve
unaccompanied dogs, and while
stressing that most dog owners
are responsible people, the Allparty Group suggests educating
people about the damage
dogs can do, and emphasising
cannot escape into
the wild. They also
recommend use of
leads, checking for
signs warning that
livestock is present
in fields, and
attending training
classes as ways
of reducing the
high number
of attacks. Better燼dvice from
police forces about preventative
measures and the availability
of low-cost litigation are also
recommended, and it might be a
good idea to make more people
aware of the risks to themselves,
especially where calves are
present in fields. In燼ddition, the
CLA recommends that farmers be
allowed to divert walkers at certain
times of year, although this will
attract a hostile response. You can
see the full report at csjk9blog.
files.wordpress.com/2017/11/
apgaw-livestock-worryingreport-2017-1.pdf.
Peter Melchett. Photo � Soil Association.
RESPONDING TO A 5-year
extension to the glyphosate
licence, Soil Association
Policy Director, Peter Melchett,
commented: ?The weight of
scientific evidence suggesting
glyphosate is not safe, including
evidence from internal Monsanto
papers, is increasing all the time.
The chronic uncertainty that has
so delayed a decision by the
EU should not stop Michael
Gove doing things that everyone
agrees on, namely banning
the spraying of glyphosate on
crops immediately pre-harvest
and banning glyphosate use in
public places like parks, streets
and playgrounds, in line with the
European Parliament?s and the
Commission?s advice.?
8
CONGRATULATIONS TO Lynher
Dairies for winning the top
prize at the 2017 World Cheese
Awards for their Cornish
Kern cheese ? an alpinestyle cheese with a dark rind
produced using pasteurised
milk. Scoring 75 points out of a
possible 80, it was run a close
race by the 2012 runner up, Blu
di Buffala from Italy. The event
took place alongside the Taste
of London event at Tobacco
Dock, and was judged by 250
representatives from 29 different
countries, who assessed in
excess of 3,000 cheeses from
35 countries, finishing up with
a ?super jury? which included
experts from the UK, Japan,
South Africa, Mexico, France,
Italy and Sweden making the
final top awards in front of a
live audience. Cathy燬trange,
Whole Foods Market cheese
buyer, described Kern as
?visually stunning,? and said:
?You can see the quality of the
milk in this cheese and the
complexity comes at you in
layers and layers.?
www.homefarmer.co.uk
December 2017
9
SAVING THE PENNIES!
Elizabeth
McCorquodale
Elizabeth is a writer and
photographer, and author
of three books, including
Kids in the Garden.
G
15 ways to save money
IN THE GARDEN
Elizabeth McCorquodale shares some imaginative and innovative
ways of keeping down the cost of gardening without compromising
on productivity
ardening can be an expensive
business, and with UK households
spending a whopping �billion
on their gardens each year, the sector is
certainly doing very well. With so many
new products, deals and offers available,
it?s no wonder we are tempted: this bit of
essential equipment, that shiny new tool,
not to mention the seeds and the plants!
Even the professional cynics among us
often fall for the siren call of ?bogoffs?,
super sales and never-to-be-repeated
bargain offers, let alone the seduction of so
many colours, scents and flavours.
But when it comes down to it there
is a lot to be said for gardening frugally.
No-guilt gardening could be one way of
looking at it, or perhaps thrifty gardening,
and there is always a lot of fun to be had in
figuring out just how little you can spend
and still end up with a fantastic garden ?
and it?s kinder to your pocket, and usually
to the environment too.
It?s easy, really. In an ?edible garden?,
grow only those plants that you really
like to eat, and only those that you will
consume, or can easily give away. And if
space is limited, choose to grow fruit and
vegetables that are expensive in the shops,
or that you consume in quantity, and
choose the varieties wisely. You?ll pay the
same for a tall, prolific pepper variety as
for a tiny patio variety, so go large and get
your moneys? worth.
Grow cut-and-come-again plants
that keep on cropping all season, and
that will give you real value for money.
These爄nclude dozens of salad leaves, as
well as spinach, collard greens, chard,
broccoli, mangetout peas and, of course,
numerous herbs.
1.
DON?T BUY lots of newto-the-market varieties that
haven?t yet proven their worth
in the wider plant community.
Let someone else do the trials,
especially if the seed or plant is
expensive. Unfortunately new
varieties often don?t live up to
the hype.
2.
KNOW THYSELF! Only
grow plants that will suit
your situation, your lifestyle
and the time you have to
devote to them. If you dislike
dead-heading, don?t buy sweet
peas; if you always go away in
August, don?t plant courgettes;
and if you don?t like Brussels
sprouts, give them a miss.
3.
GROW FROM seed whenever
you can, and if you must buy
plants, buy small. Small plants
will become established more
quickly than larger plants, and
they are usually much better
value for money.
10 www.homefarmer.co.uk
4.
BEWARE OF packaging!
Big pots don?t necessarily
mean big plants, nor does
a multi-pack mean valuefor-money, and steer clear
of the dreaded coloured
pot... would the plant be
as attractive in tatty black
plastic or are you paying for
the presentation? Saving seed is
not only cost
effective; it also
means you can
choose the qu
ality of the veg
you grow.
5.
Potatoes are just as tasty grown in a
black plastic sack.
4.
WATER! Around half of all
UK households now have
water meters. According
to the RHS about 70% of
household water ? clear,
cleaned, filtered, potable
water ? is poured on
gardens at peak times
in the summer, and that
costs! The good news is
that there is a simple,
cheap, obvious solution
to reducing water bills;
use rainwater! Attach
gutters to all your garden
buildings and make
rainwater diverters from
all the house, garage and
garden downpipes using
gutter t-pipe and a bit of
flexible tubing to divert the
runoff into covered water
butts. Any self-respecting
re-users? website such
as Freegle, Freecycle or
Gumtree will be a rich, free
or inexpensive source of
old guttering, as well as old
water butts and any other
paraphernalia you might
need for the job.
COMPOST. A well-made
compost heap, especially one
enriched with manure, is the
best way to become selfsufficient in compost, and
there are designs to suit every
need and size of garden, from
elegant designer composters
to huge free-range mounds
that will satisfy even the
largest estate. Make seed
and potting compost for free
by reserving your kitchen
waste to use in a wormery.
There爎eally should be no
need to ever buy compost
again.
6.
January 2018
GARDEN CHEMICALS
are expensive and often
unnecessary. Don?t ever use
chemicals as a preventative
unless you are absolutely
sure it is essential. Many pest
controls can be made from
household products. Arm
yourself with a good natural
pest control guide and reduce
your chemical bill right away.
See Dave Hamilton?s article
in the May 2014 issue of HF
or go to: homefarmer.co.uk/
cheap-garden-pest-control.
11
SAVING THE PENNIES!
10.
Comfrey.
7.
8.
DON?T GET hung up
on having lots of different
fertilisers for different plants.
All you need is a generalpurpose feed (one where the
ratio of NPK is the same, or
almost the same) and a booster
for fruit and flowers (such as
tomatoes) and, at a stretch,
one for acid-loving plants such
as lemons, blueberries and
hydrangeas.
IT IS perfectly possible ?
desirable even ? to garden
productively without buying
any fertiliser at all. You can get
everything you need simply
and cheaply by using the
things that you already have
to hand. Comfrey and nettles
both have long roots that are
able to reach deep into the
soil and draw nutrients up
into their leaves. To make
liquid feeds, snip either of
these plants into small pieces
and pop them in a bucket,
cover with water and fit a
tight-fitting lid, then leave
it for a week or two to do its
stuff. Don?t leave it too long
though as the smell increases
at the same rate as the
decomposition. Use this feed
on the soil around the base
of plants ? diluted if it is very
strong ? but avoid getting it
on any edible parts of plants.
9.
TOMATOES AND other
fruiting plants need a high potash
fertiliser, and that is just what
you get from wood ashes saved
from bonfires or woodburners.
Turn the ash into a liquid feed
by stirring a shovelful into a
bucket of water, and water the
soil around the roots, or forego
the water and sprinkle it directly
onto the soil. Wood ash is also
efficient at altering the pH of
soils, so avoid its use wherever
you want the pH to remain on
the acid side (around potatoes,
for instance), but exploit its
alkaline properties wherever they
can be of use (around brassicas,
for instance, particularly if
clubroot is a problem). When
scattering ash, rake or dig it into
the soil if you will be sowing
delicate seeds or seedlings, and
always (as with any soil additive)
keep it away from stems and
trunks. To preserve the nutrient
value of ash, keep it dry, storing
it in a bin or in sealed bags until
needed.
11.
PLANTS FOR free!
People who love plants
usually love to share
their passion and are
often willing to offer
cuttings, seed heads
or even a clump of a
favourite plant when it
becomes time to lift and
divide. Keep a supply
of small plastic bags,
newspaper, secateurs
and a bottle of water
in your car so that you
are always prepared to
collect cuttings, plants
and seeds when you?re
out and about.
WHENEVER YOU are sowing
or taking cuttings, start off a
few more seeds and cuttings
than you actually need, and
whenever you dig up a plant to
divide it, cut off a few pieces
to offer to others, and to use as
your own ?swapping currency?.
12 www.homefarmer.co.uk
13.
11.
SEEDS, SEED saving and
seed swaps. Seed catalogues are
seductive, but most of what
you find there you can find
elsewhere for little or nothing.
Don?t underestimate the ease
of collecting and saving your
own seeds or the seeds that you
come across in your day-today life, and get in the habit
of swapping seeds with friends
and colleagues, or go along
to organised seed swaps in
early spring. These wonderful
days are organised by all
sorts of garden and allotment
associations, and you can find
just about anything you could
desire among the stalls. Keep an
eye out for our annual potato
days and seed swaps calendar in
next month?s Home Farmer.
GARDEN RECYCLING.
There爎eally is no need
to spend good money
on plastic plant pots
when there are so many useful
alternatives just waiting to be
recycled. Use yogurt pots, toilet
roll tubes, egg boxes or newspaper
pots for starting off seedlings
and cuttings. Raspberry and
strawberry punnets are terrific as
mini propagators as they often
come complete with snap-on lids.
Give爊ew and
stylish life
to old and
ugly plastic
planters or
troughs by
wrapping
them neatly
in hessian
sacking.
12.
14.
THERE ARE numerous
money-saving uses for plastic
bottles in the garden, ranging
from making bottle sprinklers,
winter bug houses and
birdfeeders to water reservoirs
to stick in your potted plants
when you?re away on holiday,
but my favourite quirky use for
bottles is to make grow frames
and cloches. Thread bottles
onto long bamboo canes, and
when you have enough canes
clothed with bottles, make
up a frame for your structure
using more bamboo canes.
Attach the bottle-canes to
the structure. This can make
a lovely, bespoke shelter for
growing peppers and tomatoes,
and it comes at the cost of a
few bamboo canes.
TIGHTS MAKE great soft
plant ties, melon slings, and
provide a great bag to hold
manure suspended in a barrel
of water to make compost
tea, but my favourite moneysaving use for tights is to
make cheap barley-straw pond
clearers. Buy the smallest bag
of barley straw from your local
pet shop and stuff a 45cm
length of tights with the straw.
Tie the ends shut and weigh
the straw sausage down in your
pond. The biological reaction
can take up to 2 weeks to
work, but it will clear your
pond of algae. Simply replace
the straw sausage every month
to keep your pond clear.
A COMPOST BAG STRAWBERRY
PLANTER
METHOD
1 To make a strawberry planter,
turn the bags black side out and
poke some holes in the bottom
for drainage.
2 Put a 30cm layer of soil in the
bag and pat it down.
3 Cut four holes in a ring around
the sides at soil height.
4 Carefully push a strawberry
runner through each hole and
settle the roots into the soil.
5 Add another layer of soil, cut
out some more holes, and
push more strawberry runners
through the holes. Continue like
this until the bag is full.
6 Plant a final layer of
strawberries on the surface and
water them in.
7 Without the planting holes,
compost bags make perfect
little grow bags for potatoes,
and with the tops rolled down
they also make great smaller
pots for use in the greenhouse
which are easy to store away at
the end of the season.
and finally?
15.
See other ideas on
www.pinterest.co.uk/
homefarmermag/
womble-pics/.
January 2018
IF YOU have any hanging
around, old compost bags can
have a rich afterlife. Use them
on pathways or between rows
of vegetables to stop weeds
and slow evaporation, and use
them to line hanging baskets to
prevent water running through.
They燼lso make good, strong
rubble sacks, and are a fine
choice for holding leaves for
composting into leaf mulch.
13
POLYTUNNELS
Ian Duke
Home Farmer reader,
Ian, is a keen kitchen
gardener and polytunnel
enthusiast. ?A polytunnel
isn?t just for summer?,
he says, ?With a bit of
TLC it can be employed
throughout the year.?
WINTER UNDER COVER
Ian Duke suggests some under cover veg to grow in the cold to give
your vitamin C a boost in these dark days of winter
L
et?s be completely honest ? you
can?t fool seeds fully into thinking
it?s spring when the roof of the
greenhouse is bowing under snow! It is,
however, possible to produce delicious baby
leaves and small vegetables simply bursting
with flavour and vitamins, even when
all around is ?deep and crisp and even?.
True,爕ou really won?t see much in the way
of ?sow now? on the backs of seed packets,
but given the right conditions under cover,
it?s certainly worth having a go.
Many of the vegetables I mention
germinate with only a small amount of
heat, grow quickly, and throw off leaves
and shoots that you can lightly harvest, rest,
then harvest again. Others are particularly
suited to winter conditions anyway,
and once they have pushed up through
the soil they will cope well with cooler
temperatures. The main thing is to keep a
check on watering, which should really be
kept to a minimum ? cooler temperatures
also give more chances of mildew and rot
if the young plants are too wet. Ventilation
will help to combat this by getting the air
moving around the plants, and, unless it is
really freezing outside, I?d recommend you
open the vents or doors just a fraction for
a few hours during the daytime to achieve
this. This is more important once the
seedlings have emerged; seeds still hiding
under the soil yet to make their debut will
need all the heat they can get.
So, if your polytunnel or greenhouse is
insulated and you have either a heater or
a hotbed, grab those seeds and get sowing
because there is no time to lose.
OH BABY
We?ll start first with tender and tasty
baby leaves. Chards are a perfect choice
and come in striking colours able to
brighten up any dull and overcast winter
day. Look out for varieties such as ?Canary
Yellow?, ?Rhubarb? and ?Bright Lights?,
as well as the more familiar ?Silver?. The
leaves can be picked young and used as
?cut-and-come-again? ? ideal for stir fries
and warm winter salads. Left to mature
on the plant they will be great steamed or
lightly boiled. Another leaf beet, perpetual
spinach, comes into the same category and
is rather more hardy and vigorous; an ideal
candidate for cutting on a regular basis.
Coming from the same family as
beetroot, each chard and perpetual
spinach seed is actually a cluster of seeds
(technically a ?fruit?) and will germinate
thickly. Germination can take place
anywhere between 8癈 and 30癈, so
temperatures under cover don?t have to be
too precise. Sow the seeds in drills 8cm
apart. Spacing for baby leaf production
is not critical because the plants will be
harvested before they reach anywhere near
maturity. If you want fully-grown leaves,
30cm apart is the recommended spacing.
Rainbow chard is a welcome sight in the dull, darker
days of winter.
14 www.homefarmer.co.uk
?Spacing for baby
leaf production
is not critical
because the plants
will be harvested
before they reach
anywhere near
maturity?
Whilst you are up for the challenge,
why not try some spicy salad rocket and
vitamin C-rich corn salad (also known
as lamb?s lettuce); both are good for
individual leaves, and corn salad can also
be picked whole as a complete rosette ?
very attractive in a mixed salad. A very
similar and worthwhile crop is winter
cress, again rich in vitamins, and with a
spicy bite to it.
Claytonia (winter purslane or miner?s
lettuce) is also perfect for growing and
harvesting in cooler conditions.
Mizuna.
ORIENTAL LETTUCE
SALAD DAYS
You can grow baby lettuce and
other salad leaves throughout the winter
months, and there are lots of varieties
to choose from. Although they may
look tender, many lettuce and salad leaf
varieties have been bred to grow over
winter. Hardy types include ?Winter
Density? (a cos type), ?Winter Crop? (a
loose leaf type), and popular favourite
Lamb?s lettuce.
?Valdour?. But you don?t have to restrict
yourself to cold-resistant varieties if you
have a warm polytunnel. Fastgrowing summer favourites
gs.
Rocket seedlin
such as ?Salad Bowl? (both red
and green) are worth a try for
their young, fresh leaves, and
should regrow to give more
leaves for a second cutting.
All these can be sown directly
into warm soil in the tunnel,
or in seed trays or modules for
transplanting as soon as they
are large enough. Once again,
because you will be picking
them earlier than usual, spacings
can be much less than for larger,
mature plants.
Many of these oriental beauties
are ideal for young plant production.
Versatile爄n the kitchen and normally
trouble-free to grow, oriental vegetables
come in many different guises:
lMizuna
has attractive, serrated pale
green leaves and a slightly mustard
flavour. It grows very fast and can
be used in stir-fries and salads.
It爓ill regrow even if cut back hard.
A爉ember of the brassica family, it has
a look and texture more like lettuce.
Rocket.
January 2018
15
POLYTUNNELS
lMustard
Greens are really striking, and
you can?t beat ?Giant Red?. The leaves
turn a deeper shade of purple/red in
cold weather too. The young leaves can
be used in salads to add colour and a
mild mustard flavour, which gets hotter
as the leaves grow larger. Leave the
plants to mature and they can be used
in stir-fries or mixed with ordinary
cabbage greens to give extra bite ? they
even add a piquant taste to humble
sandwiches.
l?Komatsuna? is great for both speed
and hardiness. It?s a vigorous plant, and
the leaves are ready to harvest within
a month. Taste-wise, imagine a cross
between spinach and cabbage.
Alternatively, let the seed companies
make a selection for you. Go for one
of their oriental green mixes which
normally consist of pak choi, purple
mustard, mibuna and mizuna, as well as
Chinese cabbage and more. Different seed
companies use slightly different mixes, so
check the seed packets to see what varieties
they contain. All plants should be suitable
for use as baby leaves.
BITS AND BOBS
Here are some more quick growers
likely to be a success in the tunnel this
winter:
lCeltuce
? a versatile plant that can
be used in salads (as leaves), and the
crunchy stems eaten raw like celery.
You should be harvesting the first
leaves after just four weeks.
lTurnip tops ? seek out the special
variety bred to produce greens rather
than the usual swollen root. As with
other turnips they are quick and easy
to grow, and the leaves have a tangy
spinach flavour.
lKale ? you won?t wait too long before
you are cutting these leaves for stir-fries
or steaming. The smaller they are,
the more tender the leaves will be.
?Green Dwarf Curled? and ?Redbor?
are ideal varieties for this purpose with
attractive, frilly leaves.
lRadish ? they don?t like the hot
weather, but will thrive growing under
cover in winter. As for speed, some
varieties mature within 30 days. The
elongated winter radishes such as
?Mouli? and ?Rosa?are recommended,
but quick-growing types such as
Kale seedlings.
?Sparkler? and ?French Breakfast?
should produce a decent crop.
The seedling leaves are edible
too.
lSpring onions ? typically
require more time than leaves
but can still be ready 10?12
weeks after sowing. Normally
sown 2?3cm apart in drills but
can be sown more thickly for
baby veg. One of the quickest
is ?White Lisbon? which is
traditionally grown in spring
but good results can be had
from out-of-season sowings.
?Ramrod? is a winter hardy
variety that can be sown
throughout the year.
Although they
may look tend
er,
many lettuce an
d salad leaf va
rieties
have been bred
to grow over w
inter.
Radish thrives under cover in winter.
16 www.homefarmer.co.uk
January 2018
17
HERBAL MEDICINES
Edwina Hodkinson
and Danielle Kay
Edwina Hodkinson MNIMH BSc
(Hons) and Danielle Kay MNIMH
BSc (Hons) are both practising
medical herbalists with a passion
for reconnecting with nature for the
health of the people and the planet.
Bookings are now being taken for
the 2018 Weeds and Wild Medicine
Course. This is an 8-day course
running on the 3rd Saturday of the
month from March to November
(except August) that takes place at
the Offshoots Permaculture Project
in Burnley.
Visit: weedsandwildmedicine.com,
email: edwinahodkinson@yahoo.co.uk,
or phone 0161 797 2761 to find out
more.
S
itting inside the cabin at Towneley
Park, Burnley, the wood stove
crackles and glows, warm and cosy
against a November frost that still lingers
outside in the garden from last night.
Out爐here the plants have died back,
leaving the last of the summer?s dead stalks
and seed heads stark against a cold sky ? all
remnants of last year?s abundance, which
already seems so long ago. Our medicines
are now mostly under the soil in the roots,
and in the sparkle of winter-frosted rosehips and hardy evergreen plants. The time
between November and March is when
most people suffer from coughs, colds
and flu, and Mother Nature is generous;
as well as the ?elderberry rob? we made
in autumn, there are still a number of
effective winter medicines to be found in
the winter garden and the hedgerows ?
elecampane, marshmallow and horseradish
Winter hedgerow
MEDICINES
Medical Herbalists, Edwina Hodkinson
BSc(Hons) MNIMH and Danielle Kay
BSc(Hons) MNIMH, look at some easy-tofind winter herbs and fruits with renowned
health benefits
roots, for example, and above ground
there is still thyme, mint, sage, oregano
and lungwort. The frost softened rose-hips
can now be collected in abundance and
made into syrups, vinegars and elixirs, and
thyme, lungwort and other herbs make a
powerful addition to our cough syrups.
In爐imes gone by these winter herbs would
have been greatly valued by our ancestors,
and along with stored medicines from
spring and summer, they would have been
essential for maintaining winter health.
Elecampane
(Inula helenium).
ELECAMPANE
Fingers black with cold soil, we dig the
elecampane root (Inula helenium), and the
strong, fragrant aroma is inhaled as soon as
we break the creamy, gnarled root with the
spade. In summer it grew tall with small
sunflower-like flowers, beloved by bees.
18 www.homefarmer.co.uk
The striking flowers of elecampane ? make a note in summer where to find them!
Now the flowers and leaves have died back,
and the power is in the roots. The taste of
elecampane root is aromatic, and followed
by an intense bitterness that tingles on
your tongue. In the past, this very valuable
medicine was used to treat tuberculosis and
other serious chest conditions. We爈ike to
use it today for those deep-rooted, damp,
catarrhal chest conditions, where green or
yellow mucus indicates an infection, and it
is often difficult to move.
and has a place in convalescence after
debilitating illnesses. Caution ? avoid
during pregnancy. Some people may
be allergic to this whole plant family
(Asteraceae).
Marshmallow in bloom.
ROSE-HIPS
Winter is the time of rose-hip (Rosa
canina) laden hedges, and this plant often
brings a little colour to the bare winter
garden. Rose-hips are easily identifiable,
abundant and widespread. They are great
to use in winter medicines too, when harsh
frosts have softened the red hips to ripeness
and they are soft and squashy when
squeezed between the finger and thumb.
For times when the frost is late in coming,
or we can?t wait, we usually put a bagful
in the freezer to soften them before using
them in medicines.
?In the past, this very
valuable medicine
was used to treat
tuberculosis and
other serious chest
conditions?
Elecampane爄s ideal for loosening and
shifting stuck phlegm and helping to get
rid of infection, and clearing lymphatic
tissue and swollen glands. Its lingering
bitter taste is indicative of its digestive
uses, being helpful in cases of nausea,
indigestion, flatulence, colic and diarrhoea,
and it also supports a healthy gut flora.
The old name of ?elfdock? is a reminder
of the exhaustive, weak conditions which
were often thought to be faery inflicted,
and whilst we now regard these conditions
as having physical causes, elecampane can
be used to support the immune system,
irritated, inflamed, sore mucus membranes
and skin. When used in cough syrups,
tinctures and teas, we love the way it helps
reduce inflammation in the respiratory
system and relieves harsh, dry coughs, and
soothes sore throats and irritated bronchial
passages. The leaf, flower and root are
all used in medicine, the root being
particularly helpful as a mild expectorant
that can help clear catarrh, and it is also
an immune enhancer, being beneficial in
helping to fight off colds and flu.
Marshmallow is also beneficial for
the digestive system, and is excellent for
soothing all kinds of irritation to the
stomach and intestines such as gastritis,
heartburn, IBS and constipation.
We?ve燼lso used the leaf in teas to help
soothe and cool the discomfort of
cystitis and urethritis. Being cooling and
moistening, it is also lovely to use on the
skin as an emollient for hot, irritated skin,
eczema and sunburn. It is soothing and
healing, can draw out impurities from
the skin, and is very useful for insect
bites, and wasp and bee stings. It can be
used as a warm poultice to help draw out
splinters, boils and abscesses, and can also
be of benefit for mastitis. The tea makes
a wonderful gargle for sore throats, gum
problems and mouth ulcers.
MARSHMALLOW
Marshmallow (Althea officinalis) has
a lovely pink flower in summer, with
leaves that feel soft to the touch, and the
roots, especially when soaked in water, are
very slimy and mucilaginous. This爂ives
us a clue to its uses in the body: a lovely,
soothing and cooling herb for hot,
Making winter medicines.
January 2018
19
HERBAL MEDICINES
?Rose-hips have
20?40 times more
vitamin C than
oranges, and are
also rich in vitamins
A, B and K?
Rosa rugosa ? this rather rounder berry
is interchangeable with Rosa canina.
5 Strain through a sterilised muslin in a
sieve then bottle and label (including
the date!).
6 Store in a cool, dark place and
use within 6 months of opening.
Take�10ml each day in a little warm
water for an immune-boosting, antiinflammatory effect.
For those over a certain age, there
are comforting memories of sweet rosehip syrup, and stories shared of school
children during the war years collecting
rose-hips to make syrup to be given to
children and pregnant women at a time
when oranges and other citrus fruits were
hard to come by. Rose-hips have 20?40
times more vitamin C than oranges, and
are also rich in vitamins A, B and K.
They燾ontain powerful antioxidants and
make and an excellent immune booster,
being extremely useful in preventing
and fighting infections, colds, flu, and
pneumonia. They are also prized for their
anti-inflammatory uses and helpful with
winter aches and pains.
a fine muslin cloth before use. There are
many recipes online for making rosehip syrup and it?s good fun to make the
wartime recipe, however, not everyone
wants to use sugar in a recipe, so we
suggest either vinegar, or vinegar and
honey to make an oxymel.
INGREDIENTS
Hand-sized pieces of elecampane and marshmallow root
300ml honey
300ml brandy
METHOD
ROSE-HIP VINEGAR
INGREDIENTS
Rose-hips
Cider vinegar
Honey (if making an oxymel)
METHOD
Rose-hips are certainly easy to find,
and all species can be used. The important
thing to remember is that whatever you
make with them, it?s important to get
rid of the fine hairs inside which are an
irritant to the digestive tract, and used by
schoolchildren as itching powder. This can
be done by passing any liquid through
MARSHMALLOW AND
ELECAMPANE ELIXIR
1 Clean off any soil from the elecampane
and marshmallow root, and remove
any fibrous bits.
2 Chop each one as finely as possible and
place in a jar.
3 Mix together the suggested amounts of
honey and brandy (or just enough to
cover the chopped roots).
4 Add to the jar, stir and seal.
5 Leave for a month, shaking
occasionally, then strain, bottle and
label. Take 15ml (1 tablespoon) up to
3 times a day as required for both dry
and productive coughs. It will have a
soothing effect on mucous membranes
in the lungs.
1 Take 1?1� kilos of rosehips softened
by frost (or defrosted from the freezer)
and rinse.
2 Chop them either by hand or in a food
processor.
3 Pack them into a jar, cover with cider
vinegar, seal and leave to infuse in a
cool place for a month.
4 Alternatively, if making an oxymel,
cover with a mix of half and half
(traditional recipes do not require great
accuracy!) honey and cider vinegar.
20 www.homefarmer.co.uk
THE REMIN STORY
TO BACK UP my advertisement, Home
Farmer is letting me tell the REMIN story
over the next few months. I?ll kick off with
feedback from users. It?s this that has
kept me on this journey over the last 14
years. Garden Centres from Caithness to
Cornwall say: ?It is the same people that
come back for more ? what you need is
more publicity,? so here are a few REMIN
results included in TESTIMONIALS on the
REMIN website.
for so many different vegetables, and
most importantly, MORE RESISTANCE
to PESTS & DISEASES. Just like us, if
we are healthy we are less susceptible
to ailments. Whilst REMIN cannot claim
100% prevention, both report they no
longer have a problem with Clubroot in
their brassicas.
WINNING PRIZES
A certain competitive bloom grower from
Dunfermline reckons he gets placements
(and mostly winnings!) in 8 out of every
10 competitions thanks to REMIN, so he
doesn?t want me to tell other growers
about it. There is also a new testimonial
just in from the National Pot Leek Society
who have found for themselves that
REMIN helps their LEEKS WIN PRIZES.
DOWN ON THE ALLOTMENT
Oldfield Allotments in London and
Inverleith Allotments in Edinburgh are
converts that would not be without their
REMIN. RESULTS from both include
their BIGGEST and BEST YEILDS EVER
IN THE ORCHARD
An Essex gardener could not believe the
better QUALITY, FLAVOUR and SIZE of
her ORCHARD CROP simply by spreading
1 to 2kg around the base of each tree. Her
very elderly QUEEN ELIZABETH ROSE
also miraculously BURST INTO LIFE. This
dear lady even supplied a favourite REMIN
strapline: ?It is like giving my garden a
HUGE VITAMIN PILL!?
SEE OUR WEBSITE FOR THE BETTER THAN 20% REMIN WINTER PALLET SALE.
(Buy now for the chance to choose a delivery date to suit.)
It?s like giving a HUGE VITAMIN PILL to your garden!
lSoil and compost top dressing
facebook.com/volcanicrockdust
Twitter @REMIN_rockdust
for garden or compost mix for
pots / tubs
lCompost activator; worm tonic
lWORMS love REMIN. Test this
by simply adding a handful to a
corner of your wormery
l10kg, 20kg printed bags,
0.5t & 1t bulk bags
lStockists wanted
lPoint of Sale support
For local stockists, catalogues, on-line pallet shop, loads of testimonials etc:
www.reminscotland.com
T: 01330 820914 M: 07715 707009 E: jennifer@reminscotland.com
WORMS
LOVE
REMIN!
BETTER THAN 20%
WINTER PALLET
SALE NOW ON
SEASONAL FORAGING
SEAWEED
David Winnard discusses one the greatest
assets an island can possess ? seaweed ?
and when it?s healthy, free and available in
abundance, what?s not to like
A
David Winnard
David is never happier than
when he has a camera in one
hand and a foraging basket
in the other. He organises
tours and workshops, including
wildlife photography trips and
foraging expeditions.
More information can be
found on his website.
discoverthewild.co.uk
Twitter: @DiscovertheWild
t events and lectures I often get
asked how we might survive
on foraging during the winter
months as there would be no plants to
eat. I understand totally what people
mean, but I don?t regard foraging as a way
of surviving solely on wild food all year
round, but rather as a means of enjoying
the wonderful wild flavours that you really
can?t find anywhere else. However, if we
were planning on going back to living
like cavemen ? which is becoming more
and more likely with the way the world
is going ? then there is still a wealth of
opportunities for us to gather wild food
right the way through winter.
We are an island, and this means two
things. We get warmer winters than our
continental partners so our winters are
never as bad as we think; we do not get
long periods of cold, snow and ice covering
up all our plants, and this means there are
always some plants to forage, even in the
middle of our harshest winters. The second
and more obvious thing is that because we
are an island, and surrounded by water,
there is always a ready supply of seaweed.
We have covered many species of
fungi and plant in these articles, but
we have never really touched on the
world of algae, and that is precisely what
seaweeds are. There are in fact three types
of seaweeds ? green, red and brown ?
22 www.homefarmer.co.uk
although sometimes red seaweeds can look
brown, brown ones can have a green hue,
but green ones are always reliably green.
We shall cover the basics of foraging for
seaweeds in this article, and describe a
couple of species in more detail to help
you keep an eye out for them.
WHERE TO FIND SEAWEEDS
It may seem daft to even mention
it, but coastal parts of the UK are the
best places to look. There are in excess of
700燿ifferent species found around the
UK?s shoreline, and none of them are
poisonous. There are some toxic varieties
but you would need to be diving to
encounter them. As with all life, different
species prefer different habitats ? some are
found very high up on rocks around the
shoreline and others only become visible
when the tide is out, but no matter where
you are there will always be plenty to find.
WHEN TO HARVEST SEAWEED
Generally from Christmas through
to June is the best time to harvest the
majority of seaweeds. They usually begin
spawning from June to September, so it is
best to leave them alone at this point when
they do not have as much flavour as earlier
in the year. Only ever harvest live seaweed;
do not pick up any seaweed that has been
washed up on the beach as this will most
likely be on its way out, although you
can often smell when seaweed has turned.
After a particularly strong storm you may
get fresh seaweed that has been washed up
on the beach ? use your senses as a guide
when making any judgements.
ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSIDERATIONS
This is important for the seaweeds
as well as for you. The first thing to
mention is the fact that seaweeds need
to be cut off the rocks, not pulled; if
you pull them off you are effectively
taking the whole thing, whereas if you
cut it, it will re-grow. Also consider
the same rules you would with regard to
normal foraging: is it rare, and if so should
you be taking any? When you do find
some choice edible seaweeds to harvest,
take a little from one area, then move
around to collect more ? never overharvest
one particular spot.
Of course there is also the matter
of your own safety, and it goes without
saying that foraging in tidal areas can be
dangerous. Always make sure you know
if the tide is coming in or going out, and
make sure you can get to the shore safely
if needed. Rocks covered in seaweed can
also be very slippery, so take your time
and wear suitable footwear. Then there
is another big question; how polluted is
the water from which you are planning
to pick your seaweed. Some water may
look clean but it may not actually be
clean. You can check on the Environment
Agency?s website for information on the
quality of the water in a particular area.
As a rule though, do not pick seaweeds in
ports, docks and stagnant water as these
will probably end up giving you an upset
stomach or worse. Near to home I pick
seaweeds from Anglesey, but don?t pick
them from the Dee Estuary as there is a lot
of industry along that stretch of coast.
EATING AND USING
SEAWEEDS
As you can imagine, with such an
array of species there is no set way to cook
seaweeds, as is the case with vegetables
? you must simply prepare and use each
species on its own merits. All taste salty
? no surprises there then ? so when you
do cook them, always bear this in mind
and don?t add extra salt unless it really is
needed. We do not eat it like cabbage in
our house; it is more often than not dried,
which helps enhance the flavour, and
added to things like soups and stews to
give them a more ?umami? flavour ? being
a veggie it helps to create a somewhat more
?meaty? experience.
When drying seaweed it is always best
to let the sun do all the work, although
a dehydrator can be used, but they will
retain slightly more vitamin D if sun-dried.
Once dried they can be used like any
other dried herbs and spices, and added in
pieces into things like stir fries, or ground
up into a powder to infuse the flavour
without affecting the texture. Seaweeds are
full of nutritional goodness; they are high
in iodine (good for the thyroid), full of
antioxidants, a rich source of protein, and
high in vitamins A and C.
Dried sheets of nori seaweed.
Seaweed in shallow seawater off the UK coast.
Now that we know where, how and
when to pick and prepare our seaweed, I?ll
introduce you to two of my own personal
favourites on the next page.
January 2018
23
SEASONAL FORAGING
Seaweed Gin
Dried sea lettu
ce flakes.
SEA LETTUCE
The Sea Lettuce (Ulva lactuca and
Ulva rigida) is a common and easy to
identify species (or rather two species
that look alike and can both be used
in exactly the same way). They can be
encountered pretty much all around the
UK, and are usually found around rock
pools, and sometimes attached to other
seaweeds. Both are at their best during
the first half of the year, when they are a
lovely and vivid green colour, and the thin
green sheets literally do look just like bits
of lettuce.
Fresh from the sea these particular
seaweeds are not the most noteworthy
of taste experiences as far as seaweeds go,
but when you dry them out they become
lovely and crispy, and make the perfect,
healthy replacement for crisps. Dried and
sprinkled together with a seasoning like
salt, pepper and paprika they are both
absolutely delicious.
SERRATED WRACK
There are a number of species of
?wracks? (Fucus serratus), but this species
lacks the distinctive ?bladders? (a bit like
small balls of air) that other members of
this family have. It is one of my favourite
seaweeds and is particularly attractive with
its toothed or serrated fronds, and it is very
delicious too. It is also good to eat raw (but
only if the water is clean), and has one of
the least seaweed-like flavours, making it a
great introduction for anyone still unsure
if eating seaweed is for them. Like other
seaweeds, it dries well, but using it fresh as
a vegetable is the way to go with this one.
I?m sure you all know my love of
gin by now, and you will probably
not be surprised that a quick and
delicious recipe of mine for seaweed
is to infuse it with gin. There are
a number of gins on the market
that do use seaweed, so it is not
only me who thinks it?s a winning
combination. You can, of course,
combine your own flavours to
create it, but this is a recipe I have
found to work well.
INGREDIENTS
250ml vodka (or gin, if you don?t want to harvest or buy juniper berries)
2 tsp of juniper berries
1 tsp of burdock root
1 tsp of dandelion root
1 tsp of angelica root
2 tsp of coriander seed
1 piece of seaweed
METHOD
1 Place all the ingredients in
a Kilner jar, except for the
seaweed, secure the lid and
shake well then leave overnight.
2 Add the seaweed for just 25
minutes then strain off and pour
the resulting liquid into a clean
bottle ready to serve with tonic
over ice.
NEXT MONTH
Sea lettuce doing a reasonable
leaf salad impersonation.
Serrated Wrack (Fucus serratus).
We shall be moving slightly up the
beach, but only a little as we look at a
delicious and beautiful plant that likes to
grow on the shingle ? Sea Kale. We shall
look at how to identify it, how to use
it, and how to pick it sustainably. In the
meantime, remember to only ever pick
something if you are 100% certain of what
it is. If in doubt, leave it out!
24 www.homefarmer.co.uk
Grow Your Own Mushrooms
Logs or plug
kits available
DIY Mushroom Log Kit
Send a cheque (made payable to Home Farmer) to:
Home Farmer, Firtree, Furnace, Inveraray, PA32 8XU
1.
These logs are already inoculated with mushroom spawn and are
ready for you to plant outdoors in a shady, damp location. You
can plant them at any time of the year, just treat your log as a
shade- and moisture-loving plant. All logs come with easy-to-follow
instructions, along with the spores. The logs measure 60cm (2ft)
long x 10?12.5cm (4?5in) in diameter (approx).
2.
3.
4.
Total:
Choose from:
?
?
?
?
Shitake �
Pearl Oyster �
Fir Oyster �
Lion?s Mane �
DIY Mushroom Kit
These kits give you enough spawn plugs to inoculate your own 60?
90cm (2?3ft) long x 10?15cm (4?6in) diameter freshly cut log, which
will give you two or three (sometimes more) years of cropping. Each
kit contains a packet of thirty spawn plugs, an easy-to-follow set of
instructions and the correct size of drill bit.
TO ORDER, CALL: 01499 500553
www.homefarmer.co.uk
Name
Address
Postcode
Telephone No.
Email Address
Your details are not sold on to a third party. These kits can only be sent
within the UK.
01499 500553
Visit our store - www.homefarmer.co.uk
Choose from:
?
?
?
?
?
Shitake �
Pearl Oyster �
Fir Oyster �
Lion?s Mane �
Chicken in the Woods �
A NOTE FROM THE GROWER: No trees were felled solely
to provide me with my mushroom logs: my logs are cut from
timber that would otherwise be chipped, burnt or left to rot. The
logs come from the High Weald of Sussex and are sourced from
woodland thinnings, heathland restoration projects and forestry
waste.
FROM PLOT TO PLATE
Gaby Bartai
Gaby owned and edited
the much-missed Organic
Gardening magazine, and
is now a freelance writer
specialising in ?plot to plate?
features. She has home-farmed
in Somerset and Shetland, and
is currently a city gardener in
Glasgow.
Savoy
CABBAGE
Gaby Bartai provides sound growing advice, imaginative serving
suggestions and delicious recipes for your Savoy cabbage harvest
I
f cabbages have class, the stately Savoys
are their nobility. On the plot they
are definitely a statement vegetable,
their handsomely craggy blue-green leaves
lording it over the lowlier winter crops.
On the plate they sit perfectly with robust
cold-season cookery, complementing
richly flavoured meat and game, nuts and
pulses.
It?s not altogether clear when cabbages
were first domesticated as leaf crops leave
unhelpfully few clues for archaeologists,
but cabbage-like plants were certainly in
cultivation from 500BC. The Romans get
the credit for introducing most vegetables
to the rest of Europe, but in the case of
cabbages it seems to have been as much
the work of the Celts, who are known to
have been growing them in Roman times.
High-yielding, hardy and nutritious, they
quickly became a staple crop right across
the continent.
It wasn?t until the 16th century,
however, that today?s diversity of cabbage
types started to develop. Ball-headed
cabbages are thought to have emerged in
the north of Europe, while loose-headed
forms were developed by Mediterranean
peoples. In the first half of the 16th
century we find the earliest descriptions
of a loose-headed form initially called
Romanos and subsequently Chou d?Italie
and Chou de Savoys. The new varieties
spread north very quickly and three kinds
of ?Savoy? are mentioned in a German
herbal of 1543.
Today you can buy hybrid cultivars
which crop in summer and early autumn,
but winter is the Savoy?s true season.
Traditional Savoy cabbages crop from
November through to April. The plants
can stand on the plot through almost any
weather, and this is when their robust
flavour and texture come into their own in
the kitchen.
?Savoy cabbages
are very hardy
and will stand
well in the garden
until you need
them, so you
can simply cut
mature heads as
required?
26 www.homefarmer.co.uk
SAVOY CABBAGE ON THE PLOT
CROP CARE
SITE AND SOWING
lPlant
lAll
cabbages need an open, unshaded
site and a moisture-retentive but welldrained soil. They do best on a rich soil
which has been well manured over the
years, or following a nitrogen-fixing
leguminous crop or green manure.
Do爊ot, however, apply manure just
before planting.
lCabbages need firm soil; avoid freshly
dug ground or tread the soil firm again.
lLike all brassicas, cabbages prefer a
slightly alkaline soil. Add lime to acidic
soils; this also serves to deter clubroot.
lGrow your cabbages within a crop
rotation to help avoid soil-borne
diseases.
lSow summer-cropping varieties from
February, autumn-cropping cultivars in
March or April, and the classic winter
cultivars in April or May.
lSow the seed in trays or large modules,
pricking out tray-sown seedlings into
individual pots.
lAlternatively, sow into the open ground
in drills 2cm deep, spacing the seeds
5cm apart.
out pot-raised seedlings once
they have three or four true leaves, at a
45cm spacing. Replant them with their
lower leaves just above soil level, and
firm them in well.
lThin or transplant outdoor-sown
seedlings to 45cm apart. Thinning can
be done in stages, and the thinnings
eaten.
lAs the plants grow, earth up the bases
of the stems.
lKeep the plants weed-free and remove
dead and rotting leaves from the
bottom of the stems and around the
plants.
lWater regularly in dry periods.
On爌oorer soils, give them a highnitrogen liquid feed every couple of
weeks.
this thwarts the caterpillars and,
in addition, cabbage root flies, flea
beetles, mealy aphids, cabbage whitefly
and birds. If you are not using mesh,
check the plants for caterpillars every
couple of days and pick them off.
lCabbage root flies lay their eggs at the
base of young plants and their grubs
destroy the roots. To deter them in the
absence of mesh, put ?collars? made
from carpet underlay or a similar
material around the necks of the
plants.
lEmploy your usual defences against
slugs, especially at the seedling stage.
lPigeons can be a major issue over
the winter when other food is scarce.
If necessary, protect your crop with
netting or heavy-duty mesh.
lClubroot is a soil-borne fungus which
causes swollen and distorted roots;
affected plants collapse and die.
The燿isease persists in affected soil,
but to lessen its severity, rotate crops,
improve drainage, start plants in pots
and lime the soil.
PESTS AND DISEASES
lLarge
and small white butterfly
caterpillars can decimate brassica
foliage in summer. Covering your
cabbages with insect-proof mesh
from the outset is a wise precaution;
HARVESTING AND STORAGE
lSavoy cabbages are very hardy and will stand well in the garden until you need them, so you can simply cut mature
heads as required.
lIf your garden is very exposed or the pigeons are really determined, you can cut the heads, remove the outer
leaves, and store them in a box filled with straw or shredded paper in a cool, dry place for a month or two.
lIf you want to be eating Savoy cabbage over a longer season, freeze some; shred it and blanch it for one minute,
then bag it up in one-meal portions.
January 2018
27
FROM PLOT TO PLATE
celery and carrots with cabbage, thyme,
wine, stock and flageolet beans. Other
good soup/stew combinations are with
tomatoes and pulses, and with bacon,
potato and caraway seeds.
But there are winter evenings when
the only sufficiently comforting supper
is colcannon, the classic Irish dish of
cooked Savoy cabbage stirred into mashed
potato, topped with generous quantities
of butter. Comfort food had its origins
in the subsistence food that nurtured our
peasant ancestors through the lean winter
months, and dark January days still evoke
that primal need for recipes that feed both
body and soul.
RUMBLEDETHUMPS
SAVOY CABBAGE
on the plate
Like kale, Savoy cabbage needs to be
matched with bold flavours and lively
seasonings. Starting simply, steam it and
then stir in your choice of flavouring:
butter or lemon juice and lots of black
pepper, toasted caraway, cumin or mustard
seeds, or a splash of balsamic vinegar
or soy sauce. Moving things up a gear,
try saut閕ng your Savoy alongside its
flavourings. Team it with garlic sausage
and caraway seeds, bacon and chestnuts,
or dark, woodsy mushrooms. Stir-fry it
with ginger, garlic and sesame oil, or garlic,
red chilli and oyster sauce, adding other
vegetables as you please. For a mellower
finish, add stock, white wine and/or cream
and let it braise to tenderness.
Add shredded leaves to the filling for
lasagne or cannelloni, or use whole leaves
as wrappers for a stuffing mixture. Try燼
minced pork stuffing served with sour
cream, or a mixture of rice, mushrooms
and cashews with a tomato sauce. Use爐he
leaves as wrappers for chipolatas for a
gardener?s take on festive ?pigs in blankets?
? or use meat-free sausages for a vegetarian
alternative.
Add Savoy cabbage to a soup or a
stew; simply add more stock or more
cabbage and you can make either from the
same recipes. Garbure, a traditional dish
from the south of France, varies with the
harvest, but cabbage is a constant feature;
one recipe simmers saut閑d bacon, onion,
Braised Savoy Cabbage with Sausages and Onions.
Colcannon.
A traditional dish from the Scottish
Borders, this is an elaboration ? insofar
as subsistence fare can be described as
elaborate ? of colcannon. There are many
different versions; some use onions instead
of leeks, or kale instead of cabbage, or
add swede and/or carrot to the mash.
As爓ith any traditional dish, the authentic
ingredients are the ones available at the
time. Any which way, it?s very good.
INGREDIENTS
SERVES 2
525g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
175g Savoy cabbage, trimmed and shredded
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large leek, trimmed, halved lengthways and sliced
25g butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
60g mature Cheddar, grated
Rumbledethumps.
28 www.homefarmer.co.uk
METHOD
1 Boil the potatoes then drain them and
let them steam dry.
2 In a separate pan, steam the cabbage
for 5 minutes, taking it off the heat
while it still retains some bite.
3 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying
pan, add the leek and saut� gently for
5爉inutes.
4 Mash the potato together with the
butter then mix in the cabbage and
the leek and season with salt and a
generous quantity of pepper.
5 Put the mash into an ovenproof dish,
smoothing the surface level, and spread
the cheese on top. Bake the dish at
190癈 for 20 minutes, or until the
cheese is nicely coloured.
SAVOY CABBAGE, CHICKPEA
AND TOMATO SOUP
This vibrant, colourful soup is a wakeup call for taste-buds slumbering through
cream soup season. Increase the proportion
of cabbage and chickpeas and you have
a flavoursome vegetable stew which,
together with couscous, makes a quick and
satisfying supper.
INGREDIENTS
SERVES 2
2 tbsp olive oil
1 smallish onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Half a mild red chilli, finely chopped
280g plum tomatoes, diced
40g Savoy cabbage, trimmed and finely shredded
2 tbsp tomato pur閑
1 tsp paprika
400ml vegetable stock
60g cooked chickpeas
Salt
METHOD
1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add
the onion, garlic and chilli, and saut�
gently for 5 minutes.
2 Add the tomatoes, cabbage, tomato
pur閑, paprika and stock, and bring
to the boil, then reduce the heat,
cover the pan, and let it simmer for 5
minutes, or until the cabbage is cooked
to your liking.
3 Stir in the chickpeas, season with
salt to taste, let the soup simmer for
another minute or so, then serve.
Savoy Cabbage, Chickpea and Tomato Soup.
SAVOY CABBAGE AND LEEKS
WITH CRANBERRIES
This is a vegetable dish to grace any
occasion. The jewel-like cranberries
against the greens of the Savoy and leeks is
gorgeously festive.
INGREDIENTS
SERVES 2
40g butter
1 large leek, trimmed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
110g Savoy cabbage, trimmed and shredded
The leaves from 2 or 3 large sprigs of thyme
15g dried cranberries
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
METHOD
1 Melt the butter in a large frying
pan. Add the leek and garlic and
saut� gently for 3 minutes, stirring
occasionally, then add the cabbage
and thyme and cook for a further 3
minutes.
2 Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low,
and let the vegetables cook until they
are tender, stirring them every couple
of minutes.
3 Remove the lid, increase the heat, add
the cranberries, stir in the balsamic
vinegar, season to taste with salt and
pepper then serve.
?Like kale, Savoy
cabbage needs to
be matched with
bold flavours
and lively
seasonings?
Savoy Cabbage and Leeks with Cranberries.
January 2018
29
COUNTRY WINES
Sylvia Kent
Sylvia has written ten books
on local history and folklore,
and is patron of the Essex
Book Festival. Gardening
keeps her fit, and she enjoys
gathering in the harvest
? some for pickling and
preserving, and some for
making country wines.
Visit www.sylviakent.
blogspot.com for info on
winemaking and more.
W
elcome to a brand new year!
Even though Christmas is now
over, we are still in the midst of
the traditional Twelfth Night celebrations
until its Eve ? the 6th of January, also
known as Epiphany. Those festive cards
dropping on the doormat are now no
doubt being replaced by seed catalogues;
even after a lifetime?s gardening, these
brightly coloured little booklets never fail
to stimulate our annual excitement with
the prospect (and hope) of trying to grow
something new and different in the veg
patch and flower borders.
As in earlier years, self-sufficiency will
probably be the keynote word for many
new and enthusiastic plot-holders this
coming year, whether in the interests of
saving the planet or simply to save money
by producing their own organically-grown
food and wine throughout the year.
It?s燾ertainly a time when most of us are
keen to look ahead.
But wait a minute? although a new
growing year has already begun, many
of us still have veggie clamps on the
plot to inspect and need to check on
New Year Wines
FROM THE PLOT
Sylvia Kent prepares two wines using
home-grown winter veg, and a delicious
take on a traditional hedgerow favourite
last year?s harvests lying dormant in their
winter quarters. In my case, the carrots
and beetroot ? all tucked away in their
storage crates in the garden shed ? will
soon be taking on a starring role as some
of my favourite ingredients for cakes and
puddings, but perhaps more importantly,
playing a vital role in a couple of new
winter fermentations.
So let?s get going with a few simple
winter recipes using what we have already
grown, harvested and frozen, or simply left
resting quietly in the veg patch ready to be
dug up to play their important role in the
winter kitchen.
CARROT DRY WHITE TABLE
WINE
Carrot wine is rich tasting and golden
in colour, and an excellent way of using
any damaged or broken carrots, as long as
you remove all the damaged bits.
INGREDIENTS
1.8kg carrots ? do not use new crop
900g granulated white sugar
500g raisins, chopped or minced
5g citric acid
5g pectic enzyme
� cup of strong tea
5g all-purpose yeast or a sachet
Campden tablets (as necessary)
METHOD
1 Activate the yeast in a starter bottle (see
page 32).
2 Wash any soil from the carrots, scrub
and slice them then bring to the boil in
sufficient water to cover.
3 Add the raisins to the carrots and
simmer until tender ? usually for about
15?20 minutes.
30 www.homefarmer.co.uk
BEETROOT WINE
This recipe produces
a dry red table wine
with a vibrant and
almost translucent pink
colour. It?s also a great
way of using up very late
woody beets.
4 Strain the liquid through a sieve
and/or a funnel into the fermenting
bucket, discarding the pulp and raisin
remnants.
5 Add the sugar to the hot liquid in the
bucket and stir thoroughly to dissolve
then leave to cool.
6 Add all the remaining ingredients
except for the yeast and nutrient, and
cover and leave in a warm place for
24-hours.
7 After 24 hours, add the activated yeast
and nutrient. Allow a little fermenting
to take place before pouring the must
into a clean, sterilised demijohn.
8 Top up to the shoulder with cooled,
boiled water, fit a bung and airlock
and leave in a warm place to ferment.
This燾an take about 2 weeks.
9 When bubbles are no longer rising
through the airlock, taste the wine
to check for dryness. If using a
hydrometer, a reading of SG1000 is
desirable.
10 Add a crushed Campden tablet and
relocate to a cooler place, and when
sediment forms, rack into a clean,
sterilised demijohn, topping up to the
shoulder as before with cooled, boiled
water and adding a Campden tablet.
Repeat the racking, if necessary, adding
a further Campden tablet.
11 Bottle when completely clear, and
always serve chilled. This recipe
produces a dry white table wine which
is drinkable within 6 months.
Top Tip!
Always use a de
mijohn with da
rk glass
for beetroot w
ine or it will lose
its rich
red colour and
turn an unappe
tising
murky brown.
The same goes
for
the bottles. If yo
u don?t have a
dark
demijohn (or bo
ttles), wrap a pi
ece of
black or brown
paper or dark m
aterial
around.
INGREDIENTS
1.36kg beetroot
1.1kg white granulated sugar
1 litre red grape juice
4.25 litres water
1 lemon, washed and halved
4 cloves
50g root ginger, grated
5g all-purpose yeast
5g yeast nutrient
METHOD
1 Remove the stalks and wash the beets,
but do not peel them.
2 Slice them into small chunks, place in
a saucepan and cover with 3.5 litres
of cold tap water. Bring to the boil
and simmer for 30 minutes until the
beetroot is just cooked.
3 Put the sugar, the remaining water, the
juice of the lemon and the spices in a
clean, sterilised bucket and pour over
the boiling beetroot water through a
plastic colander or sieve to remove the
beetroot chunks and any other bits.
Discard on the compost heap ? or you
could eat them.
4 Mix well until the sugar has completely
dissolved then leave to cool.
Once燾ooled, cover tightly and, after
24 hours, add the activated yeast (see
page 32) and the nutrient.
5 Stir twice daily for 6 days, then pour
through a sieve and funnel into a
sterilised demijohn, discarding any
remaining cloves and spices.
6 Check the sediment in the container
and rack off after about 6?8 weeks,
adding a Campden tablet, then
relocate to a warm place at around
21癈. Repeat the racking once more as
sediment forms again.
7 The wine will be ready for bottling
when the must is completely clear
? usually within 6 months. Leave to
mature for up to a year for best results,
and serve at room temperature.
A FEW WINEMAKING HINTS
For newcomers to home
winemaking, it is suggested
that buying a basic book on the
subject will provide much useful
information. It is, however,
unnecessary to buy lots of
expensive equipment, as much
of the necessary apparatus can
already be found in most kitchens.
However, the items below are
essentials found in winemaking
stores and outlets such as
Wilkinson and Lakeland. It is also
recommended that you keep a note
of each stage as the fermentation
progresses.
l
2 x 1-gallon (4.5-litre) glass
demijohns fitted with a bored
cork or rubber bung and an
airlock, plus 2 solid corks.
l
A 2-gallon (9-litre) plastic bucket,
preferably white.
l
1-metre plastic tubing for
syphoning the initial liquid from
one vessel to another.
l
A tub of ?Campden tablets? which
provide the sterilising ?sulphite?
agent which prevents bacterial
infection ? simply make it up as
per the instructions. Sterilising
all equipment is essential in
winemaking.
l
6 new plastic corks to fit 6 x 75cl
clear glass bottles
Useful books to read include Home
Winemaking and Brewing by B C A
Turner, Making your own Wine and
Beer by Judith Irwin, and First Steps
in Winemaking by C J Berry.
January 2018
31
COUNTRY WINES
ROSE-HIPS FOR FREE
The British countryside boasts plenty
of hedgerows, and winemakers know the
value of rose-hips (Rosa canina) which
grow abundantly. Also known as Dog
Rose, there is competition with the
birds, but there is more than enough
for everyone as we also find the plant in
gardens, woodland and at the edges of
fields. Rose-hips should not be picked
until they have been softened by the first
frosts, although these days they can be
popped into the freezer to achieve the
same goal, or until you have collected
sufficient. They are very rich in vitamin C
and can be used to make tea, syrup (made
commercially) and, of course, wine.
ROSE-HIP & FIG MEDIUM
SWEET WINE
This delicious recipe makes an
excellent social wine, but will need a
little extra time to mature and smooth
out.
INGREDIENTS
1.36g freshly gathered rose-
hips
500g raisins
125g dried figs
10g (2 tsp) tartaric acid
5g pectic enzyme
4 litres water
1kg white granulated sugar
Campden tablets (as required)
1 sachet (or 5g) sherry yeast or all-purpose yeast
?Rose-hips should
not be picked
until they have
been softened
by the first frosts,
although these
days they can be
popped into the
freezer to achieve
the same goal?
METHOD
1 Top and tail the rose-hips, then wash
and crush them carefully without
breaking the pips.
2 Wash and chop the raisins and break
up the figs.
3 Place all 3 ingredients in a sterilised
bucket and pour over 2.8 litres of
boiling water, stirring well. Cover and
leave to cool.
4 Add the pectic enzyme, half the acid
and a crushed Campden tablet then
cover and leave for 24 hours.
5 Activate the yeast (see right).
6 Add the activated yeast and nutrient
and ferment for 5 days, keeping the
fruit submerged and stirring twice
daily.
7 Boil the sugar and the remaining
acid in the rest of the water for 15
minutes and leave to cool then store
in a sealed bottle and set aside in the
refrigerator until required.
8 Strain the must through a plastic
sieve and/or funnel, discarding
the pulp, then stir in a quarter of
the sugar syrup.
Pour the must
into a sterilised
demijohn, fit an
airlock and leave to
ferment for 10 days
at about 21癈.
9 Add the rest of the
sugar syrup in three more
portions at intervals of 7 days and
continue fermenting in a warm place.
10 A thick sediment will form. Rack
the must off into a second sterilised
demijohn, top up with cooled boiled
water and add a Campden tablet.
Insert a bored bung and airlock and
leave to ferment until clear then bottle.
If too dry, this wine can be sweetened
when bottling using one or two nonfermentable saccharine tablets.
PRE-ACTIVATI
NG THE YEAST
1 Activate th
e yeast by addi
ng
a 5g sachet of
yeast and two
teaspoons of su
gar to a small
bottle of warm
water.
2 Shake the bo
ttle well to star
t
it off. It should
be bubbling
strongly and re
ady to add to
the must after
just a few hour
s.
32 www.homefarmer.co.uk
l6
or 12 months available
l Gift sub starts with the first issue
after Christmas (unless instructed
otherwise)
lFREE GIFT CARD to give on
Christmas Day
GIFT SUBSCRIP
TIONS
FROM �
Y
YOUR KEC
L
A
I
T
C
A
R
TO P
SELF- Y
C
N
E
I
C
I
F
F
U
S
Free Blank
Christmas card
with all gift
subscriptions
EASY WAYS TO ORDER
l
By phone: 01499 500553
l Online: www.homefarmer.co.uk
l By post: Send cheque (made payable to Home Farmer) to
Home Farmer, Firtree, Furnace
Inveraray, PA32 8XU
www.homefarmer.co.uk
Want to go paperless? Download the app www.homefarmer.co.uk/app
34 www.homefarmer.co.uk
POULTRY KEEPING
GETTING HENS
THROUGH WINTER
Jason Weller
Jason, together with wife, Kerry,
and their two sons, has run Mantel
Farm in East Sussex since 2002,
where they specialise in poultry
and bees. They run courses, sell
livestock and equipment, and offer
a comprehensive poultry and small
animal boarding service.
Tel: 01424 830357
mantelfarm.co.uk
Twitter: @MantelFarm
I
Jason Weller shows how to keep your
poultry comfortable and healthy during
the darkest days of winter
t was early one very cold January
morning many years ago that I learnt
something about keeping poultry that I
have passed on, not so much as advice but
rather as a warning to many other keepers.
We woke up to a thick layer of snow that
morning, and as ever it was a magnificent
sight ? I always instinctively want to rush
out with my camera as there are always so
many great ?snowy? shots to take around
the farm, though to be honest, I probably
took them all last time we had snow! A
little slower than normal I made my way
down to do what we refer to here as the
morning ?open up?, which involves all the
animals ? we don?t just do chickens! The
open up is just the regular morning routine
of making sure that everyone is let out of
their overnight enclosures, fed, watered
and given a visual heath check, followed
by a brief chat with some of our old
favourites! Most importantly we also make
sure that everyone is ?still with us?! I always
dread the prospect of discovering that there
might have been some sort of overnight
disaster, which could come in many
different guises, although I?ve爐hankfully
only had a couple over many years of
keeping livestock!
This particular January morning,
although probably no different to any
other snowy start, I noticed something
that had not come to my attention before,
probably because for once I wasn?t rushing
January 2018
35
POULTRY KEEPING
In last month?s issue I gave advice on
improving your poultry (and other animal)
set-ups to make them more fox proof, and
again, I cannot stress how important such
measures are!
In the poultry keeper?s year, all weather
conditions can bring their individual
?pros and cons.? These episodes of snow
and ice can give us a brief respite from
the often miserable autumn and winter
mud ? frozen solid and perhaps covered
with snow. A good blast of icy weather also
goes a long way in reducing the numbers
of various forms of mite ? in particular
dreaded red mite, and any help with this is
always appreciated!
A ?white-out? at Mantel Farm.
around with a hundred or more things on
my mind that needed doing ? definitely no
normal morning then! The thing I noticed
has ?kept me on my toes? ever since? fox
footprints running around all the pens
where we kept the bantams, chickens,
ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs etc., and I really
do mean all the pens containing all the
potential prey! As I walked around from
pen to pen I literally couldn?t believe my
eyes ? absolutely all of them seemed to
have been inspected overnight by Mr Fox
? just in case! Quite amusingly, you could
see just where he had ?side stepped? all the
pigs and goats, and although there were
some tracks venturing over towards the
goose house, he hadn?t passed around it;
no doubt our gaggle had told him a thing
or two with rather a lot of intimidating
hissing!
Every snowy start since has brought
us just the same sight, and it?s fairly safe
to say the same can be said for every other
keeper?s property too. The swiftly-drawn
conclusion was that those tracks in the
snow are probably present 365 days of
the year, with the unmarked snow just
registering the nightly visits. Our foe, Mr
Fox, is continually paying us visits ? just
in case! And this is the message that I have
passed on to as many as I?ve thought to
tell!
A very common sad story I hear time
and again is: ?I just can?t believe it; the first
time I ever forgot to shut up the chickens,
and that?s the same night a fox comes to
visit!? It?s really no coincidence, I?m sad to
say ? he?s constantly out there checking ?
just in case!
The only difference is snow reveals who may have
come-a-calling.
?The thing I
noticed has ?kept
me on my toes?
ever since? fox
footprints running
around all the
pens where we
kept the bantams,
chickens, ducks,
rabbits, guinea
pigs etc.?
Try to keep these the only footprints around your pens.
36 www.homefarmer.co.uk
On the downside, general pen
maintenance, and even feeding and
drinking, can become a lot harder ? and
I don?t just mean because that fireside
armchair and hot drink acquires a strange
kind of magnetism! Drinkers,爄n particular,
are a major problem if not managed
properly. I would always recommend
bringing in drinkers overnight in
winter, and even more so when sub-zero
temperatures are forecast. It can save a
lot of time in the morning, as opposed to
finding a drinker with its contents frozen
solid! The only safe way to thaw it out is
in a large bowl of warm water ? pouring
hot or boiling water over a frozen plastic
drinker certainly won?t do it any good at
all ? it can crack it and will certainly speed
up the breakdown of the plastic over time,
although it?s not such a big problem with
galvanised steel drinkers. Whatever type
of drinker you have, it?s a good idea to
buy a second cheap ?spare? drinker; then
it?s a simple matter of ?one in and one
out? during freezing weather. This works
particularly well on extremely cold days,
as a fresh drinker put out first thing in the
morning can be frozen solid in just a few
hours ? or less! I often put the drinkers out
with warm (but not hot) water just to slow
down the freezing process a bit.
I mentioned in an earlier article about
the advantages of hanging feeders and
drinkers. An additional advantage comes
to mind as a past memory ? before I
started hanging them ? which is the first
time I tried to move a plastic drinker that
was frozen solid to the ground. It started
with a bit of cursing and ended with me
narrowly avoiding a flying backflip as the
top broke off in my hand, with the bottom
still welded to the ground. During the
worst of the weather it can also be a good
idea to bring in feeders at night, and not
just because of any increased interest from
rats as they struggle to find food in frozen
conditions, but rather because feed can
also freeze. Feed, though generally regarded
as a dried food, contains some moisture
content, and it can end up as a solid lump
in extreme cold weather.
When the big thaw does eventually
come, everything turns to mush, in
particular the pen floor, and what was
once just muddy, becomes a mud soup!
The snow and ice, having broken down
and altered the composition of the soil,
now cause it to become slurry! Provided爄t?s
not too deep (if it is you?ll need to shovel
some out ? or maybe pump it!), you can
tip in some wood chippings ? great for
soaking up the mud and restabilising
the ground. The first layer to go in is
often sacrificial ? the mud soaker ? but
subsequent layers provide a great substrate
? and new poultry run floor. Woodchip
can be raked and forked over as necessary
to prevent clogging, forms a free-draining
layer, and is a long-lasting natural floor
for chickens, whose ancestors and current
wild counterparts were and are woodland
birds. Woodchip on the ground attracts
many bugs and crawlies too, providing
interest and instinctive forage for our birds.
Sadly,爃owever, it often proves harder to
purchase than bark chip or mulch, which
are readily available from most DIY stores
and garden centres.
Thawing out a drinker.
Woodchip.
A thirsty bird with no means of access to water.
Some bark is OK, but it will always
rot down faster than wood chip. If you
do go for bark, make sure you check the
source/content, as much has its origins in
foreign places and may contain bark from
trees that, once the rotting process begins,
may cause harm to your birds. Remember,
it is mostly sold for mulching weeds and
pathways, not animal flooring. I would
always recommend pure (native) hardwood
chips with no mixed in greenery ? this
causes the chips to rot faster; the compost
effect. We have used this successfully for
January 2018
37
POULTRY KEEPING
QUICK NOTE FOR ANY QUAIL
KEEPERS
Woodchip flooring with greens in a ?tidy? tray.
many years and sell the same from our
shop. Our customers swear by it ? there
really is no more mud, and it works all year
round!
PROTECTING BIRDS FROM THE
COLD
We rush for the heating controls as
soon as temperatures hit the mid to low
teens, grabbing extra blankets and duvets
as they drop to single figures, and slow to
a crawl when we reach minus numbers!
With most poultry it?s only during the
minuses when they start to feel the
effect, and even then only when such
temperatures persist for a week or more ?
they really are quite hardy. It always seems
a nice idea to provide some sort of heat for
birds during the toughest times, and even
to insulate the housing, but any of these
measures can promote the winter breeding
of mites. I?m not saying you should not
do it, but it must be managed properly
? and removed as soon as the weather
improves. Pay particular attention to red
mite prevention and eradication if using
any extra heating or insulation (see the HF
poultry article from September).
Cold winds and sometimes snow
blowing through vents into the housing
can definitely be a problem, though it?s
never a good idea to completely block
them up. Good ventilation is always
essential to prevent ammonia build-up
from droppings and possible respiratory
problems. During爌articularly cold spells
it is best to simply shield rather than close
vents from the outside to stop any direct
draughts, whilst maintaining ventilation.
The birds will always huddle up on the
perches at night to keep warm so prevent
any cold draughts from blowing on the
birds at perch height; any vents should
ideally be above the birds, or even better,
above and below them (especially during
warmer times).
Top: A vent shielded from draughts.
Bottom: This simple sliding door adjusts the
ventilation.
Quail are generally regarded as not
being ?frost hardy?. I recommend
bringing them into a shed or
garage for the winter. Ensure there
is enough light and ventilation,
and if you wish to maintain egg
production, around 14 hours of
light will be necessary. This can be
achieved using timers, but avoid
plunging them into darkness at the
end of each day ? use dimmers to
mimic dusk.
There?s always plenty more to include,
but space is running out again! To爁inish,
spare a thought for any birds seeing
snow for the first time ? to wake up one
morning and to see the ground has gone,
replaced by some weird stuff; not grass,
mud or woodchip, but a strange cold stuff
into which your thin little legs disappear!
Some will refuse to walk on it, and for
some it can cause quite a panic, leading
to stress. You can help by clearing the way
to the feeder and drinker, and by clearing
part or all of the run for them. Feed a little
extra mixed corn or split, kibbled or cut
maize around mid to late afternoon to
provide them with more energy to keep
them warm at night.
Finally, remember
not to panic ? your
birds are far tougher
than you might think,
and are actually kept
successfully in many
of the world?s coldest
places!
38 www.homefarmer.co.uk
Join the other 10,000 eggheads...
...Sign up to our
?cracking? newsletter
- you won?t need to
?shell? out either.
Go to
homefarmer.co.uk/emailnewsletter-sign-form
January 2018
39
SMALLHOLDING
Debbie Kingsley
Debbie and her husband,
Andrew Hubbard, rear native,
traditional and rare breed livestock,
and run smallholding courses on
their Devon farm.
For more information:
smallholdertraining.co.uk
debbie@smallholdertraining.co.uk
01837 810569
Twitter: @SouthYeoFarm
The Smallholder?s
CALENDAR
Debbie Kingsley continues her series on what?s really involved in the
smallholder life, and this month she discusses the smallholding year
S
ometimes I think that, just as they
do for academics, the producers
of almanacs and calendars should
produce a specific diary for both farmers
and smallholders. In truth, many of us feel
our year begins when we put the rams in
with the ewes, and in our case New Year?s
day is mostly a reminder that the scanner
will be coming any day soon to pregnancy
scan our ewes, rather than heralding a new
farming year.
can see just how well the experienced
sheep, who may have gone through up to
eight pregnancies, stack up in comparison.
Any older ewes that still make the grade by
this point tend to wear their years lightly
and add much appreciated steadiness to
the rest of the flock.
AUTUMN
Autumn is the time for ram sales, so
we are both selling and buying rams in
September, and putting any new ones
in quarantine to make sure all is well
before we integrate them into the flock.
In燨ctober we give our ewes a final once
over to check that they are in fine fettle and
suitable to go to the ram, and the maiden
ewes born two years previously are added
to the breeding flock. Seeing the sheep
version of nubile maidens alongside the
more mature females is very helpful ? you
cows to come into the cowsheds before
they trash the damp ground and ruin all
that potential spring growth. The cows
coming inside is another key year marker,
as it means that there won?t be too many
lie-ins for anyone anytime soon; preferring
to keep our cows as clean as possible means
a daily mucking out of the sheds ? picking
the muck off the beds and removing it
alongside any splatted on the concrete
feeding areas. This adds considerably to
our morning livestock chores, so between
the two of us we alternate cowshed duty
with feeding and checking pigs, poultry
and sheep.
This is also the month for harvesting
the apple crop, pressing them for juice,
and making cider. I also syphon off vinegar
and add surplus cider to the vinegar barrel
to keep us in supply for next year?s chutney
making.
Come November we start putting hay
out for the sheep, and it?s time for the
40 www.homefarmer.co.uk
WINTER
December and January mean lots of
cutting and carting of wood for the fires,
because any that might have been chopped
in warmer days will most likely have been
used up by the end of autumn. It?s爐he
time when evening livestock duties ?
bedding down the cows, feeding the pigs
and putting poultry in their huts ? become
afternoon duties, and early afternoon at
that, with it often getting dark before
4pm. But this does effectively mean longer
evenings and a bit of a social life, and time
for picking up on hobbies and indoor
tasks. It?s also the time when I feel I can
ask Andrew to make another bookcase,
cupboard, or a new bed.
We also start to take things out of
our bulging freezers ? filled so generously
over the summer ? and cook deeply
flavoursome stews, pies and roasts; all
ideal traditional seasonal winter foods.
Hot,爁ruity crumbles, warm apple tarts and
spicy mulled cider all keep us warm inside,
and thick jackets, socks, hats and gloves are
dug out of hiding to keep us warm whilst
outside.
But it?s certainly not all making merry
by the fire. During any dry patches there
is hedgelaying and fencing to get on with,
and walking all the boundary fences,
checking for any rotten posts that need
replacing. With the trees bare of leaves we
can see all too clearly any problems that
were well-hidden by summer foliage.
really big activity is preparing for and
going through the lambing process. At the
very latest, the heavily pregnant ewes are
brought into the barn at the beginning
of March, congregating in deep straw
beds, tucking into hay and ewe nuts,
and drinking far more water than usual.
The lambing pens all go up, the CCTV
cameras are turned on, and we watch
and wait for the first signs of labour.
There爄nevitably tends to be a rush for the
first couple for weeks, followed by a bit
of a slow time, and then another rush at
the very end. I tend to take the early shift,
starting at 5am (or earlier, if needed), and
Andrew takes the late shift, so that we can
cover all 24 hours of the day.
Once the majority of the ewes have
lambed and are out on spring grass with
SPRING
Spring is when the days start to draw
out, and we leap out of bed more easily.
I always keep an eye out for the first
Aylesbury duck and hen eggs of the year,
although our clever and hardy Shetland
ducks often produce something for us
throughout the winter. Any late-season
hedging work has to get finished quickly,
and protective fencing sorted. But the
January 2018
41
SMALLHOLDING
their new families, the cows are also turned
out and their shed given a thorough
cleansing. The sheds are then readied
for bringing back in those cows due to
calve. Most of the straw we bought in the
autumn will have been used up by now,
and another, smaller load needed to see us
through the summer.
SUMMER
Summer often comes in with a crash;
one moment there?s blossom in the
orchard and on the hawthorn, then all of a
sudden everything is green, the wildflowers
are blooming, lambs are getting fatter
by the minute, and calves are round and
playful. Bird huts and runs litter the back
garden, and growing chicks, ducklings
and goslings change rapidly from
adolescent gawkiness to mini-adults.
We weather watch constantly, looking
for a week of good weather to make
enough hay to see us through the next
winter, while sensibly acknowledging
that we can always wrap and make
haylage if things go against us. The燾ows
are coming back into season too, and
they are observed closely so that we
can phone ?the bull in the bowler hat?,
as James Herriot called the AI (artificial
insemination) man.
The polytunnel and the veg garden
are both in full flow, and we eat heaps
of French beans, juicy sweetcorn, sweet
peas and lettuce, while moaning ? as we
do every year ? that it?s just impossible
to grow tomatoes that don?t succumb to
blight. The rainfall that makes the grass
grow so well here in Devon rarely fails
to ruin the tomato crop, although the
peppers, chillies, courgettes and aubergines
seem to do fine. Little fruits appear on
the squash plants that, in time, will
completely overrun the polytunnel, and
the cucumbers grow in front of your eyes
? much to the delight of the tortoise, who
gets to feast on the spares.
The piglets born in early spring are
now weaned and hurtle round their
paddock on cooler days, and snooze under
the oak tree in hotter weather, with the
benefit of a slippery muddy wallow on
the very warmest of summer days. At this
time of year they sleep outside of their
arks, ignoring the straw bed and preferring
to catch any slight breeze on offer.
They tend to lie head to toe, grunting
companionably, legs twitching rather like
sleeping dogs.
The lambs are all weaned, the freezers
fill up, and as sure as eggs is eggs, the days
begin to shorten.
NEXT MONTH
Debbie looks in depth at
smallholding during the winter
months.
42 www.homefarmer.co.uk
January 2018
43
CHARLES KITCHEN
FEEDING
GROWS IT
WASTE
John Harrison
John is ?Britain?s greatest
allotment authority?
(The營ndependent on Sunday),
and is the author of several
leading books on gardening and
preserving. Find more of his
?lottie wisdom? at:
allotment-garden.org
See page 12 for a range of
John?s books.
LEFTOVERS
and livestock
John Harrison looks at the laws governing the feeding of kitchen
waste to certain livestock and asks if it is time for a change
I
magine you have a factory producing
sandwiches for the supermarkets and
petrol stations etc. You?re possibly
producing around 100,000 packs a day, or
even more. Now imagine the worst thing
that could happen? perhaps someone
comes in to work with food poisoning,
contaminates the product and 100,000
people come down with food poisoning.
Obviously you?re going to take stringent
precautions at all times to keep the product
as it should be, and your customers safe.
Your staff will all wear special clothing,
including both hair and beard guards
where applicable, and disposable gloves
will be worn. Temperatures of the storage
facilities will also be taken and recorded
regularly ? perhaps even every hour, and
all your suppliers will be subject to similar
rules, with everything checked and doublechecked according to HACCP and other
similar legislation. You get the general
picture?
Now, since businesses occasionally have
a tendency to bend or break rules to save
money, we back these rules and regulations
up with the force of the law, and inspectors
visit premises to make sure all is as it
should be. The penalties for breaking the
law on an issue as critical as food safety go
as far as imprisonment, and in view of the
risks involved if something goes wrong,
this undoubtedly makes good sense.
Now let?s apply those laws to anyone
and everyone who makes a sandwich, or
any food for that matter. They and their
families and friends all run precisely the
same risks, so imagine the scene ? the
Oxo family comprising Dad and two kids
sitting at the table whilst Mum dishes
up the evening meal. Suddenly there?s a
knock at the door: Dad opens it and in
walks? the health inspectors. ?We notice
you?re not wearing approved clothing, Mrs
Oxo, and where are all your refrigerator
temperature records? Why do you not have
a separate hand-washing facility??
The next scene is Mrs Oxo standing
tearfully in the dock as the judge passes
sentence. ?Two Years! Take her down!?
Do you think that?s ridiculous, even
insane? Well read on!
John?s grandson, Gabriel, with the family flock.
44 www.homefarmer.co.uk
FEEDING CHICKENS KITCHEN
SCRAPS
Technically you can get two years in
prison for simply feeding your pet hen
kitchen scraps. Hens are regarded as
livestock, and as far as feed is concerned
the law doesn?t differentiate between home
owners with just a couple of birds and an
agribusiness with 100,000 birds. Food爐hat
is fine to serve to your own family is illegal
to feed to your poultry ? even a tin of
spaghetti in tomato sauce freshly opened
and heated in the kitchen. And it gets
even crazier. You pick a cauliflower and
cut the leaves off on the plot; it?s fine to
feed those leaves to your hens, but take
the cauliflower into your kitchen, cut
the leaves off and it then becomes illegal
to feed them to your hens. The reason is
said to be to prevent contamination with
meat, or with meat by-products. There is,
however, an exception to the kitchen scraps
law ? vegan households.
However, to quote from the
government web site:
?There is a complete ban on using kitchen
waste from non-vegan households and from
catering waste containing products of animal
origin. It is illegal to use catering waste from
kitchens which handle meat, or vegetarian
kitchens which may handle dairy products,
eggs etc. This ban also includes catering waste
from restaurants and commercial kitchens
producing vegan food.?
THE REASONING BEHIND THE
LAW
The reason for this legal madness is
to prevent chickens contracting a disease
from contaminated food, including meat
products, and passing it on to other birds.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency
states:
?This is to prevent the introduction and
spread of potentially devastating notifiable
animal diseases, such as African and Classical
Swine Fever, and Foot and Mouth disease.
These diseases cause significant animal health
and welfare problems and damage to the
economy.?
SO DOES THIS MAKE SENSE?
I really don?t think this law makes sense
when applied to home poultry keepers.
Back before we allowed the bureaucrats
to rule us, it was usual to keep a mash
bucket for the hens under the sink.
Properly燽oiled up, potato peelings, stale
bread and so forth all went into them to be
converted into nutritious eggs and valuable
nitrogen-rich fertiliser. Of course, there
were always sensible rules that had to be
followed for the sake of the hens? health,
but for many years we managed without
the full force of the law hanging over us.
PIGS AND KITCHEN WASTE
Veg is OK, as long as it comes from the garden, not
the kitchen.
Now take note of the bit that says:
??pigs being fed undercooked catering
waste containing the virus which originated
from outside the UK.? So it wasn?t actually
catering waste as such; it was illegally
imported meat and a failure to process
the waste properly ? two serious and
devastating failures that reinforced
each other with catastrophic results.
If爐he infected meat hadn?t been illegally
imported then we most probably would
have been OK, or if the waste had been
properly processed we would have been
fine. It?s also worth noting that the second
outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in
2007 was caused by poor biosecurity
procedures at the Pirbright laboratory!
The other animal that was always
commonly fed waste was, of course, the
pig. The swill bin was a fixture of all school
and commercial kitchens, but this is
now illegal, and in order to support their
reasoning the Animal and Plant Health
Agency says:
WHY BAN USING KITCHEN
WASTE AS ANIMAL FEED?
?The most likely source of the Foot
and Mouth disease outbreak in 2001 was
pigs being fed undercooked catering waste
containing the virus which originated from
outside the UK. The outbreak resulted in the
destruction of more than 10 million cattle
and sheep, with compensation running into
many millions of pounds.?
We didn?t take the step of banning
viral research laboratories after the 2007
outbreak, but one hopes that biosecurity
was taken more seriously and better
applied afterwards, once ?lessons were
learnt.? A more logical course of action
after the original 2001 foot and mouth
outbreak might have been to look at
It makes compost but would it be put to better use
producing eggs?
January 2018
45
FEEDING
WASTE
CHARLES KITCHEN
GROWS IT
and even started growing food crops solely
for the purpose of digesting. Any爏ubsidy
comes from the taxpayer and has generally
benefitted those well off enough to
invest large amounts of money in the
infrastructure.
WHO BENEFITS FROM THE
CURRENT LAW?
better prevention of illegal meat imports
getting into the UK, whilst ensuring the
safe handling of any waste foodstuffs
entering the animal food chain. The latter
could have been accomplished by better
regulation and education ? people are
certainly always more likely to follow rules
that they know, understand and agree
with.
But instead we have a law that many
home poultry keepers are not fully aware
of, and in some respects free discussion
about the matter of feeding hens on scraps
could be considered incitement to break
the law. This is counter-productive as
giving specific advice, say on a forum, can
run the risk of legal action, and that?s a real
risk, by the way, not just a theoretical one.
I?ve personally had some menacing emails
from official agencies for simply suggesting
popping a few slug pellets in with stored
potatoes as a ?misuse of pesticide?.
HOW IS FOOD WASTE
HANDLED TODAY?
Some Councils now collect food
waste separately from households, and
much of our catering waste and other
food by-products end up in bio-digesters.
Here爐he waste goes into a system that
produces methane gas which is burnt
to produce electricity that is sold into
the grid. To爀ncourage the greater use of
bio-digesters the government was at one
point paying a large subsidy to owners,
so they naturally disposed of waste like
slurry from dairy farms in bio-digesters
There is, of course, the muchvaunted argument that the law protects
our farming industry from disease, and
changing it would present a grave risk to
the economy, the farming sector and the
taxpayer. My爋pinion is, however, that the
law actually fails ? and certainly did fail
to protect us from Foot and Mouth in the
early ?noughties? ? to protect the industry,
and the problem of illegal feeding is
actually a potentially greater risk.
The owners of bio-digesters obviously
benefit from the
law too, although
the reduction
of government
subsidies means
there are not a
large number of
them. We must
ask, however, how
significant the
benefits really are
when these plants
are now fed not
just waste material
but also digest
food products
grown solely for the
purpose. Is this a
worthwhile use of
agricultural land?
The single largest beneficiary though
has to be the animal feed industry, but
not the smaller millers. These guys are the
seriously big ones importing GMO soya
from Brazil, or those with the equipment
to burn the living daylights out of waste
once it is collected, in order to prevent the
contents you and me are not supposed to
feed our birds getting into the feed chain.
This爈evel of manufacturing and processing
? including the importing of materials ? is
ideal for large international corporations
which trade in ?commodities? rather than
foodstuffs. But hang on a minute? aren?t
these companies the same ones who were
responsible for the original BSE problems
which really did decimate our beef
industry in the early 1990s due to feeding
our cattle beef products? I don?t seem to
recall any prosecutions there though.
Any plan to put in place an official
means of buying and processing food waste
from the general public for use as animal
feed would be a logistical nightmare, and
could only operate on a local basis as no
larger manufacturer would wish to get
involved. That leaves a lot of wholesome
waste that could provide many a fresh
egg for the nation?s back garden chicken
keepers. There have been attempts made to
campaign for the return of swill bins, with
support from celebrity chefs and other
high profile personalities, but most of these
now run industrial-scale operations from
high-profile restaurants, with ? presumably
? considerable experience in recording and
documenting everything.
In my opinion, the law on feeding
waste to farm animals such as pigs should
be changed; it?s ridiculous to turn waste
foodstuffs into
compost when they
could be recycled
naturally into fresh
pork. The fact that
they?re pursuing
smallholders says that
it does happen, but
it?s far better to be
handled properly out
in the open rather
than in secret, which
encourages poor
practice.
With chickens,
applying laws that
probably make sense
for large commercial
poultry farms to
home keepers is sheer
madness. After燼ll, there is no requirement
for keepers with fewer than 50 birds
to even register with Defra. For a start,
making home and very small-scale keepers
exempt from the law would allow proper
advice to be given, unlike now where
all advice is seen to be encouraging law
breaking. Most home hens are effectively
pets, and although their owners love to
give them a treat, I am not arguing that
leftovers should replace compound feed,
which is scientifically produced to meet the
nutritional requirements of poultry, but it
could supplement it. As it stands, it would
be illegal for us to share our porridge with
our chickens, but perfectly alright for us to
partake in theirs. That has to be daft!
?You pick a cauliflower
and cut the leaves off
on the plot; it?s fine to
feed those leaves to
your hens, but take
the cauliflower into
your kitchen, cut the
leaves off and it then
becomes illegal to feed
them to your hens?
46 www.homefarmer.co.uk
AN OFFER YOU CAN?T REFUSE FROM
JOHN HARRISON
Leading author and blogger on growing allotment veg, John
Harrison, is offering any of his best-selling books together with
free seeds from Suttons worth over � ? and what better time
could there be to get your hands on free seeds and some downto-earth wisdom on using them.
John Harrison
lives in Snowdonia, North Wales, on a
smallholding with his wife Val and a pride
of miniature lions who can be mistaken
for moggies. As well as writing he runs his
allotment-garden.org website from his home.
They aim to be as self-sufficient as possible,
not only growing fruit and vegetables,
but making their own butter, cheese and
preserves, and will soon be raising their own
livestock.
His first book, Vegetable Growing Month
by Month, was a best-selling success, closely
followed by The Essential Allotment Guide
and Low Cost Living, which he says should
have been titled ?Self Sufficiency in the
Suburbs?.
Easy Jams, Chutneys and Preserves
was a collaboration with his wife, Val, and
it has become a bestseller because of its
straightforward, honest style. Val not only
tells you what to do but also what to do
when things go wrong... and they do!
His book, Vegetable, Fruit and Herb
Growing in Small Spaces was released in
March 2010 and was based on their time in a
terraced house with just a patch of concrete
to grow on.
Following this, John and Val released
How to Store Your Home Grown Produce in
September 2010. They realised many home
growers just didn?t know what to do to store
their crops.
Plus?
� WORTH
OF SEEDS
WITH YOUR
ORDER
HOW TO STORE YOUR HOME GROWN PRODUCE �99
EASY JAMS, CHUTNEYS AND PRESERVES �99
THE ESSENTIAL ALLOTMENT GUIDE �99
VEGETABLE GROWING MONTH BY MONTH �99
LOW COST LIVING �99
VEGETABLE, FRUIT AND HERB GROWING IN SMALL SPACES �99
Visit www.allotment-garden.org/book/ to find out more about these and other titles by John Harrison, and to chat
online and exchange growing and preserving tips with other like-minded home farmers everywhere.
WWW.ALLOTMENT-GARDEN.ORG/BOOK/
VIABLE SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Dot Tyne?s
October diary
includes
preparations
for tupping
and selling
livestock, and
a very painful
foot infection
for Tim
Dot Tyne?s
Smallholder?s
Dot Tyne
Dot, together with her
husband, Tim, and their three
children, runs a smallholding
on the Llyn Peninsula, in Wales,
where they find themselves
bridging the divide between
smallholder and farmer.
This爃as enabled them to adapt
sound commercial farming
practices to suit a smaller-scale
enterprise.
Twitter:@VSSufficiency
viableselfsufficiency.co.uk
DIARY
1st October
2nd October
Went up the mountain and gathered
the ewes. Thick fog made it a bit tricky
? difficult to see your hand in front of
your face, let alone the sheep! They came
down pretty well, although we did leave
one behind who seemed rather thin and
didn?t want to follow the flock. Tim will
have to go back for her with the quad and
trailer. Moved the ewes to better grazing
and put two teaser rams out with them.
Put Llinos? Badgerfaces in a different place
with their own teaser, and put the last
teaser out with the shearlings.
Gathered in the ewe lambs and sorted
them out into two groups ? those that will
be kept as potential flock replacements
and those that will be sold at the end of
the winter. We also picked out two that
we?ll take to the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.
Tim爓ent to market to buy some more ewe
lambs as we are a bit down on numbers
this year. He got a bunch of 31 for � per
head. Treated them all with Spot-on and
gave a worm drench. Managed to crick my
back this morning, which is very painful.
48 www.homefarmer.co.uk
3rd October
Tim left here well before the crack of
dawn with the lambs he bought yesterday
and nine others to make a load of 40.
He?s爐aking them to Suffolk for the winter.
I did all the milking and other animal
tasks. Something of a struggle as my back
is still rather uncomfortable, but Llinos
and Rhian were very helpful. Today was
the first day without any rain for absolutely
ages. Made a pleasant change.
4th October
Tim away till later tonight so the
routine animal tasks fell to me again.
I爎eally don?t think the cows like me very
much ? they were very awkward to bring
in for milking, and a pain in the neck
when taking them back out as well. I
think they?ll be pleased once Tim is home.
Fed爐he store cattle on the mountain.
5th October
Tim got back late last night and yes,
the cows were pleased to see him this
morning ? there was loads of milk! Gave a
fluke dose to the shearling ewes that we?ll
be selling later this month. They look like
they could do with it. Made butter this
evening.
6th October
Did all the routine animal jobs,
checked sheep and fed the store cattle.
Loaded the hurdles and weigh crate into
the trailer. Headed off after lunch to gather
up the ewes. Gave them all a Cydectin
injection, a mineral drench, a fluke dose
and applied a pour-on to get rid of ticks.
Marked the ewes with different colours
to identify which ram they?ll go with.
We?ll爏plit them into the right groups next
week. The job was made rather slow by the
fact that the dosing gun kept jamming,
and also by Tim accidently poking himself
with the automatic injector. Collected the
shearling ewes from their field and put
them in with the adult ewes.
7th October
An early start today to get the animals
done quickly as we needed to get to market
for the autumn Rare and Minority Breed
sale. We took a boar pig (one we should
have eaten but has grown too big!), a duck
with ducklings, and Llinos took two of her
Badgerface shearling ewes. Tim dropped us
off and then went on to deliver three rams
that we?ve sold to a chap near Denbigh.
Sold the duck for � and made � on
the pig, and the two ewes went for �
each. Llinos had also been hoping to buy a
new ram for her sheep, but there were only
a couple that were good enough to even
consider. The bidding on both went too
high, so with less than a week to go until
the rams go in, she still doesn?t have one.
Came home to sort out the second batch
of ewe lambs that will be going to Suffolk
in the morning.
8th October
Tim left very early with the ewe lambs.
Did all the animal jobs in his absence.
Cows a bit better behaved this time.
9th October
Did the stock again today as I didn?t
expect Tim home until early evening.
Spent the afternoon clearing out the
conservatory, removing the spent tomato
and cucumber plants. Had a general tidy
up and cleared the space ready for stacking
logs.
11th October
Brought home the 30 yearling ewes
that we are selling. Checked through them
and found three that had sore noses so
weren?t fit to sell. Not sure what?s causing
that, but we?ll keep them in for a bit until
it improves. Delivered the remaining 27
to their buyer near Newtown. Really foul
weather today.
12th October
Spent quite a portion of the day sorting
out end of financial year paperwork.
13th October
A busy sheep day today. Gathered in
all the ewes and sorted them into batches
according to their tupping groups, as
marked last week. There are five bunches,
plus the Badgerfaces. Took each group to
a separate field ? a slow job as we couldn?t
quite fit two groups in the trailer at the
same time. Luckily the worst of the rain
held off, but the field was pretty wet and
slippery. Once we?d finished moving the
ewes, we took each ram out to his ladies.
Have also made an arrangement to look
at a Badgerface ram lamb on Sunday.
Hopefully he?ll be what Llinos is looking
for.
14th October
An early start to get the animals done
and then took a family trip to Reaseheath
College where Rhian is thinking of
studying after she?s done her GCSEs.
Checked round all the sheep and fed the
cattle on the mountain when we got back.
January 2018
49
VIABLE SELF-SUFFICIENCY
18th October
22nd October
Checked the sheep and fed the cattle
? the tree is still across the lane so had to
walk again. Another dry day, so we finally
managed to empty the last items from the
glamping tent and took it down. It coped
pretty well with Ophelia, but the guy ropes
are in need of replacement. In fact, we may
consider replacing the whole tent before
next season as it looks a little tired.
A fairly slow start today. The local
livestock dealer came to look at the calves
and the store cattle. He gave us some ball
park figures for the calves and suggested
that the store cattle really need to come in
and be fed for a couple of months before
we try selling them. We already have a
potential customer lined up for the calves,
but the dealer said he would take them if
that fell through.
19th October
15th October
Llinos and I went to Aberystwyth
to look at the Badgerface ram lamb.
He was nice ? well marked, with good
conformation and mature enough to work,
so she bought him. He was quite pricey at
�0, but hopefully his lambs will repay
the investment. Tim fed the store cattle
and applied a pour-on wormer at the same
time.
16th October
Tim left here very early this morning
to go deer stalking so I did the milking
and stock jobs. Things didn?t quite go
according to plan so he was home later
than expected. However, he did bring
home a young fallow deer that he?d had
to dispatch as it had been caught on a
fence and injured. Not sure how much
of the carcass will be useable. Very weird
weather this morning ? still, with peculiar
red light and an odd smell. Also very
warm ? the calm before the arrival of
hurricane Ophelia. Blowing an absolute
hoolie by mid afternoon. Cooking session
this evening ? made bread, spicy sausage
casserole and a pheasant curry.
Got a couple of loads of feed in, and
Tim did some sorting out in the cow shed.
Had the vet here this afternoon to castrate
the two bull calves.
20th October
Tim carried on mucking out the cow
shed ? it?s a slow job.
23rd October
Checked the sheep and fed the cattle.
Spent some time working on the farm
records. Once I?d had enough of that,
I moved some gardening stuff from the
conservatory to my new gardening shed.
Tim got a load of feed and carried on
working on the end of year accounts.
The爁armer who?s interested in the calves
came to look at them this afternoon ? he
agreed to purchase them, with only a little
bit of haggling ? but he can?t take them for
a few days. Tim found a poorly buzzard
lying in one of our fields, very thin, weak
and soaking wet. He dried it off, gave it
some glucose solution and put it in a dark,
quiet place to de-stress. Tim seems to have
a knack of finding sick and injured wild
creatures. This is not the first time I?ve had
17th October
Surprisingly, given the wind overnight,
there was not a single tree down across the
drive this morning and the electricity and
broadband also seemed fine. Did come
across a tree down when I went to feed the
cattle, so I had to walk quite a distance
to get to them. A nice dry day, so Tim
sorted out the shed and brought in the ram
lambs. Gave them all a dose and weighed
them. Moved the feed hoppers inside so
they can feed ad lib. They are a pretty
poor bunch on the whole ? they have had
such a set back from the problems of the
summer.
50 www.homefarmer.co.uk
to share my home with a buzzard ? the last
one lived in our conservatory for months.
I should?ve realised what I was letting
myself in for years ago when we first met,
and Tim brought a sick heron into our
student digs and expected me to hold it
still while he fed it on sardines!
24th October
Tim moved the buzzard into a larger
container. Not ideal, but OK until we can
sort out something more suitable. It is
eating well and seems brighter. Still very
weak though ? weighing less than half
what it should. Collected a load of ram
feed. The ram lambs have improved quite a
bit since we brought them in, but there is
still a long way to go for most of them.
25th October
A neighbour asked us to graze her
little piece of field to keep it tidy over the
winter. We?ll need to check the fence and
they will need to get a new gate fitted so
our sheep don?t trash their garden, but
hopefully it?ll be a useful patch of grass,
even though it?s only tiny. Moved the
buzzard to the spare dog kennel ? plenty
of space in there for wing flapping.
Definitely爂etting stronger and has a good
appetite now.
30th October
27th October
Finished removing the dead spud
foliage. Covered the tubers over with black
plastic to prevent greening and to stop
them getting too soggy. Unfortunately爓e
just haven?t had enough dry weather to
consider digging them up for storage.
It爈ooks as if we?ll be storing them in the
ground this winter. Cleaned out the hen
house. Also put the remaining sound
onions into strings and hung them in the
conservatory. Tim struggling a little with
an infection in his foot.
Feeling rather jaded after last night?s
antics. Took the tractor tyre to be fixed and
collected the chainsaw, which has been in
for mending. Spotted a few lambs in the
wrong field so moved them back to where
they were supposed to be and went back
later in the day to make some running
repairs to the fence. Had a baking session
this evening and came across a peculiar
egg ? it looked quite large, but outwardly
normal. Once cracked open, the yolk and
white were normal, but there was another
tiny egg inside, complete with its own
shell.
28th October
Mucking out in the main shed, clearing
the yard the calves were using, ready to
house the store cattle. It was all going well
until Tim managed to rip the front tyre
of the tractor on a gate hinge. Can?t do
anything about a replacement until after
the weekend. Collected a load of hay and
straw. Took advantage of a dry day to bring
in the Winter Fair lambs. Also dealt with
one of the tups who?s gone lame. We have
rather a lot of eggs at the moment so I
made a batch of lemon curd.
29th October
26th October
The calves were collected today. The
buyer has had calves from us before so
fingers crossed these will live up to his
expectations. Started clearing away the
tops of the Sharpo Mira spuds. It was
rather a wet and mucky job.
Tidying in the garden this afternoon,
taking down the anti-pheasant netting.
Rolled it up and put it away until next
year. Tim did a bit more mucking out in
the cow shed, but his foot was very sore
and the infection seemed to be spreading
up his leg, which was not good. Ended爑p
spending most of my Sunday night in
A&E while he had his toe lanced and
received some very powerful antibiotics.
31st October
Tim feeling a little better but needs to
be careful not to overdo it. Delivered the
last three yearling ewes, now recovered
from their sore noses, and also took a ram
for the same buyer. Only three rams left to
sell now, and there?s someone coming to
look at them later in the week.
January 2018
51
GOAT NUTRITION ? SPONSORED BY THE SMALLHOLDER RANGE
Feeding Your
GOATS
Emma Hurrell
Emma is a nutritionist at The
Smallholder Range and has a BSc in
Animal Management and Welfare
as well as a postgraduate certificate
in ruminant nutrition..
For more information on feeding
your goats, contact the friendly
Smallholder Range Advice Line on
01362 822900, or visit
www.smallholderfeed.co.uk.
Emma Hurrell BSc (Hons), PGCert,
discusses the importance of providing
your goats with a high-quality, balanced
diet to ensure they remain healthy and
productive
THE IMPORTANCE OF FIBRE
As ruminants, goats are highly
adapted to digesting fibre. Eating fibrous
material such as hay and tree branches
promotes rumination (?chewing the cud?),
maintains healthy rumen function and,
once digested, provides the goat with
a source of energy. As goat owners will
know, goats are not the most effective
lawn mowers because, whilst they will
nibble on grass, they are much happier
browsing on woody material from shrubs
and trees. If your goats don?t have access
to shrubs and trees in their enclosure,
they will certainly appreciate having
some branches hung up to munch on.
Hawthorn, hazel and brambles are usually
popular, but care should be taken to
avoid access to poisonous plants such as
rhododendron and yew, as well as stoned
fruit tree varieties such as cherry, which are
poisonous when dried.
52 www.homefarmer.co.uk
FRESH FOOD
material such
Eating fibrous
es promotes
as tree branch
ats.
go
in
n
io
ruminat
Fruit and vegetables make a good addition to your goats?
diet and will provide added interest. It is important to
avoid poisonous plants such as tomatoes and rhubarb, as
well as any decaying matter. Additionally, grass clippings
are not advisable because they can cause your goat to
choke. It is important to note that catering waste, even
from your own kitchen, should not be fed.
COMPLEMENTARY
FEEDS
Forage such as hay should
always be available to goats and
is an excellent source of fibre for
them. Goats are very particular
when it comes to the cleanliness
of their feed so the hay they
Forage such as
hay is an
excellent sour
have should be of good quality
ce of fibre.
It is best fed fr
om a rack
and dust free ? if it is not to
as goats natura
lly look
their liking they will not eat it!
upwards for fo
od.
To satisfy your goats? browsing
behaviour, it is best to feed their
hay from a rack to simulate the
natural behaviour of looking upwards for
of the body?s chemical reactions. As has
food.
already been noted, goats can be very
WATER
Water is very important for all
animals, and goats are no exception. It
has many functions in the body, which
include regulating body temperature,
assisting transportation of nutrients
around the body and excreting waste
products, as well as having a role in many
particular, so to ensure your goats drink
enough, it is important to ensure they
always have access to fresh, clean water.
Wethers�(castrated goats) are unfortunately
at greater risk of urinary stones because
they have a narrower urethra, so if you
keep wethers it is especially important to
encourage them to drink plenty of water
because urinary stones are less likely to
occur in dilute urine.
Offering a high quality,
balanced goat mix appropriate
for the goats? nutritional
requirements alongside their
forage and browsing material will
help to keep them at their best.
The type of goat mix you choose
and how much you feed will
depend on a number of factors,
including, age, breed, reproductive
status and purpose (e.g. breeding,
milk or as pets). Whilst many
owners like to mix their own
concentrate feeds, using a good quality
prepared feed takes out much of the hard
work and will ensure you are providing
your goats with a balanced diet.
An all-round goat mix.
To ensure that your goats are fed
the correct amount of feed for their
requirements it is important to assess their
body condition and to follow the feed
manufacturer?s guidelines. Remember to
weigh your scoop of feed ? different feeds
will vary in weight. If you are unsure if
you are feeding the correct amount then
it is worth contacting the feed company
helpline as they will be able to advise you.
January 2018
53
GOAT NUTRITION ? SPONSORED BY THE SMALLHOLDER RANGE
PRODUCTIVE GOATS
Goats kept for milk will
understandably have higher
nutritional requirements than
those that are kept as pets. Without
adequate nutrition, dairy goats can lose
condition quickly, and this can have
a knock on effect on their milk yield.
It is important to ensure they are fed a
feed that is high in energy and provides
a good level of protein, ideally with
a protein content of 15% or greater.
For爃igh yielders, they may require as
much as 3kg of complementary feed to
meet their daily nutritional requirements.
To make digestion as efficient as possible,
it would be beneficial to split the quantity
between 3 or 4 smaller feeds rather than
feeding it in one or two large feeds ? this
will also reduce the risk of conditions such
as acidosis occurring.
?Small breeds such
as pygmy goats
are often kept as
pets, and due to
their small size it is
not uncommon for
them to pile on the
pounds?
FUSSY FEEDERS
Contrary to the popular belief that
goats will eat anything, they are actually
very fussy eaters. If this is a problem you
face with your goats, look for a feed that
contains palatable herbs such as mint,
fenugreek and oregano for added flavour,
which may tempt a shy feeder. Many feeds
formulated for goats contain molasses, but
there are dry goat mixes on the market
that may be more suitable if you have a
goat with less of a sweet tooth! If your goat
suddenly stops eating, and you cannot see
a reason why, it is always best to contact
your vet, in case of illness.
With access to lots of interesting forage
and browsing material, clean fresh water
and a good quality goat feed specifically
tailored to their requirements in place,
your goats should certainly have everything
they need to keep them in tip-top
condition.
Pets and
Pygmy Goats
Small breeds such as pygmy
goats are often kept as pets,
and due to their small size it
is not uncommon for them to
pile on the pounds. To燼void
pygmy goats becoming
overweight, it is important
to use a low energy feed,
which is also high in fibre.
Whilst pygmy goats do require
a good source of quality
protein for maintenance, their
requirements are not as high
as the protein requirements
of a dairy goat. Specifically
formulated pygmy goat feeds
are available and would be
suitable for all pet goats.
Whilst爈ower in energy and
protein, they often contain fruit
and vegetables such as carrot, apple
and pineapple to make them more
palatable and interesting. They爓ill
also be balanced with essential
vitamins and minerals for all-round
good health, and this will include
a correct ratio of calcium and
phosphorus, which is important to
minimise the risk of urinary stones.
For more information on feeding your
goats, contact the friendly Smallholder
Range Advice Line on 01362 822900, or
visit www.smallholderfeed.co.uk.
54 www.homefarmer.co.uk
BEE-KEEPING
Claire Waring
Editor of Bee Craft magazine
and an honorary member of
The British Beekeepers?
Association, Claire
travels around the world
championing the beekeeping cause and is a
founding trustee of Bees
Abroad, a charity set up to
use bee-keeping to relieve
poverty in communities in
developing countries.
SAVE
THE
BEES
Become a Bee-keeper
Claire Waring discusses some important things to consider before
you start
T
here is a lot of media coverage
about bees at the moment, with
lots of doom and gloom stories
about how they are dying out, and plenty
of ideas of how we can help to try to
save them ? and us too, for that matter.
The爁act is that as much as one-third of
the world?s food depends on honeybees for
pollination, and without pollination there
will be very little produce for us to eat, or
immense price rises as agriculture tries to
recoup the billions of pounds it
costs to replace them.
Pollination is also vital for
maintaining the biodiversity
of the world we enjoy. While營
accept that the situation is
not looking at all rosy, I think
we tend to forget that there
are actually other pollinators
out there like bumblebees,
solitary bees, wasps, butterflies,
ordinary flies, moths, beetles,
weevils, birds, and even bats, although
each of these too face numerous problems
from chemicals and pesticides according
to environmental charities. They also don?t
occur in quite the same sort of numbers
that can be found in a honeybee colony,
but they are certainly out there.
I?ll leave you with that thought and
turn our attention back to honeybees.
There is no doubt that the going for
honey bees is tough at the present time.
Modern agricultural practices such as
monocultures, large field areas and fewer
hedgerows reduce the forage available to
colonies and we know that pesticides ?
neonicotinoids and others ? do kill and
harm insects, and bees are also up against
other things such as the variable British
weather. Sure, they have been coping with
this for millennia, but what they haven?t
experienced until relatively recently is the
rate of change in climatic conditions.
Honey bee colonies are taken to the orchards in
spring to pollinate apples.
56 www.homefarmer.co.uk
Have I put you off? Would you be
surprised if I said ?Good?? ?Don?t you
want to help the bees?? I hear you say.
Of燾ourse I do, but I want to encourage
those who will be prepared to learn about
the colony?s life cycle, the annual round of
management tasks, and how to recognise
and treat the various pests and diseases that
threaten our bees. I want to encourage beekeepers who will be passionate about their
bees and work with them to give them the
very best chance to thrive.
Years ago, you could put a hive at
the bottom of the garden and, as long
as you didn?t care when they swarmed,
you could just leave them alone, apart
from harvesting the honey, of course (and
as long as you made sure you left them
enough to survive over the winter).
Butterflies and many other insects and birds are effective pollinators, but not in the same numbers as
honeybees.
However, bees are very resilient; they
are undoubtedly born survivors, but some
of the new conditions they face will make
life very tough for them, and that, I hear
you say, is where I come in: I will keep
bees and help them to survive.
That is, of course, a completely
laudable ambition, and one that many of
us will echo. However, before you leap
in and acquire your bee colony, stop and
think whether this will, in fact, be the
best way you can help out. Perhaps simply
planting pollinator-friendly flowers in
abundance might actually be a better way?
?Beekeeping may look
like a rather quirky and
romantic hobby, but
believe me, it isn?t ? not
if you want to help your
bees survive and thrive?
A colony of bees is a living entity.
It燾an be regarded as a superorganism, so
a bee-keeper looks after a colony rather
than the individual bees within it. It is a
bit like getting a goat or a chicken or a
duck. I hope that you would not rush out
and buy one of these or any other livestock
without first learning about them, and
how best to care for them. When you
take on ownership, you also take on the
responsibility for the welfare of your stock,
and it is exactly the same for bees.
There are increasing concerns about the effect
of pesticides on honeybee colonies and other
pollinators.
Although you do not have to feed
bees twice a day, or let them out, or
milk them regularly, you still have to
look after them. And to look after them
you have to fully understand their
requirements. This takes effort, and if
you are not prepared to put this in,
I strongly suggest you should forget
about being a bee-keeper.
Bee-keeping may look like a
rather quirky and romantic hobby,
but believe me, it isn?t ? not if you
want to help your bees survive and
thrive. It is very hard work, and
requires a great deal of commitment.
It can be hard physical work too
when you have to deal with a box
full of frames of honey, and even
more so for a box containing not
only frames of honey but also a colony
of bees. Each bee may only weigh a few
grams but when you get 60,000 of them
all together, these small weights add up.
If you think bee-keeping is just about honey, then
think again!
Honeybee colo
nies have surv
ived
for millennia, bu
t they have ne
ver
before had to
face some of th
e
challenges they
do today.
January 2018
57
BEE-KEEPING
THE FLOW HIVE CONCEPT
A bee is very light but a couple of colonies complete with housing and honey is a different matter!
Do you still want to keep bees?
Are you still prepared to put in the
graft? Good!燳ou are likely to become a
responsible and successful bee-keeper.
You will no doubt get a huge amount of
satisfaction from keeping bees, and I don?t
just mean from the honey crop. Let?s爁ace
it; in the UK a honey crop is by no means
guaranteed as it depends on a whole
range of factors including the weather,
the available forage and the health and
strength of your colony.
NEXT MONTH
If you are still determined to become
an apiarist, over the next few months we
shall be discussing what you will need to
consider if you wish to succeed.
?Before you leap
in and acquire your
bee colony, stop and
think whether this will,
in fact, be the best
way you can help out.
Perhaps simply planting
pollinator-friendly
flowers in abundance
might actually be a
better way?
As an aside, I do have some
reservations about the Flow Hive,
a recent beehive invention which
invites you to harvest warm, fresh
honey without even opening
your beehive, promises minimal
disturbance to the bees, and
implies less labour for bee-keepers.
My爁ear is that people will not read
the instructions on the website
thoroughly, and may perceive ?
completely erroneously ? that all
you have to do is to turn the tap and
the honey will flow. The inventors
of this hive make it very clear that
the harvesting mechanism they
have developed is just that. It does
not, however, mean that the Flow
Hive owner can simply sit back and
ignore their bees until harvest time.
All the usual bee-keeping inspection
and management operations are
still required. Do not think the
Flow Hive will take you back to
those idyllic days of sitting and
watching your bees at the bottom
of your garden. If you just do that,
I strongly suspect that it will not be
too long before you are no longer
a bee-keeper and are putting your
empty Flow Hive on eBay.
I am certainly not having a
go at the Flow Hive specifically,
profits from which do support good
causes, although I do fear that
well-meaning people will not fully
appreciate that this system does
not mean ?let-alone bee-keeping?.
You can neglect bees in a standard
beehive, or one of the ?natural?
beehives with precisely the same
result.
If bee-keeping is not for you then you can still help bees and enjoy a beautiful garden as all bees love
wonderful plants such as this eryngium.
58 www.homefarmer.co.uk
SMALLHOLDER BOOKS
THE SHEEP BOOK FOR SMALLHOLDERS
VIABLE SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Tim's book is regarded as the sheep keeper's
bible and the best book on the market for anyone
keeping sheep on a small scale.
Hardback, 320 pages.
The most comprehensive guide to living off the land
in the 21st century; inspiring, well-grounded and very
practical for today's new generation of self-supporters.
Hardback, 456 pages.
Home Farmer offer � (inc. postage in the UK)
Home Farmer offer � (inc. postage in the UK)
TO ORDER
Phone 01499 500553
www.homefarmer.co.uk/store/books
TO ORDER BY POST
NAME:
ADDRESS
POSTCODE
EMAIL ADDRESS (OPTIONAL)
TELEPHONE NUMBER
PLEASE SEND (TICK AS APPROPRIATE)
THE SHEEP BOOK FOR SMALLHOLDERS @ �
VIABLE SELF-SUFFICIENCY @ �
JOINT OFFER: BUY BOTH BOOKS FOR JUST �
Postage is free within the UK. Postage varies for sending out to
Europe and the rest of the world. Please visit homefarmer.co.uk/
store/books for full details.
Send this form (or a copy), along with your cheque (made payable to Home Farmer), to:
Home Farmer, Firtree, Furnace, Inveraray, PA32 8XU
HEMP
rkshire Hemp.
Photo � East Yo
Helen Babbs
Helen writes, gardens and
keeps goats on her family
smallholding in West Wales.
In the best HF tradition,
her writing work is done in
a converted stable block.
Examples of her articles about
all aspects of smallholding
can be found on her website:
helenbabbs.co.uk
HEMP
FOR SEEDS & FIBRE
Helen Babbs learns about a most useful plant with a more
notorious close relative
W
hen I first came across
chopped hemp bedding for
horses, I was rather startled.
The television news had recently been full
of stories about the discovery of one of the
UK?s largest illegal cannabis farms, and I
couldn?t help wondering if this was what
the police did with the confiscated crop!
How could it be safe? Wouldn?t the horses
just eat their floor and get ?high? on it?
SAFE AND LEGAL
Fortunately, hemp horse bedding is
not a by-product of criminal activities,
but rather a different sub-species of the
cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa subsp.
sativa. It contains only minimal levels of
the narcotic cannabinoid chemicals, but
has both highly nutritious seeds and a
stem of similar construction to flax, with
central woody pith and strong outer fibres.
Hemp爃as been grown to produce fibre
for at least 3,000 years, particularly for
cloth and rope. Today it is increasing in
popularity once more as an eco-friendly
substitute for many wood and cotton
products, and as an annual plant, it is
much more renewable than trees, as well
as providing a faster return for growers.
Unlike cotton, a hemp crop requires little
fertiliser and no pesticides or herbicides.
It爄s affected by no specific pests or
diseases, and its growth is so vigorous that
it will even out-compete any weeds.
Hemp is grown as an arable crop, with
the plants very close together so they grow
tall and straight, rather than branching
out, and here in the UK, hemp plants
can even reach heights of up to 5 metres
in height! In late summer, the hemp
is harvested with a specialised tractormounted cutter, rather like a flail hedge
trimmer fitted with circular saw blades.
The cut hemp is then left on the field,
exposed to sun and rain, to be ?retted?
for five weeks. This helps the long fibres
separate from the woody parts of the plant
stem. The hemp stems are then dried,
baled and taken to the initial processing
factory were they are put through a
mechanical decorticator ? a series of mills,
shredders and cleaners which remove the
dry pith of the stems from the long hemp
fibres, ready for further processing.
In the UK, hemp growing is strictly
regulated by the Home Office in order
to avoid the crop being used as a cover
for any illegal activities! Farmers must
obtain an annual licence to grow the crop,
which involves submitting detailed maps
of the intended location and providing
seed samples. This is followed by a site
inspection and a background criminal
Harvesting hemp. Photo � East Yorkshire Hemp.
60 www.homefarmer.co.uk
Commercial hemp. Photo � East Yorkshire Hemp.
Hemp bedding can be used neat or under a thin layer of straw.
record check before any licence is granted.
As the licensing process costs over
�0爀ach year, this puts hemp growing
out of the picture for most smallholders,
but we can still use its many products
around the holding.
Chopped hemp is also available as
garden mulch, eco-friendly cat litter,
compressed ?logs? for use in wood-burning
stoves, and even as a building material!
Hemp-crete is a mix of lime and finelychopped hemp core, which bonds together
in a similar way to concrete. It can be used
as a plaster, or cast just like concrete to
make solid walls and floors.
HEMP CORE
The most common hemp product for
smallholding use is chopped hemp for
horse and livestock bedding. This is made
from the dry pith and stems of the hemp,
and the end product is highly absorbent
? I find it soaks up liquids and suppresses
ammonia much more effectively than
straw or wood-shavings. This also means
there?s a cost saving, which is always a good
thing! Hemp bedding can be used neat
as a dense padded layer for all livestock,
from horses to hens. If you have sheep and
are concerned about the hemp fragments
contaminating their fleece, a thin layer
of long straw on top keeps it all in place.
I燼lso use chopped hemp on the floor of
my hay store to keep it dry and absorb any
moisture from the hay sweating.
When it comes to mucking out the
stable, hemp is also much easier to shovel
out than soggy straw! It composts well too,
rotting faster than straw, and without any
?carbon robbery? as with any wood-based
bedding. In hot weather I find it necessary
to add a little extra water to the heap while
building it up, to stop any hemp around
the edges from drying out instead of
rotting.
yourself, hemp can be bought as ?stricks? or
bundles of hemp fibre, ready to fix onto a
distaff for spinning with a spinning wheel
or top-whorl spindle. Wetting the hemp
fibre as you spin will help to keep any flyaway fibres in line to give a very smooth
and silky thread.
HEMP FIBRE
Hemp is similar to linen, being a ?bast?
or plant stem fibre. The individual fibres
can actually be slightly longer, which
meant that hemp was traditionally used to
make rope. But tough and thick isn?t the
only option ? either blended with other
fibres or by itself, hemp can be woven
into fabrics, ranging from corduroy to
fine, silky muslin. If you want to spin it
Top: Hemp contains fibres similar to linen.
Bottom: A ?strick? of combed hemp ready for spinning. Photos � Mike Roberts/WildFibres.
January 2018
61
HEMP
HEMP FACTOIDS
l
Hemp enriches soil by holding
Hemp fibre makes excellent building insulation. Photo � Joy Batey/Eden Renewables Ltd.
Hemp fibres can also be included in
home-made paper to give results very
similar to silk paper. Commercially,爏horter
hemp fibres are sometimes used for paper
manufacture in place of wood fibre.
A爉ore unusual use of hemp fibre is as
insulation, and rather than smoothing
or pressing them down, the hemp fibres
are encouraged to fluff up into the thick
layers needed for loft insulation! Being a
natural fibre, hemp insulation ?breathes?
particularly well and will actually
absorb water to help eliminate damp or
condensation problems.
HEMP SEED AND APPLE
SCONES
HEMP SEEDS
Hemp seeds are rich in protein, iron,
magnesium and the complete range of
essential fatty acids, including Omega 3.
They?re available from most health food
shops, either as whole seeds, ground flour
(sometimes sold as a ?protein powder?), or
hemp seed oil. With their nutty flavour,
hemp seeds make a tasty addition to
both sweet and savoury dishes. Try them
anywhere you?d use other seeds: lightly
crushed on top of home-baked bread;
blended into pesto instead of pine nuts; or
in cakes and biscuits to make a sweet snack
extra healthy!
Photo � The Hemp Shop.
INREDIENTS
450g wholemeal flour
2 tbsp baking powder
100g butter
75g sugar
25g hemp seeds
1 medium dessert apple, grated
200ml milk
METHOD
1 Mix the flour and baking powder then
rub in the butter .
2 Stir in the sugar, hemp seeds and
grated apple.
3 Add the milk to form a soft dough.
4 Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface,
knead quickly then roll out the dough
to a thickness of 2.5cm.
5 Cut into 7cm rounds using a deep
cookie cutter.
6 Bake on a greased baking sheet at
220癈 for 15?20 minutes until well
risen and golden brown.
it together and increasing
microbial content.
l
Scientists at Chernobyl found
hemp removed chemicals from
soil better than any other plant.
l
During World War Two the
US ran a ?hemp for victory?
campaign.
l
Hemp seeds contain gamma
linolenic acid, which is in breast
milk, together with omega 3 and
6 fatty acids.
l
Henry Ford created a working
car out of hemp, soya beans and
plastic.
l
Hemp plastics are 100%
biodegradable.
l
Hemp can be converted into
biodegradable, non-toxic
biodiesel.
l
Due to high carbon dioxide
uptake, hemp helps reduce
carbon emissions through
carbon sequestration.
l
An acre of hemp can produce
as much paper as four acres of
trees.
l
Hemp seeds are a protein,
contain amino acids and
vitamins, and can be made into
oil or flour. Hemp is one of the
most nutritionally dense foods.
l
Colonial farmers in America in
the 1700s were actually required
to grow it.
l
?Your lungs will fail before
your brain attains any high
from smoking industrial
hemp,? according to Oregon
environmental activist,
Andy燢err.
l
The words ?canvas? and
?cannabis? actually share the
same root.
ed to
traditionally us
Hemp has been
.
op
Sh
p
The Hem
rope. Photo �
make
62 www.homefarmer.co.uk
YOU ASK?
METHOD
HEMP AND HERB BREAD
INGREDIENTS
400ml warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried active yeast
450g wholemeal bread flour
A pinch of salt
50g hemp seeds (and a further tbsp for topping)
2 tsp each of oregano, rosemary and sage, either dried or fresh
� tsp ground turmeric (optional)
1 Dissolve the yeast and
sugar in 175ml water then
leave to rise for 10 minutes
until frothy.
2 Mix the flour, salt, herbs,
turmeric (if using) and
hemp seeds, add the yeast
liquid and the remaining
225ml of water, and mix
to a soft, sticky dough.
3 Tip the dough into a
greased, warmed 2lb loaf
tin and spread it out level then sprinkle
with an extra tablespoon of hemp seeds
(if using), or a tablespoon of flour or
bran.
4 Cover and leave to rise in a warm place
for 15?20 minutes.
5 Bake at 200癈 for 25 minutes until the
loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
FURTHER INFO
Sent: Caroline
To: ruth@homefarmer.co.uk
Date: August 2017
Subject: A growing hemp article
Hi Ruth
I really enjoy my monthly dose of
info and common sense provided
by Home Farmer!
I wondered if you are considering
at some time doing an article
about hemp, as I think it might fit
your criteria? I keep back-garden
chickens and have been using
chopped hemp for bedding, very
successfully, although sadly the
main provider seems to be French.
I also see the claims made by the
hemp fabric companies and it
seems strange it isn?t used more.
What is the situation regarding
British hemp growing? What do the
plants look like?!
For more information visit:
lthehempshop.co.uk
leastyorkshirehemp.co.uk
lwildfibres.co.uk
lthermafleece.com
WE ANSWER?
Send your feature suggestions to
ruth@homefarmer.co.uk
or phone 01499 500553.
January 2018
63
GOOD CLEAN FUN
Seren Hollins
Seren is a food historian and
professional cook, who can
be found most weekends
dressed up in historical costume
cooking up meals for various
events and festivals.
Visit serenitykitchen.com to join
in the fun.
Some New Year
SPIT ?N? POLISH
Seren Hollins makes some home-made cleaners just as research
suggests we may be working too hard, and prepares a special pork pie
to welcome in the New Year
W
omen carry out an average of
60% more unpaid work than
men, according to a 2016
study by the Office for National Statistics.
Men typically do 16 hours unpaid work
each week, including adult and child
care, laundry and cleaning, compared
to 26爃ours done by women. However,
there is good news? we may actually be
cleaning too much.
Evidence is growing that dirt and
germs protect against disease, and our
indoor-based, super-clean lifestyles are
bad for health. According to the ?hygiene
hypothesis?, asthma, eczema, hay fever
and childhood diabetes are fuelled by
childhoods free from of rolling in mud,
splashing in puddles and playing with
animals. The ?hygiene hypothesis? was
first proposed in 1989, when it was noted
that hay fever is less common in children
with older siblings. It was suggested
that catching bugs from them provided
protection against allergies, and many later
studies have concluded the same.
If you dislike housework and want to
preserve health, there is some good news;
experts have revealed nine chores that
need only be done once a year. The Good
Housekeeping Institute has compiled
a list of tasks you can do then leave for
12 months, meaning endless cycles of
cleaning could soon be a distant memory,
and the beginning of the year is a great
time to tackle some of them.
ONCE A YEAR TASKS
lWash or dry clean your curtains
lClean your fireplace
lPurge your kitchen drawer
lWipe down outdoor furniture
lDeep clean your carpet
lEmpty your gutters
lWipe down the window and door
frames
lWipe your light bulbs
lDeep clean upholstered
furniture
WINDOW AND DOOR
CLEANER
The Good Housekeeping Institute
recommends sweeping off dirt around
the frame, then washing-up liquid or a
multi-purpose cleaner to remove stubborn
Top tip!
One mistake w
hen cleaning do
ors and
windows is to
start at the was
hi
ng
stage. This caus
es muddy stre
ak
s
or dirty lines th
at can be avoide
d
by
wiping away du
st with a soft ra
g before
the wet clean.
grime. I recommend making a home-made
cleaning solution that removes dust, dirt
and salt marks from windows and doors.
INGREDIENTS
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
A squirt of Castile liquid soap
4 English teacups of warm water
METHOD
Mix well in a spray bottle, spray on the
window frame and wipe off with a sponge.
64 www.homefarmer.co.uk
LEATHER CLEANER
Leather sofas need a good homemade leather cleaner which is gentle and
inexpensive.
INGREDIENTS
White vinegar
Boiled linseed oil or olive oil
METHOD
1 Mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts
boiled linseed oil or pure olive oil.
2 Place in a bottle and shake well to
combine.
CLEANING LIGHTBULBS
Kitchen and bathroom lightbulbs can
become very dusty, and this cuts out lots
of light. To clean, switch off, unscrew and
wipe with a damp cloth, but stay clear of
the screw or bayonet end. Once clean, I
dab a few drops of vanilla or lemon essence
onto the cold lightbulb, then turn the light
on; after a minute, heat from the bulb fills
the room with the scent.
HOME-MADE UPHOLSTERY
FRESHENER
Fabric sofas are dust and grime
magnets, but cleaning once a year keeps
them in shape. In between cleaning I
use a home-made upholstery freshener
spray. The baking soda absorbs unpleasant
odours and essential oils refresh the air.
Clean your leather sofa before
polishing by rubbing the leather
with a clean, dry rag to remove loose
surface dirt. Apply爕our cleaner with a
rag, gently buffing it into the leather.
For燿ifficult stains, let the mixture sit on
the leather overnight. Buff爐he surface
with a clean, dry rag after it has dried.
Apply爈emon juice or vinegar directly onto
any爎emaining stains and rub gently with
a rag.
Polish leather by rubbing pure olive oil
into the surface with a clean rag. Let the
leather rest for several hours after applying
the polish then perform a final polish by
buffing again with a clean, dry lint-free
cloth.
Resist cleaning on the morning
of New Year?s Day. It is said to
be disastrous to do any cleaning
before midday as you will sweep
out your good luck for the year.
INGREDIENTS
55g bicarbonate of soda
10 drops essential oil (lavender or lemon are ideal)
360ml water
METHOD
1 Using a funnel, pour the baking soda
into a 12-ounce spray bottle.
2 Add the essential oil, fill the bottle with
water and shake gently to combine.
3 Test on a small, inconspicuous area
of upholstery (such as the back of a
cushion) to ensure it won?t leave a
mark.
4 If it leaves no mark, spray over
the upholstery whenever it needs
freshening.
January 2018
65
GOOD CLEAN FUN
With cleaning off the agenda, if you
want a prosperous New Year you could
partake in eating round-shaped foods.
Round cakes, pastries and biscuits, and
round fruits such as clementines are
traditionally enjoyed on New Year?s Day as
the shape apparently signifies the old year
closing and the birth of a new one with
hope of good things to come.
However you celebrate the dawn of the
New Year, make sure you bring home your
bacon first. When foraging for food, pigs
root forwards, ploughing up the ground in
front of them, giving way to a tradition of
eating pork over New Year. Pork in all its
many forms is enjoyed on New Year?s Eve
and New Year?s Day by those hoping to
embrace the challenges and opportunities
the New Year brings head on. In the
Midlands some still eat pork pie for
breakfast on Christmas or Boxing Day.
PASTRY T
IP!
METHOD
1 Combine the lard, flours, water, salt
and sugar, mix until they form a
SEREN?S ?BRING IN THE LUCK?
dough, wrap in clingfilm then chill
PORK PIE
for about 40 minutes.
2 Knead it on a lightly-floured
This pie need not be served with
surface until it?s the consistency of
pickle or condiments as it is already moist
playdough. Hot water crust pastry
and tasty. I have included rabbit as it is
wants to be worked; it doesn?t
traditional in Yorkshire to utter ?Black
demand delicate handling. Roll out
rabbit, black rabbit, black rabbit? as the
the pastry to around the thickness of a
old year fades away, and ?White rabbit,
�coin and line a 15cm deep, loosewhite rabbit, white rabbit? to be granted
bottomed, round pie (or cake) tin
good luck as the New Year dawns.
with it. If the tin isn?t non-stick, line it
with parchment paper. When you are
INGREDIENTS
putting the pastry in the circular tin
FOR THE PASTRY
you?ll find that you have at least one
260g lard, melted
fold in the wall of the pastry, creating
360g strong white flour
double or treble pastry thickness.
360g plain flour
This燾an easily be worked up and out
375g hot water
of the crease by gently pressing until
2 tsp salt
the pastry is a consistent thickness all
2 tsp icing sugar
the way round. Try not to make any
1 egg, beaten
holes ? you need a complete, leak3 tbsp double cream
proof vessel for the filling, and leave a
small overhang of pastry around the
FOR THE FILLING
lip to which to crimp the lid. As燼
70g smoked back bacon
guide, cut a lid about 1cm wider in
150g sausage meat
circumference than the tin.
500g pork shoulder meat, cut into 1cm 3 Put the rabbit and apricots to one side
cubes
then combine the rest of the filling
� tsp ground nutmeg
ingredients. Fill the pastry with about
1 tbsp mustard powder
a third of the meat then add a layer of
� tsp ground cloves
rabbit meat. Add a little more filling
2 tsp salt
then a layer of apricots, followed by
1 tsp ground black pepper
a final layer of meat. Dampen the lip
300g diced rabbit meat
of the pastry, add the lid and crimp it
2 juniper berries, crushed
securely. Put a hole in the lid to allow
� tsp ground mace
steam to escape during cooking.
6 dried apricots, soaked for at least 2 hours 4 Mix the beaten egg with the cream
in just enough gin to cover them
and thinly glaze the lid using a pastry
When dealing
with hot-crust
pastry
you need to w
ork fast; it is pl
iable and
easy to mould
when hot but be
comes
brittle and unw
orkable as it co
ols.
brush. Repeat this several times during
baking for extra shine. You can use just
egg, but I find the cream really helps.
5 Bake on a tray in a pre-heated oven at
180癈 for at least 2� hours, or until
the centre of the pie reaches at least
75癈 and, importantly, all the visible
pastry is cooked. Check regularly
during cooking, and, if necessary, cover
the top of the pie with a foil ?hat? to
prevent it burning. If your oven has
hot spots, turn the pie round every half
hour or so for an even bake.
6 Let the pie cool completely before
turning it out of the tin. The pastry
will harden during cooling.
As your pie is cooling and you make
your New Year?s resolutions, make sure you
have some bread and butter at the ready as
New Year?s Day in Ireland is known as Day
of the Buttered Bread. Tradition has it that
buttered bread placed outside the door
symbolizes an absence of hunger in the
household and staves away deprivation.
And finally, whatever you do, be careful
of your words during the closing seconds
of the old year ? superstition has it that
this can make all the difference to your
fortunes in the coming year!
66 www.homefarmer.co.uk
GETTING OUR
DIGITAL EDITION IS?
CHILD?S PLAY
sUBSCRIBE TO
THE HOME FARMER
DIGITAL EDITION
AND SAVE ##s
HOMEFARMER.CO.UK/APP
BREAD MAKING
A medieval baker with his apprentice. The Bodleian Library, Oxford. Picture courtesy of Riley/Wikimedia.
MEDIEVAL
BREAD
Paul Melnyczuk investigates how our
medieval ancestors made their daily bread
Paul Melnyczuk
Paul is the editor of Home
Farmer. When not ?editing? he
is out and about indulging in
his passion for photography,
going to local live music gigs,
or playing his bass guitar.
Alternatively, he?ll be enjoying
a strong cup of tea and a good
sci-fi movie.
W
e eat less bread than our
Continental neighbours, who
provide it with most meals,
and further afield in Africa and the Middle
East, bread becomes an eating utensil
in addition to its role as sustenance.
However,爓e all eat considerably less bread
than our medieval ancestors, although this
bread would have become less recognisable
as the income of the people eating it
decreased.
Seven hundred years ago the bread
you ate was a visible and ever-present
sign of social status. Wealthy people ate
white bread and poor people ? if they
could afford it at all ? ate brown bread.
It was, however, the ability to continue
eating white bread during periods of
scarcity that defined a person?s true wealth!
Medical爐hought at the time defined brown
bread as being ?slimming?, and white bread
was believed to be both nourishing and
fattening.
Even baking was difficult for most
people, who would not have had access to
an oven. A proper bread oven would only
have been found in high-status households,
and well-risen, properly-baked bread
would have been a rarity for many people.
The Lord of the Manor often controlled
the baking of bread, and ?taxed? people for
the privilege, so much bread would have
been baked on a grid iron, under a pot, or
in the ashes.
68 www.homefarmer.co.uk
In the early 1990s, John Letts, an
archaeologist and botanist, became
fascinated by the history of thatching.
His research led him to revive many
older strains of wheat that produced top
quality thatching straw. This was a long,
drawn out process which took years to
get right, but which has now enabled
us to experience some of the tastes and
techniques familiar to our ancestors.
Although much writing from the time
focussed on white bread eaten by the
wealthy, there are still numerous accounts
of ?peasant? breads. Medieval breads can
be grouped into three broad categories:
household/brown bread, cheate/wheaten
bread, and white/manchet bread.
Flatbread baking on a grid iron.
Much of our knowledge of medieval
baking is speculative, and as with so much
of history, it is designed to fit in with other
facts we think we know about the period.
Much of the wheat used has long fallen
out of favour as agricultural practices have
changed, and the varieties grown today
are inevitably those that suit agribusiness
rather than the palates of consumers.
Any爓heat produced in medieval times
would have been grown to get as much
use from it as possible, such as thatching
as well as for baking, but a product suited
to both purposes would not meet the
productivity requirements of modern
agriculture.
.
one bread oven
A traditional st
HOUSEHOLD/BROWN BREAD
This was baked from what today
might be called wholemeal flour, often
derived from a mixture of rye and wheat,
but usually fortified with extra bran.
The燾oarsest would have been baked
using ?compound? flour containing
barley, rye, oats, roasted peas and field
beans and even acorns in time of scarcity.
Ratios would have varied according
to the season and household
wealth.
CHEATE/WHEATEN
BREAD
Here wholemeal flour was
sieved to create a lighter flour
for baking into either fine or
coarse cheate bread, the principle
difference being the removal of
the coarsest bran from the finer
version. Fine cheate was leavened
with sourdough or ale barm (baker?s yeast)
and served in ?finer? households. The
coarser version was also leavened with
sourdough, and was commonly available
to buy in towns and cities.
MANCHET/WHITE BREAD
Further sieving produced manchet/
white flour which was consumed only
at the high table or on special occasions.
Manchet and other fancy white breads
would have been made from the very finest
wheat flour, raised with ale barm (yeast),
and baked at a relatively low heat. It was
traditionally a firm and solid bread.
January 2018
69
BREAD MAKING
MANCHET BREAD FROM THE
GOOD HUSWIFES HANDMAIDE
IN THE KITCHEN (1594)
RECIPES
Heritage is the current buzzword in
the bread baking world, but when first
using heritage grains, start with a small
1lb loaf, and use a natural, long, slow
fermentation. This lets you get familiar
with the flour before over committing ?
when experimenting with any new flour,
mistakes with a large loaf can be costly.
MEDIEVAL SOURDOUGH LOAF
This is a no-knead loaf, so you could
make one every day without too much
effort. To make it as close as possible to a
?medieval loaf ? use Lammas Fayre Medieval
Blend Peasant?s Flour, which contains
ground peas and beans. Both contain
extra protein which can turbo-charge the
sourdough starter or yeast, so although this
flour lacks the high gluten levels of modern
flour, you still get a moist, well-risen loaf
that is full of flavour. Medieval bread also
often included other in-season ingredients
such as hazelnuts or dried currants, so
the recipe includes a seed mix of sesame,
sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and there is
evidence that ale or mead would have been
used.
INGREDIENTS
50g levain (refreshed sourdough starter)
170g freshly filtered water at room temperature
6g salt
50g mixed seeds, plus extra for scattering
250g Lammas Fayre Medieval Blend Peasant?s Flour
1 tbsp lard or butter for greasing
METHOD
1 Whisk the levain together with the
water until frothy then add the salt,
seeds and flour, and stir.
2 Mix into a dough until everything is
fully incorporated; expect the dough to
be sticky and pliable.
3 Grease a 1b bread tin with the lard or
butter and place the dough into the
tin, scattering a few more seeds on top.
4 Leave to stand in a warm place until
the dough has risen by a quarter and is
approaching the top of the tin.
5 Preheat the oven to 180癈 and bake
for 35 minutes then check to see if it is
baked using a skewer. If it doesn?t come
out clean then reduce the temperature
to 160癈, bake for a further 5 minutes
and test again.
The modernisation of flour has often
resulted in a loss of flavour, and the one
thing you can say about this medieval loaf
is that it has a wonderfully moist, nutty
and malty flavour without being heavy.
This is one of the earliest and most
important English bread recipes. The燝ood
Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchen was
published in 1594, and is one of the first
English cookbooks. The anonymous
author offers a wide range of recipes,
mostly simple, and most reasonably
accessible to modern readers, and the book
includes two recipes for manchet, the
finest white bread made in private homes,
and not traditionally sold by bakers at the
time. Since we have so few recipes from
the 16th or 17th centuries, it is impossible
to know whether the very stiff dough was
common or just an eccentricity of this
particular baker. Manchet was used to
make trenchard ? a medieval dinner plate
? and a stiff dough ensured the trenchard
would not dissolve into mush after the
food and sauce was placed on it. I爓ould
take the author?s warning not to be
discouraged by the stiff dough and to resist
adding more water, as a hint that even
in its own time this recipe was somehow
different from what people normally did,
which makes sense. Why buy a recipe
book that doesn?t show you something
new? In addition to an unusually small
amount of water, the recipe also calls for
the incredibly short rising time of only 30
minutes, after which the loaves are formed,
and without letting the dough proof
further the bread is popped into a slow
oven and baked for an hour.
?Take a half a bushel of fine flour twice
boulted, and a gallon faire luke warm water,
almost a pint of yeast, then temper all these
together, without any more liquor, as hard as
ye can handle it: then let it lie half and hour,
then take it up, and make your Manchets,
and let them stand almost an hour in the
oven.?
A LITERAL REDACTION
OF THE RECIPE BY
BREAD EXPERT, WILLIAM RUBEL
Take a half a bushel of
unbleached all-purpose flour
(20.5 pounds) and a gallon of
unchlorinated luke warm water
(8.3 pounds), almost a pint of
ale yeast in the form of barm,
70 www.homefarmer.co.uk
or 5 ounces of fresh yeast dissolved in that
same amount of water (14 ounces), then
mix all these together, without any more
liquor, as hard as ye can handle it: then
let it lie half an hour, then take it up, and
make your manchets by gently cutting the
dough into 8 to 16 ounce pieces, forming
into a ball which you then flatten and
deeply cut around the waist, and then
poke in the top five or six times with the
point of a knife then let them stand almost
an hour in a cool oven at approximately
120癈.
Recipe in Baker?s Maths:
Unbleached all-purpose flour: 100%,
39.7% water, 4.3% fresh ale barm or 1.4%
fresh yeast dissolved in 4.3% luke warm
water.
JOHN LETTS? MEDIEVAL
BREAD FACTS? AT LEAST
AS FAR AS WE KNOW
the evidence from medieval
thatched roofs indicates that the
bread consumed by most people
was made from a mixture of wheat
and rye ? a ?maslin? (from the latin
for ?mixture?). Some ate pure rye
bread while the rich ate pure wheat
bread, and the lower and middle
classes enjoyed pure wheaten bread
primarily on special days or at feasts.
lThe rye and wheat was always sown
in winter and harvested in August.
lFarmers grew ?landraces?, genetically
diverse crops similar to today?s
?heritage? wheat blends.
lBoth rich and poor baked their
bread using long-ferment sourdough
methods and culture. Yeasted bread
could be made from brewer?s yeast
? collected from the bottom of the
vat ? but it made bread dark and
didn?t have as much flavour as good
sourdough.
lPeople were obsessed with the
colour of bread, not its texture.
White bread was a mark of wealth
and status, whereas working
people ate dark bread (rye, brown
or wholemeal). Some ?doctors? at
the time thought eating too much
fibre ?corrupted? your digestion and
wasn?t good for you. The slightly
denser texture of sourdough was
normal to medieval society, and
the cost of bread depended on how
white it was.
lBarley
lAll
lThe
culture of white bread was
probably introduced by the
Normans, who brought with them
both the ?upper class? notion of
white bread being superior, and
?pollard? (or ?rivet?) wheat which
makes the whitest flour when stone
ground. Rivet wheat has a sweet
and nutty flavour and is great for
making sourdough, but does not
contain a lot of strong gluten.
lMedieval flour was not ?strong? in a
baking sense, i.e. it did not have as
much high quality gluten as modern
flour, but sourdough degrades
gluten in any case, and in the
medieval period as well as today, the
?rise? in a sourdough loaf depends on
how the dough is worked as well as
?oven spring? due to steam escaping
when the loaf is baked.
lFlat medieval loaves were cut to
form ?trenchards? which were used
like plates, and sometimes given to
poorer members of the household
after the stew had been consumed.
and oats were often baked
into bread. John Letts is currently
growing ?bere? barley from Orkney,
the oldest continuously grown crop
in the UK, which is still grown there
to make ?bere bannock?.
lRye makes an impossibly heavy loaf
if risen with just yeast so must be
baked with sourdough if it contains
100% rye. It is usually mixed with
at least 50% or more wheat to make
a lighter loaf.
lAll sourdough should contain a
little rye as it adds flavour, nutrients
for the lactic acid bacteria and wild
yeast in sourdough culture, and
allows the bread to keep for longer
without spoiling.
FURTHER INFO
John?s heritage Lammas Fayre
flour blends are available from the
recipes section at bakerybits.co.uk,
where you can also find many great
recipes.
The section featuring manchet
bread from The Good Huswifes
Handmaide for the Kitchen is taken
from the fascinating website of
William Rubel at williamrubel.com,
where the ?menus and widgets?
section alone should give you years
of inspiration. He is a writer and a
specialist in traditional cooking,
and travels the world studying food
customs and gathering recipes.
January 2018
71
THE WALE INTERVIEW
Michael Wale
Brought up on a farm in
Sussex, Michael was a
journalist, scriptwriter and
TV performer for many years.
He fought a battle to save
allotments in West London
and wrote a book about it
all, View from a Shed. He爏till
helps the allotments he
fought to save, and now
writes about agriculture and
horticulture.
D
Photo � Kyle Ellefson.
SAVE OUR SOIL
In light of alarming reports about the longterm fertility of our earth, Michael Wale
looks at one man and his daughter?s plan to
save our soil
efra Minister Michael Gove
recently backed an organisation
set up as a father and daughter
collaboration in order to restore our soils
to sustainable health, and within just a
single generation. Representatives from
across the agricultural world were all in
attendance at the House of Commons
launch of the Sustainable Soils Alliance
(SSA), which was headlined by Gove,
whose rather-more-liberal-than-expected
approach to the future of the country?s
farming has alarmed some of the more
conventional sectors within the industry,
but has certainly pleased the organic
lobby, among others.
Neville Fay, together with daughter,
Elly, are the Alliance?s co-directors, and
have the direct backing of Rebecca Pow,
Conservative MP for Taunton Deane,
who is also Michael Gove?s Private
Parliamentary Secretary. She was actually
brought up on a farm, and worked as
an agricultural journalist prior to being
elected.
Michael Gove addresses the SSA launch.
Rebecca Pow.
Neville Fay, an expert on trees who
has worked in the industry for 25爕ears,
explained how the Alliance had come
about. He attended a conference at
Reading University on soil health
orchestrated by Professor Chris Collins
of the Natural Environment Research
Council?s Soil Security Programme,
who was also at the House of Commons
launch, and who heads up the SSA?s
science team. At the Reading Conference,
Fay came away with the belief that there
was a clear consensus building up that
the Government should be alerted to
the fact that our soil was rapidly being
washed away or degraded. He recalls
talk of anywhere between just 60 and
100爃arvests left in our soils, and also the
dramatic effects the over-use of chemicals
has had on arable soils.
Fay says: ?Time is running out for our
soil, and we?re working on a conference in
2019 that will do for soils what the Stern
Review (in 2006) did for climate change.?
He confesses that in the beginning the
Alliance had absolutely no money, adding:
?We were supported by my own company,
Treework, and the Woodland Trust gave us
a bit, and Yeo Valley. Then in December
72 www.homefarmer.co.uk
churning the soil and impacting it, if you
drench it in chemicals that improve yields
but in the long term undercut the future
fertility of that soil, you can increase the
yields year on year, but ultimately you
really are cutting the ground away from
beneath your own feet. Farmers know
that.?
At the launch,
Gove underlined just
how seriously both he
and his Department are
taking the formation
of the Sustainable Soils
Alliance and urged them
to hold the Government
to account and bring
him new ideas and
inspiration, saying: ?We
are listening to you now,
and it?s critical that we
do so.?
One of the people in
the packed audience at the
launch was Simon Parfey,
who founded SoilBioLab
four years ago. It was set up
as an independent company
Above: Neville Fay. Right:Elly Fay.
2016 we had a meeting with Rebecca Pow,
whom I?d met once before; a kindred spirit
on the subject of soils.?
The Alliance had been due to be
launched in May, but the hastily-called
General Election put paid to that.
The爑nexpected delay did, however,
do the Alliance a good turn, as Gove
was made Environment Minister in
the newly-assembled government,
giving the position some much-needed
public attention at last. Gove has
certainly wasted no time in making
clear his belief in a much more
environmentally-aware approach to
his brief, which has pleased many
sections of British agriculture which
were previously virtually ignored by
Government, like the Soil Association
and its CEO, Helen Browning, an SSA
Champion, who has had a number of
meetings with Gove and confesses to
being quite impressed. In fact, much of
what Gove said at the Alliance?s launch
revealed just how much the role of Defra
might change in the not-too-distant
future.
Gove stated that he wants to
incentivise responsible farming, and
warned: ?It?s an emergency. That is why
we?re taking steps at Defra to restore health
to our soils.? He is also on record as saying
that the Department supports the planting
of 11 million trees, and at a meeting
attended by Helen Browning, �0,000
was set aside to ensure the effective
monitoring of soil quality. There is too the
commitment he has made to extending
the ban on neonicotinoid use ? something
which perhaps took many by surprise,
at
Helen Browning
including Green MP, Caroline Lucas, who
had earlier described him as ?uniquely
unqualified? for the post of Environment
Minister.
Gove also criticised what has been
going on in conventional farming in the
past, saying: ?We?ve encouraged a type of
farming in this country that has harmed
farming. If you have heavy machinery
the SSA launch.
inspired by the commitment of a group of
like-minded people led by Parfey who were
alarmed by the state of our soil?s health,
including a vital need, in their opinion, for
reliable, robust and credible test results.
Parfey worked for 18 months at
Jodi Scheckter?s 2,500-acre organic and
biodynamic farm at Laverstoke Park which
has its soils tested by its very own specialist
January 2018
73
THE WALE INTERVIEW
It seems more people are ready to accept
something new. But is it quick enough?
We燼re doing over 600爁ull microbiology
soil tests a year, and it is increasing.?
He燿id, however, have one criticism of the
launch meeting, and says: ?I was taken
aback by the general lack of presence
from some of the supermarkets. The front
end is how you change the views of the
general public. Retail multiples are very
responsible for the use of the soil as well?.
Simon Parfey of SoilBioLab.
soil laboratory ? then the only one of its
kind in Europe. Laverstoke Park?s soils are
well considered and a system of ?replenish
and replace? applied, ensuring that all
areas dedicated to growing are topped up
from an onsite 40,000 tonne commercial
composting site.
Parfey told me that over the past
18爉onths to 2 years there had been a real
shift in farmers contacting the laboratory
on the subject of whether they should use
cover crops or green manures, and with
regard to matters such as no tillage or min
till. It seems perhaps common sense that
the next stop now should be microbiology.
He said there was a ?real buzz around
farmers and different agronomists,? with
a number of different trials taking place,
adding: ?We?ve just started on a large scale
trial for a large manufacturer of breakfast
cereals. They燼re wondering about how
the grain can be grown better. They have
brought in specialist agronomists and are
looking at whether there should be changes
in the varieties they are growing. Many
of the modern genetics have bred out
the potential for a symbiotic relationship
between the plant root and the soil.
It?s爄nteresting to see agronomists of that
calibre at work, and to find other ways to
manage soil and put the challenge down to
farmers.?
Parfey has also noticed that
conventional producers are increasingly
looking at and borrowing organic tools to
see how they can adapt them. He爏ays: ?It?s
nice to see it becoming more mainstream.
?Gove underlined just
how seriously both he
and his Department are
taking the formation
of the Sustainable
Soils Alliance and
urged them to hold the
Government to account
and bring him new
ideas and inspiration?
An important guest at the launch was
another key SSA Champion, Tim Mead,
dairy farmer and chairman of organic
dairy brand, Yeo Valley, who suggested
that, after 45 years of being a part of the
Common Market Agricultural Policy,
the UK now had a massive opportunity,
saying: ?Everything comes from the soil,
so looking after and protecting our soils
by redirecting British agriculture towards a
grass-based rotational farming system is a
massive opportunity. The question is, will
our politicians have the vision, experience,
courage and knowledge to deliver what is
right??
Indeed, that is the question at the
moment. As long as Gove is in the driving
seat at Defra all might be well, but as we
have seen in the past, previous incumbents
have often been toothless when it came
to pushing for change, and governments
have consistently been over reliant on the
views of ?agribusiness? and other lobbyists
representing the industrial farming sector
when making policy decisions. Only爐ime
will tell if Michael Gove will be the
incumbent to break with this tradition,
and if the Sustainable Soils Alliance is
able to convince the broader sector of the
importance of longevity over short term
profit for the agribusiness sector.
FURTHER INFO
Visit the following websites to find
out more:
? sustainablesoils.org
? sustainablesoils.org/
parliamentary-reception
(for a more detailed account of
the SSA launch)
? soilsecurity.org
? soilbiolab.co.uk
Photo � Rasmus Landgreen.
74 www.homefarmer.co.uk
l6
or 12 months available.
lGreat value for money.
lBuy online, by phone or by post.
lSpecially commissioned features.
lPacked with news, views and
know-how.
lSubs start from just �.00.
Y
YOUR KEC
L
A
I
T
C
A
R
TO P
SELF- Y
C
N
E
I
C
I
F
F
U
S
EASY WAYS TO ORDER
By phone: 01499 500553
l Online: homefarmer.co.uk
l By post: Send cheque (made payable l
to Home Farmer) to
Home Farmer, Firtree, Furnace
Inveraray, PA32 8XU
www.homefarmer.co.uk
Want to go paperless? Download the app www.homefarmer.co.uk/app
HOME FARMER LISTINGS
BEES
20 NATIONAL BEEHIVES FOR SALE
Headed by 2017 Welsh Dark Queens, Veroa treated.
Downsizing due to health reasons. �0 each.
Collection only. (South Wales area).
Tel: 07731 869442 / 01639 730588.
email: beespokebeehives@outlook.com
DONKEYS
GAMLINGAY DONKEY STUD
Small stud of quality miniature donkeys for sale at
sensible prices. Mares, fillies, foals. Various colours.
Well-handled, microchipped and passported.
Freeze marked and registered with MMDA.
Tel: 07753616571
CHICKENS
New Forest Poultry
Large fowl in Gold, Silver, Mottled and very
rare Isabella Orpingtons, French Copper
Marans in Blue, Black, Splash and Wheaten.
Cuckoo Marans, Light and speckled Sussex,
Welsummer, Silver Laced and Lavender
Syandottas.
Large fowl. Gold, White and Black Silkies.
Hatching eggs posted, day old, 8 week old
and POL for collection.
07831 413812
newforestpoultry.co.uk
OTHER POULTRY
Japanese Quail
From day olds to adults,
Carefully reared in Cheshire.
Delivery available
07922076123
www.countryquail.co.uk
SUNNYSIDE POULTRY
Specialist Midlands suppliers of a wide range of
quality hybrid and pure bred hens and Japanese
quail. Housing, products, feed, boarding and
courses also available. Tel: 07973655963 |
sunnysidepoultry.co.uk
UK GUINEA FOWL
Miniature Donkeys
Show quality, but also adorable
pets for the family as well as for
the holiday trade.
Tel: 07963 646402
www.highfield.eu/animals
DUCKS
MOONRIDGE FARM
Domestic ducks and geese. Cayuga, Indian Runner,
Khaki Campbell, Call, Moscovy, Silver Applyard
Ducks. Embden x Toulouse, Chinese and African
geese. Hatching eggs, day olds and POL. Sexed
from day old. Nationwide delivery. Established,
experienced breeders. Free, friendly advice.
Tel: 01392 851190 | moonridgefarm.co.uk
DEVON DUCKS
Best layers: Khaki Campbell, Saxony, Large Silver
Appleyards, Indian Runners, Cayuga.
Also: Geese, Quail, Peacocks. Large and small
orders, nationwide delivery from � per address.
Tel: 01837 83839 | devonducks.co.uk
THE FARMER?S YARD PANTRY
Cherry Valley ducks and Khaki Campbells - sexed
day old/POL, both excellent laying strain. High
line brown (warrens) and black rock (original
Scottish strain) - sexed day old/POL. Plenty always
available, small or large orders welcome.
Tel: (Wales) 07492 862965
HILLVIEW DUCKS
Khaki Campbells and Cherry Valley ducks from
sexed day olds to POL. Both excellent layers from
a good laying strain. Plenty always available. Small
or large orders taken and delivery available.
Tel: (Midlands) 07999507442 | hillviewducks.co.uk
STAND OUT
and be noticed
Get this exact same size and style
box ad for for just �a month.
Phone 01499 500553 asap.
Legbars of Broadway
Cotswolds, Burford Browns (dark
brown eggs) & Cotswold Legbars (blue
eggs) & rare breed Brakels (white eggs).
Buy direct from the founder breeder.
Tel: (Broadway) 079831849036 |
legbarsofbroadway.co.uk
Hatching eggs, day olds, poults, adults, outdoor
grass reared. 12 various colours, large/small orders
and nationwide delivery from � per address.
Tel: (Devon) 01837 83839/07870113867 |
ukquineafowl.co.uk
FELSTEAD FARM ESTATE
White rheas, emus, American wild turkeys, guinea
fowl. Eggs, chicks and yearlings. Tel: (Herts) 01442
833341 | email: m.newcomb1@btinternet.com
ALLANDOO PHEASANTRY
Golden, Lady Amherst, Reeves, Silvers, Eared
Pheasants, Tragopans, Peacock Pheasants,
Himalayan Monals, Firebacks and others.
Nationwide delivery. Tel: (Scotland) 01776 870244 |
allandoopheasantry.com
PEAFOWL AND PEACOCKS
Large: Buff & Black Orpingtons, Silver Grey
Dorkings, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Copper Black
Marans, Embden Geese, Abacot Ranger Ducks.
Tel: (Lancs) 01772 634889 / 07957220206
Newholme Peafowl, Indian Blue, Pied, White, Black
shoulder, Purple, Cameo, Bronze, Peach, Opal, Java
Green. Any size orders, nationwide delivery. Feel
free to come and have a look around ? just call to
make sure we are in! Tel: (Yorks) 01430 860957
newholmefarmpeafowl.com
HONEYBOURNE SMALLHOLDING
TURKEY BREEDS
LINDA FIDDLER
POL hybrid hens, fully vaccinated. Up to 7 breeds
inc: Amber Link, Sussex Ranger, Beechwood
Blue, Pied Ranger, Rhode Rock, Calder Ranger
and Goldline. Tel: (Norfolk) 01953 451963
honeybournesmallholding.co.uk
POSH POULTRY OF EPPING
Brahmas, Marans, RIR, Orpingtons, Leghorns,
Light Sussex, Vorwerk, Lakenvelder, Silkies,
Millefleur Pekin bantams, Cream Legbars, Zingems
as well as hybrids. Hatching eggs, day old chicks,
Grower and POL. Tel (Epping) 01992 560100
poshpoultryofepping.co.uk
PEAR TREE POULTRY
11 types of hybrid hens, over 60 different pure
breedhens, ducks, pheasants, turkeys, geese, quail.
Large shop, boarding service, coures, hatching
eggs. Open 7 days a week. Based at Barton Grange
Garden Centre. Tel: (Preston) 07808661873
peartreepoultry.co.uk
Small, traditional farm turkey poults and growers.
Small White, Norfolk Black and many others.
Tel: 01829733778 | turkeybreeds.co.uk
BRUCE HOWELL WATERFOWL
Swans: Black, Black Necked, Royal Polish Mute,
Trumpeter, Whooper. Geese: Barnacle, Egyptian,
Maned, Nene, Red Breasted, Ross. Ducks: Pintails,
Teals, Wigeon, Tree Ducks, Sea Ducks.
Tel: (Dereham) 01362 668303
brucehowellwaterfowl.co.uk
CLIFF AND SUE RUDD
Exhibition geese: Sebastopol, Brecon Buff,
Franconian (Lavender), Call Ducks and German
Pekin. Also Oxford down sheep.
Tel: (Yorks) 01609 882586 | quackpots.co.uk
ANGORA GOATS
Excellent prize winning fleeces. Young stock for
sale, very reasonableprices with friendly help.
Tel: (Plymouth) 01752 880252
puslinchangoras.co.uk
PYGMY GOAT CLUB
All information about the breed, the club, joining or
buying these wonderful goats.
Tel: 01248 470244 | pygmygoatclub.org.uk
RABBITS
MEAT RABBITS
New Zealand whites for sale, Excellent meat, pelt
or pet. Mature does and bucks � each
T & S Nurseries, Near Bingham, Notts
T: Anne- 07815 938951
THIS AD WOULD COST �A MONTH
Reach your potential customer. Simply contact
us with your wording and we will do the rest.
ruth@homefarmer.co.uk | 01499 500533
SHEEP
WESTMORLAND FLOCK
Valais Blacknosed sheep. Bred from Swiss direct
imports. A choice of quality ram lambs and
gimmer/ewe lambs. Tel: (Cumbria) 07521973039
valaisblacknosedsheepwestmoreland.com
PEDIGREE BABYDOLL SOUTHDOWN
Attractive, teddy-bear faces, white or chocolate.
Please ring for further information.
Tel: (Shrops) 07980467240
email: vmhammon5@aol.com
PEDRAN POULTRY
PIGS
ALLANDALE POULTRY
PEDIGREE MANGALITZA
Golden Hamburgs, Silver Spangled Hamburgs,
Silkies, Buff Orpingtons, Cream Legbars,
Welsummers and Runner ducks D/O to POL.
Prize winning stock. Tel: (Allandale) 07802591860
Large Black, Osford Sandy and Black ? weaners for
sale, wormed, tagged, starter feed bag. Boars for
hire. Tel: (Northants) 07855814362
email: rhiannon@sylphfurniture.co.uk
CHICKS, CHUCKS AND MUCKY DUCKS
OXFORD SANDY AND BLACK
supplier and breeder of good quality chickens
and ducks. Female chicks, ducklings to POL inc.
Marans, Light Sussex, Aylesbury, Khaki, Runner and
Calls. All stock guaranteed. Onsite shop selling feed
and accessories. Holiday boarding also available.
Tel: (South West) 07833647140
Pygmy Goats, Hybrid POL hens, bantams. Also
Alpacas, Jacob/Ouessant Sheep and manufacturers
of animal housing. Countrystore and tearoom.
Tel: (Hereford) 01568 797314 | wynnes.co.uk
Registered two-horned stock of all ages usually
available. Esy and prolific lambers producing wellflavoured meat and multi-coloured fleeces. Tel:
(Worcs) 01886 884752
email: hill_phillipson@btinternet.com
25 breeds of rare/native poultry. Hatching eggs
& birds. Nationwide delivery. Beginners poultry
keeping courses. Tel: (Devon) 01837 810274
southyeofarm.co.uk
Please mention
HOME FARMER
when responding to an
advertisement.
To advertise call: 01449 500553
WYNNES OF DINMORE
JACOB SHEEP
FARMER DIXON
Orpington, Brahma, Jersey Giant, Exchequer
Leghorn, Cream Legbar, Light Sussex, RIR,
Bantams, Old English and Malay. No hybrids. Welsh
handmade housing also available. Carmarthen.
pedranpoultry@aol.co.uk
GOATS
Rare breed piglets for sale for fattening up or for
butchering. Great nature. Tel: (Lincs) 07824637017
TULLICH HIGHLAND
Registered herd of Oxford Sandy andBlacks.
Excellent, quality animals normally available
along with friendly advice and encouragment. Tel:
(Highlands) 01862 842210 | tullich-highland.com
76 www.homefarmer.co.uk
GREENHOUSES &
POLYTUNNELS
HOLIDAYS
GREENHOUSE SPARES
HOLIDAY LETTING
FOR SALE
Self-catering cottage for 2 in mid Wales
Cottage, outbuildings, and coppice in beautiful,
picturesque Northumberland.
Glazing clips, bolts, glazing gaskets, draught
excluder, autovent cylinders, glazing bars, door
frames etc.
Spares for all major models inc: Robinson,
Alton, Eden, Halls, Elite, Gardman as well as
some models no longer made.
Gardencraft, Porthmadog, LL49 8RD
www.gcraft.co.uk
sales@gcraft.co.uk
Tel 01766 513036
FERRYMAN POLYTUNNELS offers 3 ranges
of polytunnel inc. the Tufftunnel range for areas
that suffer high winds. Also, wide range of
accessories and replacement covers.
Tel: 01363 84948.
www.ferrymanpolytunnels.co.uk
HUMANE SLAUGHTER
Self-catering cottage
for 2 in a peaceful
valley in mid Wales.
With its own nature
reserve to explore and
an experienced field
naturalist on hand to
offer guidance and
wildlife watching
excursions - come
and be inspired by
what you see and
discover ways of
encouraging wildlife
around your home, garden or
smallholding.
Phone 01597 811169
wildlifemodelmaker.co.uk/cottage
FARM BUILDINGS FOR SALE
FOR SALE
FOR SALE
3 bedroom
Northumberland
cottage nr Wooler. EPC
B, log stoves, passive
solar conservatories,
solar panels. Ensuite
cabin with kitchenette.
1.5 acres productive
no dig garden, self
sufficient in fruit and vegetables, small willow
coppice. Outbuildings include summerhouse,
workshop, woodsheds, polytunnel, greenhouse,
tool sheds and housing for 35 chickens. �5,000.
To view this great opportunity
Phone 01668 283887
Advertise here from
*�per month...
Penrhos Farm Buildings
On the outskirst of the village of Ystradgynlais
Telephone
01499 500553
SEEDS
Shelley Seeds
Over 450 different varieties of top quality
vegetable seeds available
2016 catalogue free on request from:
Shelley Seeds, 5 Speedwell Close,
Chester, CH3 6DX or tel: 01244 317165
Medwyns of Anglesey
Vegetable Seed & Plant Specialist
Our 2016 full colour catalogue is now available
We stock Stenner runner bean, Zenith tomato. Sweet
Candle carrot and new show winning parsnips. Plus an
extensive range of composts and fertilisers as well as seed
potatoes. Send 3 first class stamps to:
Llanor, Flordd Hen Ysgol, Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, LL61 5RZ
Email: medwyn@medwynsofanglesey.co.uk
11 consecutive gold medals at Chelsea
Established since 1975
New Seed Catalogue
Oriental, ordinary vegetables, herbs and flowers
Wallis Seeds (HF)
Broadsgreen, Gt Waltham, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 1DS
01245 360413 / info@wallis-seeds.co.uk
www.wallis-seeds.co.uk
Set in about half an acre of gated farmyard.
Workshops (for metalwork and woodwork).
Indoor dog kennels with runs.
Whelping shed ? all fitted.
Brick shelter with paddock ? well fenced.
Large polytunnel with concrete floor, plus large
growing area at one side.
Two breeding pigsties and a large cow shed.
Large garden area with raised beds, a fenced and
netted area for soft fruit, and a small orchard with
apple and plum trees.
Open-fronted three-bay barn for vehicles/storage.
The farm is currently being used as an apiary
(bee farm) by the present owner.
All buildings have electricity and water sourced
from next door. Telephone line on premises.
SUITABLE FOR:
Dog breeding kennels, stables, builder?s yard or
pig unit.
Recently has been included in the Local
Development Plan for the area.
Price �0,000 o.n.o.
Phone 01639 730588 or 07731 869442
Email: beespokebeehives@outlook.com
TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
Austrian Scythes
For tough weeds, long grass, or lawns
No noise, vibration or pollution
Adjustable ash-wood handle
60% the weight of an English scythe.
Simon Fairlie (Scythe importer)
Tel: 01297 561359
www.thescytheshop.co.uk
WASTE DISPOSAL
SEPTIC TANK PROBLEMS?
WE?LL MAIL ORDER THE SOLUTION
A unique product which breaks down the waste and allows your
tank to run more efficiently. This is an inexpensive and simple
way to eradicate your septic tank problems.
For a FREE BROCHURE or FREE HELP AND ADVICE
PHONE 01704 512000 | www.morganhope.com
January 2018
77
SMALLHOLDER ROUND-UP
SMALLHOLDER ASSOCIATIONS
Smallholder groups provide a great way to meet like-minded people, share ideas,
get training, and in some cases even share equipment. They are always looking to
attract new members and welcome non-smallholders to their groups.
This listing has been compiled by using the Smallholder Groups listing at the Small Plot, Big Ideas blog
(http://www.smallplotbigideas.co.uk) as a starting point. Any additions or corrections to this information or details of
important news/events to be included in future issues, should be sent to the editor, paul@homefarmer.co.uk
CENTRAL SCOTLAND SMALLHOLDERS?
ASSOCIATION
DYFED SMALLHOLDERS? ASSOCIATION
Link: http://smallholders.webs.com/
The CSSA is a group of aspiring and existing
smallholders who get together to share knowledge,
experiences, and socialise.
Link: http://www.dyfedsmallholders.org.uk/
This group is for anyone interested in the
countryside. Whether you?ve got 200 acres or a
window box for salad, the DSA has lots to offer.
Every year we run a busy schedule of social events.
CEREDIGION SMALLHOLDERS
EAST ESSEX SMALLHOLDERS? GROUP
Link: https://www.facebook.com/
groups/210460872390089/
A facebook group that can be used for advice as
well as selling/swapping livestock and pets, or for
advertising your services related to smallholdings,
farms and pets. This is a closed group, so new users
must apply to join, but once approved, users can
read all content and post as normal.
Link: http://eastessexsmallholders.
blogspot.co.uk/
Formally constituted in July 2011 by a group of
micro farmers who operate different sizes of
?smallholding?, some have a few backyard chickens,
maybe grow a few fruit and vegetables, while
others may have pigs or sheep.
CHESHIRE SMALLHOLDERS?
ASSOCIATION
Link: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/blacksmith/erss/
A society of smallholders, ?home? farmers,
small-scale agriculturalists, horticulturalists, selfsufficiency enthusiasts and country craftspeople,
who all have rural interests.
Link: http://www.cheshiresmallholders.org.uk/
This is a group of small-scale hobby farmers, horse
enthusiasts and countryside lovers. The livestock
interests of members include sheep, goats, pigs,
cattle, chickens, ducks and geese, while many
also keep horses and ponies plus a few llamas and
alpacas. Other interests include bees, and fruit and
vegetable cultivation.
CORNISH ASSOCIATION OF
SMALLHOLDERS AND PRODUCERS
Link: http://www.cornishassociation
smallholdersandproducers.co.uk/
A group of smallholders and craft producers, which
run the Lostwithiel Local Produce Market as a
shared outlet for members to sell their fine produce
and crafts locally at fair prices.
CORNWALL SMALLHOLDERS? GROUP
Link: http://cornwallsmallholders.co.uk/
Email:trehane@btconnect.com
Telephone: 07794 978693
A group with interests including livestock, orchards,
vegetables and soft fruit, woodland
and processing of produce. Meetings are held
monthly, with talks and discussions in winter,
and visits to members? holdings and other places
throughout the summer.
CUMBRIAN SMALLHOLDERS
Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/
cumbriansmallholders
A facebook group providing a place for Cumbrian
smallholders to connect with others, share
information and advertise stock for sale or wanted.
This is a closed group, so new users must apply to
join, but once approved, users can read all content
and post as normal.
DERBYSHIRE SMALLHOLDERS?
ASSOCIATION
Link: http://www.derbyshiresmallholders.co.uk/
The Derbyshire Smallholders? Association was
formed in 2001 by a group of like-minded people,
with the aim of providing an opportunity for fellow
smallholders, and those with just an interest in
smallholding, to network and to pass on skills and
information.
DEVON ASSOCIATION OF
SMALLHOLDERS (DASH)
Link: http://www.devonsmallholders.co.uk/
Telephone: 01237 405307
DASH is a friendly, non-profit-making organisation,
which aims to provide its members with support
and training in topics such as land management,
welfare of livestock, horticulture, and safe use
of machinery. DASH holds regular events, issues
a bimonthly newsletter and has a very active
facebook page and a ?Members Only? area for
advertisements on its website.
EAST RIDING SMALLHOLDERS? SOCIETY
FENLAND SMALLHOLDERS? CLUB
Link: http://fenlandsmallholders.org.uk/
Established in 1976, we hold monthly meetings,
have an active Facebook group and a bi-monthly
magazine, Fenland Smallholder. Membership is
over 100 and mainly based in Cambs., S. Lincs.,
Norfolk and W. Suffolk.
GUERNSEY SMALLHOLDERS
Link: http://guernseysmallholders.weebly.com
Guernsey Smallholders is a practical and social
club that forms a network of people who can offer
each other advice, support and help, and which
also facilitates the exchange of produce, skills and
ideas. The club holds social events, meetings and
practical courses.
HERTS & ESSEX SMALLHOLDERS
Email: fionabyatt@waitrose.com
The group holds informal friendly meetings once
a month. As well as the useful and interesting
speakers at their regular meetings, there are
also members with wide-ranging expertise on
smallholding and gardening.
KENT SMALLHOLDERS
Link: http://www.kentsmallholders.co.uk
This group holds monthly meetings at Hadlow
College.Members come from all walks of life ?
some with land and animals, others with just a
window box or an interest in crafts ? but all come
with a wide range of experience and knowledge to
help those just starting out.
MIDLANDS SMALLHOLDERS? CLUB
Link: https://www.facebook.com/
groups/284123348644034/
This is a Facebook group for anyone interested in
the countryside and living the ?good life?, whether
you grow veggies on a balcony, keep a few
backyard hens or generate income on a few acres.
This is a public group so all Facebook users can read
the content and request to join the group.
MONTGOMERYSHIRE SMALLHOLDERS
Link: https://www.facebook.com/
montgomerysmallholders/
An active page for a friendly informal group
interested in growing and all things rural.
NORFOLK SMALLHOLDERS? TRAINING
GROUP
Link: http://www.nstg.org.uk/
A small charity based in Norfolk, set up by a group
of volunteers, with members all over Norfolk.
Each month they organise low-cost training
courses, and over the spring and summer they have
visits to each other?s holdings.
NORTH PENNINES SMALLHOLDERS
Link: http://www.northpennines
smallholders.co.uk/
A newly established group, which aims to
bring together smallholders, gardeners
and landowners from across the North
Pennines and surrounding areas. It provides
regular events, and training and networking
opportunities, to give people a chance to
discuss issues of common concern, and
hopefully have a bit of fun along the way.
NORTH SHROPSHIRE & BORDERS
SMALLHOLDERS? GROUP
Link: http://www.northshrop-smallholder.co.uk/
The Group always welcomes new members, so if
you just have a window box or several acres, why
not come along to one of the meetings, enjoy an
informative talk, and afterwards chat and exchange
ideas with other like-minded people over tea and
coffee. Meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday
of each month at the Llanyblodwel & Porthywaen
Memorial Institute.
NORTH YORKSHIRE SMALLHOLDERS?
SOCIETY
Link: http://www.smallholder.org.uk/
If you keep sheep, pigs, hens or horses, or grow
vegetables, or take part in any other small-farming
activity, then this could be the society for you.
You don?t have to be a landowner or a business, just
as long as you have an interest in rural activities
that you are willing to share with others.
NORTHUMBERLAND SMALLHOLDERS?
ASSOCIATION
Link: http://www.northumbria
smallholders.co.uk
A Group of like-minded people who enjoy the
countryside and all that goes with it. The group
was formed to provide mutual support, and offers a
range of events throughout the year.
ROMFORD SMALLHOLDERS? SOCIETY
Link: http://romfordsmallholders.wix.com/
growyourown
A friendly community that welcomes every
gardener, from complete novices to prizewinners.
They manage their own site on behalf of Havering
Council and currently have plots available starting
from just 76 square metres.
SCOTTISH SMALLHOLDERS?
ASSOCIATION
Link: http://scottishsmallholder.com/
The group organise talks, and stage craft and social
events. Their newsletter is bursting with the latest
news and information on useful topics.
The membership package includes a bulk seed
order in January, which means that members can
get their seeds for half price. You don?t have to
reside in Scotland to be a member!
SHROPSHIRE SMALLHOLDERS? GROUP
Link: http://shropshiresmallholdersgroup.org/
This is a non-profit-making organisation, which
provides members with information and mutual
support in all aspects of smallholding.
SMALL FARM TRAINING GROUP
Link: http://www.sftg.co.uk/
Email: membership@sftg.co.uk
Small Farm Training Group originated in Sussex
but also has many members in neighbouring
counties. They are enthusiasts who want to know
how to care for land, livestock and equipment in
an efficient and professional way, often trying to
balance farming with other work. They organise
courses on many topics in the evenings and
at weekends, monthly meetings or talks, and
members have an internet forum for advice.
78
SOMERSET SMALLHOLDERS?
ASSOCIATION
Link: http://somersetsmallholders.org.uk/
This association represents a diverse group,
ranging from those with a garden and a few
chickens, through to members who are totally selfsufficient. They hold meetings at various locations
across the county. The meetings are opportunities
to learn new skills from other members or invited
experts and to share knowledge and experience
with fellow smallholders.
SOUTH AND WEST WALES
SMALLHOLDERS
Link: https://www.facebook.com/
groups/218380055007087/
A facebook group for all those who have a
smallholding in South or West Wales. You can
advertise things for sale or wants, and also get
answers to your questions. This is an open group, so
all facebook users can read the content and post as
normal without requiring approval to join first.
STAFFORDSHIRE SMALLHOLDERS?
ASSOCIATION
Link: http://www.staffsmallholders.info/
A small but lively group of families and individuals
who share an interest in the small-farming way
of life. The declared aim of the Association is
?to improve the knowledge and skills of those
interested in small-scale farming and the
countryside?. You don?t need to have a farm, a
smallholding, an allotment or even a window box
to join.
SUFFOLK SMALLHOLDERS? SOCIETY
Link: http://www.suffolksmallholders.co.uk/
A non-profit-making group of like-minded people
interested in smallholding, self-sufficiency,
allotments, fruit and vegetable growing, and
animal husbandry on a small scale. They have a
varied membership, ranging from people with
a tomato plant growing on the windowsill, to
smallholders and small-farmers with tens of acres
to keep them busy.
WEST SUSSEX SMALLHOLDERS? CLUB
Link: http://www.westsussex
smallholdersclub.org.uk
Despite the name, this club serves West and East
Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, and they have
regular meetings on the last Wednesday of every
month. Members? activities include keeping just
a couple of garden chickens and a window box of
herbs, to making a living from a large piece of land
that includes pigs, sheep and cattle.
WILTSHIRE SMALLHOLDERS? GROUP
Link: https://www.facebook.com/
groups/114115882077127
This is a facebook group for smallholders based in
the Wiltshire area, which provides a place to talk
about smallholding whether it be livestock or pets.
This is a closed group, so new users must apply to
join, but once approved, users can read all content
and post as normal.
www.homefarmer.co.uk
NEXT MONTH
YOUR KEY TO PRACTICAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY
ORDER YOUR COPY DIRECT ? TELEPHONE: 01499 500553 WEBSITE: WWW.HOMEFARMER.CO.UK
Next Month?s Issue?
GROW YOUR OWN FIREWOOD
It?s low maintenance, grows in damp areas
and provides a quick return. Helen Babbs
considers the merits of growing short rotation
coppice willow on your holding.
THE SMALLHOLDER?S ?TO DO? LIST
What are the smallholder?s tasks for the cold
months of winter when it?s ?deep, crisp, and
occasionally even?, but more often just wet.
Debbie Kingsley details the winter jobs.
FOCUS ON SEA KALE
David Winnard checks out a delicious and
beautiful plant that likes to grow on shingle ?
sea kale.
OIL PASTRY
Pastry made with healthy oils rather than
unhealthy solid fats can be heavy and greasy
or delicate and light; it?s all in the making, says
Elizabeth McCorquodale.
Febraury 2018 ISSUE
5th January ? subscription copies posted
12th January ? in selected newsagents
8th January ? digital edition available for download
Having trouble getting a copy? Phone 01499 500553 or go
to homefarmer.co.uk/store/current-issue
Magazine | Online | Tablet | Mobile
Download HOME FARMER
on your tablet or
phone for �.99 a year
or �99 an issue.
www.homefarmer.co.uk/app
January 2018
Remember!
Keep up to
weekly ne date with our
wsletter ?
sign
up at: hom
efarmer.co
.uk/
email-new
sletter-sign
-form
79
sting hemp. Photo � East Yorkshire Hemp.
60 www.homefarmer.co.uk
Commercial hemp. Photo � East Yorkshire Hemp.
Hemp bedding can be used neat or under a thin layer of straw.
record check before any licence is granted.
As the licensing process costs over
�0爀ach year, this puts hemp growing
out of the picture for most smallholders,
but we can still use its many products
around the holding.
Chopped hemp is also available as
garden mulch, eco-friendly cat litter,
compressed ?logs? for use in wood-burning
stoves, and even as a building material!
Hemp-crete is a mix of lime and finelychopped hemp core, which bonds together
in a similar way to concrete. It can be used
as a plaster, or cast just like concrete to
make solid walls and floors.
HEMP CORE
The most common hemp product for
smallholding use is chopped hemp for
horse and livestock bedding. This is made
from the dry pith and stems of the hemp,
and the end product is highly absorbent
? I find it soaks up liquids and suppresses
ammonia much more effectively than
straw or wood-shavings. This also means
there?s a cost saving, which is always a good
thing! Hemp bedding can be used neat
as a dense padded layer for all livestock,
from horses to hens. If you have sheep and
are concerned about the hemp fragments
contaminating their fleece, a thin layer
of long straw on top keeps it all in place.
I燼lso use chopped hemp on the floor of
my hay store to keep it dry and absorb any
moisture from the hay sweating.
When it comes to mucking out the
stable, hemp is also much easier to shovel
out than soggy straw! It composts well too,
rotting faster than straw, and without any
?carbon robbery? as with any wood-based
bedding. In hot weather I find it necessary
to add a little extra water to the heap while
building it up, to stop any hemp around
the edges from drying out instead of
rotting.
yourself, hemp can be bought as ?stricks? or
bundles of hemp fibre, ready to fix onto a
distaff for spinning with a spinning wheel
or top-whorl spindle. Wetting the hemp
fibre as you spin will help to keep any flyaway fibres in line to give a very smooth
and silky thread.
HEMP FIBRE
Hemp is similar to linen, being a ?bast?
or plant stem fibre. The individual fibres
can actually be slightly longer, which
meant that hemp was traditionally used to
make rope. But tough and thick isn?t the
only option ? either blended with other
fibres or by itself, hemp can be woven
into fabrics, ranging from corduroy to
fine, silky muslin. If you want to spin it
Top: Hemp contains fibres similar to linen.
Bottom: A ?strick? of combed hemp ready for spinning. Photos � Mike Roberts/WildFibres.
January 2018
61
HEMP
HEMP FACTOIDS
l
Hemp enriches soil by holding
Hemp fibre makes excellent building insulation. Photo � Joy Batey/Eden Renewables Ltd.
Hemp fibres can also be included in
home-made paper to give results very
similar to silk paper. Commercially,爏horter
hemp fibres are sometimes used for paper
manufacture in place of wood fibre.
A爉ore unusual use of hemp fibre is as
insulation, and rather than smoothing
or pressing them down, the hemp fibres
are encouraged to fluff up into the thick
layers needed for loft insulation! Being a
natural fibre, hemp insulation ?breathes?
particularly well and will actually
absorb water to help eliminate damp or
condensation problems.
HEMP SEED AND APPLE
SCONES
HEMP SEEDS
Hemp seeds are rich in protein, iron,
magnesium and the complete range of
essential fatty acids, including Omega 3.
They?re available from most health food
shops, either as whole seeds, ground flour
(sometimes sold as a ?protein powder?), or
hemp seed oil. With their nutty flavour,
hemp seeds make a tasty addition to
both sweet and savoury dishes. Try them
anywhere you?d use other seeds: lightly
crushed on top of home-baked bread;
blended into pesto instead of pine nuts; or
in cakes and biscuits to make a sweet snack
extra healthy!
Photo � The Hemp Shop.
INREDIENTS
450g wholemeal flour
2 tbsp baking powder
100g butter
75g sugar
25g hemp seeds
1 medium dessert apple, grated
200ml milk
METHOD
1 Mix the flour and baking powder then
rub in the butter .
2 Stir in the sugar, hemp seeds and
grated apple.
3 Add the milk to form a soft dough.
4 Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface,
knead quickly then roll out the dough
to a thickness of 2.5cm.
5 Cut into 7cm rounds using a deep
cookie cutter.
6 Bake on a greased baking sheet at
220癈 for 15?20 minutes until well
risen and golden brown.
it together and increasing
microbial content.
l
Scientists at Chernobyl found
hemp removed chemicals from
soil better than any other plant.
l
During World War Two the
US ran a ?hemp for victory?
campaign.
l
Hemp seeds contain gamma
linolenic acid, which is in breast
milk, together with omega 3 and
6 fatty acids.
l
Henry Ford created a working
car out of hemp, soya beans and
plastic.
l
Hemp plastics are 100%
biodegradable.
l
Hemp can be converted into
biodegradable, non-toxic
biodiesel.
l
Due to high carbon dioxide
uptake, hemp helps reduce
carbon emissions through
carbon sequestration.
l
An acre of hemp can produce
as much paper as four acres of
trees.
l
Hemp seeds are a protein,
contain amino acids and
vitamins, and can be made into
oil or flour. Hemp is one of the
most nutritionally dense foods.
l
Colonial farmers in America in
the 1700s were actually required
to grow it.
l
?Your lungs will fail before
your brain attains any high
from smoking industrial
hemp,? according to Oregon
environmental activist,
Andy燢err.
l
The words ?canvas? and
?cannabis? actually share the
same root.
ed to
traditionally us
Hemp has been
.
op
Sh
p
The Hem
rope. Photo �
make
62 www.homefarmer.co.uk
YOU ASK?
METHOD
HEMP AND HERB BREAD
INGREDIENTS
400ml warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried active yeast
450g wholemeal bread flour
A pinch of salt
50g hemp seeds (and a further tbsp for topping)
2 tsp each of oregano, rosemary and sage, either dried or fresh
� tsp ground turmeric (optional)
1 Dissolve the yeast and
sugar in 175ml water then
leave to rise for 10 minutes
until frothy.
2 Mix the flour, salt, herbs,
turmeric (if using) and
hemp seeds, add the yeast
liquid and the remaining
225ml of water, and mix
to a soft, sticky dough.
3 Tip the dough into a
greased, warmed 2lb loaf
tin and spread it out level then sprinkle
with an extra tablespoon of hemp seeds
(if using), or a tablespoon of flour or
bran.
4 Cover and leave to rise in a warm place
for 15?20 minutes.
5 Bake at 200癈 for 25 minutes until the
loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
FURTHER INFO
Sent: Caroline
To: ruth@homefarmer.co.uk
Date: August 2017
Subject: A growing hemp article
Hi Ruth
I really enjoy my monthly dose of
info and common sense provided
by Home Farmer!
I wondered if you are considering
at some time doing an article
about hemp, as I think it might fit
your criteria? I keep back-garden
chickens and have been using
chopped hemp for bedding, very
successfully, although sadly the
main provider seems to be French.
I also see the claims made by the
hemp fabric companies and it
seems strange it isn?t used more.
What is the situation regarding
British hemp growing? What do the
plants look like?!
For more information visit:
lthehempshop.co.uk
leastyorkshirehemp.co.uk
lwildfibres.co.uk
lthermafleece.com
WE ANSWER?
Send your feature suggestions to
ruth@homefarmer.co.uk
or phone 01499 500553.
January 2018
63
GOOD CLEAN FUN
Seren Hollins
Seren is a food historian and
professional cook, who can
be found most weekends
dressed up in historical costume
cooking up meals for various
events and festivals.
Visit serenitykitchen.com to join
in the fun.
Some New Year
SPIT ?N? POLISH
Seren Hollins makes some home-made cleaners just as research
suggests we may be working too hard, and prepares a special pork pie
to welcome in the New Year
W
omen carry out an average of
60% more unpaid work than
men, according to a 2016
study by the Office for National Statistics.
Men typically do 16 hours unpaid work
each week, including adult and child
care, laundry and cleaning, compared
to 26爃ours done by women. However,
there is good news? we may actually be
cleaning too much.
Evidence is growing that dirt and
germs protect against disease, and our
indoor-based, super-clean lifestyles are
bad for health. According to the ?hygiene
hypothesis?, asthma, eczema, hay fever
and childhood diabetes are fuelled by
childhoods free from of rolling in mud,
splashing in puddles and playing with
animals. The ?hygiene hypothesis? was
first proposed in 1989, when it was noted
that hay fever is less common in children
with older siblings. It was suggested
that catching bugs from them provided
protection against allergies, and many later
studies have concluded the same.
If you dislike housework and want to
preserve health, there is some good news;
experts have revealed nine chores that
need only be done once a year. The Good
Housekeeping Institute has compiled
a list of tasks you can do then leave for
12 months, meaning endless cycles of
cleaning could soon be a distant memory,
and the beginning of the year is a great
time to tackle some of them.
ONCE A YEAR TASKS
lWash or dry clean your curtains
lClean your fireplace
lPurge your kitchen drawer
lWipe down outdoor furniture
lDeep clean your carpet
lEmpty your gutters
lWipe down the window and door
frames
lWipe your light bulbs
lDeep clean upholstered
furniture
WINDOW AND DOOR
CLEANER
The Good Housekeeping Institute
recommends sweeping off dirt around
the frame, then washing-up liquid or a
multi-purpose cleaner to remove stubborn
Top tip!
One mistake w
hen cleaning do
ors and
windows is to
start at the was
hi
ng
stage. This caus
es muddy stre
ak
s
or dirty lines th
at can be avoide
d
by
wiping away du
st with a soft ra
g before
the wet clean.
grime. I recommend making a home-made
cleaning solution that removes dust, dirt
and salt marks from windows and doors.
INGREDIENTS
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
A squirt of Castile liquid soap
4 English teacups of warm water
METHOD
Mix well in a spray bottle, spray on the
window frame and wipe off with a sponge.
64 www.homefarmer.co.uk
LEATHER CLEANER
Leather sofas need a good homemade leather cleaner which is gentle and
inexpensive.
INGREDIENTS
White vinegar
Boiled linseed oil or olive oil
METHOD
1 Mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts
boiled linseed oil or pure olive oil.
2 Place in a bottle and shake well to
combine.
CLEANING LIGHTBULBS
Kitchen and bathroom lightbulbs can
become very dusty, and this cuts out lots
of light. To clean, switch off, unscrew and
wipe with a damp cloth, but stay clear of
the screw or bayonet end. Once clean, I
dab a few drops of vanilla or lemon essence
onto the cold lightbulb, then turn the light
on; after a minute, heat from the bulb fills
the room with the scent.
HOME-MADE UPHOLSTERY
FRESHENER
Fabric sofas are dust and grime
magnets, but cleaning once a year keeps
them in shape. In between cleaning I
use a home-made upholstery freshener
spray. The baking soda absorbs unpleasant
odours and essential oils refresh the air.
Clean your leather sofa before
polishing by rubbing the leather
with a clean, dry rag to remove loose
surface dirt. Apply爕our cleaner with a
rag, gently buffing it into the leather.
For燿ifficult stains, let the mixture sit on
the leather overnight. Buff爐he surface
with a clean, dry rag after it has dried.
Apply爈emon juice or vinegar directly onto
any爎emaining stains and rub gently with
a rag.
Polish leather by rubbing pure olive oil
into the surface with a clean rag. Let the
leather rest for several hours after applying
the polish then perform a final polish by
buffing again with a clean, dry lint-free
cloth.
Resist cleaning on the morning
of New Year?s Day. It is said to
be disastrous to do any cleaning
before midday as you will sweep
out your good luck for the year.
INGREDIENTS
55g bicarbonate of soda
10 drops essential oil (lavender or lemon are ideal)
360ml water
METHOD
1 Using a funnel, pour the baking soda
into a 12-ounce spray bottle.
2 Add the essential oil, fill the bottle with
water and shake gently to combine.
3 Test on a small, inconspicuous area
of upholstery (such as the back of a
cushion) to ensure it won?t leave a
mark.
4 If it leaves no mark, spray over
the upholstery whenever it needs
freshening.
January 2018
65
GOOD CLEAN FUN
With cleaning off the agenda, if you
want a prosperous New Year you could
partake in eating round-shaped foods.
Round cakes, pastries and biscuits, and
round fruits such as clementines are
traditionally enjoyed on New Year?s Day as
the shape apparently signifies the old year
closing and the birth of a new one with
hope of good things to come.
However you celebrate the dawn of the
New Year, make sure you bring home your
bacon first. When foraging for food, pigs
root forwards, ploughing up the ground in
front of them, giving way to a tradition of
eating pork over New Year. Pork in all its
many forms is enjoyed on New Year?s Eve
and New Year?s Day by those hoping to
embrace the challenges and opportunities
the New Year brings head on. In the
Midlands some still eat pork pie for
breakfast on Christmas or Boxing Day.
PASTRY T
IP!
METHOD
1 Combine the lard, flours, water, salt
and sugar, mix until they form a
SEREN?S ?BRING IN THE LUCK?
dough, wrap in clingfilm then chill
PORK PIE
for about 40 minutes.
2 Knead it on a lightly-floured
This pie need not be served with
surface until it?s the consistency of
pickle or condiments as it is already moist
playdough. Hot water crust pastry
and tasty. I have included rabbit as it is
wants to be worked; it doesn?t
traditional in Yorkshire to utter ?Black
demand delicate handling. Roll out
rabbit, black rabbit, black rabbit? as the
the pastry to around the thickness of a
old year fades away, and ?White rabbit,
�coin and line a 15cm deep, loosewhite rabbit, white rabbit? to be granted
bottomed, round pie (or cake) tin
good luck as the New Year dawns.
with it. If the tin isn?t non-stick, line it
with parchment paper. When you are
INGREDIENTS
putting the pastry in the circular tin
FOR THE PASTRY
you?ll find that you have at least one
260g lard, melted
fold in the wall of the pastry, creating
360g strong white flour
double or treble pastry thickness.
360g plain flour
This燾an easily be worked up and out
375g hot water
of the crease by gently pressing until
2 tsp salt
the pastry is a consistent thickness all
2 tsp icing sugar
the way round. Try not to make any
1 egg, beaten
holes ? you need a complete, leak3 tbsp double cream
proof vessel for the filling, and leave a
small overhang of pastry around the
FOR THE FILLING
lip to which to crimp the lid. As燼
70g smoked back bacon
guide, cut a lid about 1cm wider in
150g sausage meat
circumference than the tin.
500g pork shoulder meat, cut into 1cm 3 Put the rabbit and apricots to one side
cubes
then combine the rest of the filling
� tsp ground nutmeg
ingredients. Fill the pastry with about
1 tbsp mustard powder
a third of the meat then add a layer of
� tsp ground cloves
rabbit meat. Add a little more filling
2 tsp salt
then a layer of apricots, followed by
1 tsp ground black pepper
a final layer of meat. Dampen the lip
300g diced rabbit meat
of the pastry, add the lid and crimp it
2 juniper berries, crushed
securely. Put a hole in the lid to allow
� tsp ground mace
steam to escape during cooking.
6 dried apricots, soaked for at least 2 hours 4 Mix the beaten egg with the cream
in just enough gin to cover them
and thinly glaze the lid using a pastry
When dealing
with hot-crust
pastry
you need to w
ork fast; it is pl
iable and
easy to mould
when hot but be
comes
brittle and unw
orkable as it co
ols.
brush. Repeat this several times during
baking for extra shine. You can use just
egg, but I find the cream really helps.
5 Bake on a tray in a pre-heated oven at
180癈 for at least 2� hours, or until
the centre of the pie reaches at least
75癈 and, importantly, all the visible
pastry is cooked. Check regularly
during cooking, and, if necessary, cover
the top of the pie with a foil ?hat? to
prevent it burning. If your oven has
hot spots, turn the pie round every half
hour or so for an even bake.
6 Let the pie cool completely before
turning it out of the tin. The pastry
will harden during cooling.
As your pie is cooling and you make
your New Year?s resolutions, make sure you
have some bread and butter at the ready as
New Year?s Day in Ireland is known as Day
of the Buttered Bread. Tradition has it that
buttered bread placed outside the door
symbolizes an absence of hunger in the
household and staves away deprivation.
And finally, whatever you do, be careful
of your words during the closing seconds
of the old year ? superstition has it that
this can make all the difference to your
fortunes in the coming year!
66 www.homefarmer.co.uk
GETTING OUR
DIGITAL EDITION IS?
CHILD?S PLAY
sUBSCRIBE TO
THE HOME FARMER
DIGITAL EDITION
AND SAVE ##s
HOMEFARMER.CO.UK/APP
BREAD MAKING
A medieval baker with his apprentice. The Bodleian Library, Oxford. Picture courtesy of Riley/Wikimedia.
MEDIEVAL
BREAD
Paul Melnyczuk investigates how our
medieval ancestors made their daily bread
Paul Melnyczuk
Paul is the editor of Home
Farmer. When not ?editing? he
is out and about indulging in
his passion for photography,
going to local live music gigs,
or playing his bass guitar.
Alternatively, he?ll be enjoying
a strong cup of tea and a good
sci-fi movie.
W
e eat less bread than our
Continental neighbours, who
provide it with most meals,
and further afield in Africa and the Middle
East, bread becomes an eating utensil
in addition to its role as sustenance.
However,爓e all eat considerably less bread
than our medieval ancestors, although this
bread would have become less recognisable
as the income of the people eating it
decreased.
Seven hundred years ago the bread
you ate was a visible and ever-present
sign of social status. Wealthy people ate
white bread and poor people ? if they
could afford it at all ? ate brown bread.
It was, however, the ability to continue
eating white bread during periods of
scarcity that defined a person?s true wealth!
Medical爐hought at the time defined brown
bread as being ?slimming?, and white bread
was believed to be both nourishing and
fattening.
Even baking was difficult for most
people, who would not have had access to
an oven. A proper bread oven would only
have been found in high-status households,
and well-risen, properly-baked bread
would have been a rarity for many people.
The Lord of the Manor often controlled
the baking of bread, and ?taxed? people for
the privilege, so much bread would have
been baked on a grid iron, under a pot, or
in the ashes.
68 www.homefarmer.co.uk
In the early 1990s, John Letts, an
archaeologist and botanist, became
fascinated by the history of thatching.
His research led him to revive many
older strains of wheat that produced top
quality thatching straw. This was a long,
drawn out process which took years to
get right, but which has now enabled
us to experience some of the tastes and
techniques familiar to our ancestors.
Although much writing from the time
focussed on white bread eaten by the
wealthy, there are still numerous accounts
of ?peasant? breads. Medieval breads can
be grouped into three broad categories:
household/brown bread, cheate/wheaten
bread, and white/manchet bread.
Flatbread baking on a grid iron.
Much of our knowledge of medieval
baking is speculative, and as with so much
of history, it is designed to fit in with other
facts we think we know about the period.
Much of the wheat used has long fallen
out of favour as agricultural practices have
changed, and the varieties grown today
are inevitably those that suit agribusiness
rather than the palates of consumers.
Any爓heat produced in medieval times
would have been grown to get as much
use from it as possible, such as thatching
as well as for baking, but a product suited
to both purposes would not meet the
productivity requirements of modern
agriculture.
.
one bread oven
A traditional st
HOUSEHOLD/BROWN BREAD
This was baked from what today
might be called wholemeal flour, often
derived from a mixture of rye and wheat,
but usually fortified with extra bran.
The燾oarsest would have been baked
using ?compound? flour containing
barley, rye, oats, roasted peas and field
beans and even acorns in time of scarcity.
Ratios would have varied according
to the season and household
wealth.
CHEATE/WHEATEN
BREAD
Here wholemeal flour was
sieved to create a lighter flour
for baking into either fine or
coarse cheate bread, the principle
difference being the removal of
the coarsest bran from the finer
version. Fine cheate was leavened
with sourdough or ale barm (baker?s yeast)
and served in ?finer? households. The
coarser version was also leavened with
sourdough, and was commonly available
to buy in towns and cities.
MANCHET/WHITE BREAD
Further sieving produced manchet/
white flour which was consumed only
at the high table or on special occasions.
Manchet and other fancy white breads
would have been made from the very finest
wheat flour, raised with ale barm (yeast),
and baked at a relatively low heat. It was
traditionally a firm and solid bread.
January 2018
69
BREAD MAKING
MANCHET BREAD FROM THE
GOOD HUSWIFES HANDMAIDE
IN THE KITCHEN (1594)
RECIPES
Heritage is the current buzzword in
the bread baking world, but when first
using heritage grains, start with a small
1lb loaf, and use a natural, long, slow
fermentation. This lets you get familiar
with the flour before over committing ?
when experimenting with any new flour,
mistakes with a large loaf can be costly.
MEDIEVAL SOURDOUGH LOAF
This is a no-knead loaf, so you could
make one every day without too much
effort. To make it as close as possible to a
?medieval loaf ? use Lammas Fayre Medieval
Blend Peasant?s Flour, which contains
ground peas and beans. Both contain
extra protein which can turbo-charge the
sourdough starter or yeast, so although this
flour lacks the high gluten levels of modern
flour, you still get a moist, well-risen loaf
that is full of flavour. Medieval bread also
often included other in-season ingredients
such as hazelnuts or dried currants, so
the recipe includes a seed mix of sesame,
sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and there is
evidence that ale or mead would have been
used.
INGREDIENTS
50g levain (refreshed sourdough starter)
170g freshly filtered water at room temperature
6g salt
50g mixed seeds, plus extra for scattering
250g Lammas Fayre Medieval Blend Peasant?s Flour
1 tbsp lard or butter for greasing
METHOD
1 Whisk the levain together with the
water until frothy then add the salt,
seeds and flour, and stir.
2 Mix into a dough until everything is
fully incorporated; expect the dough to
be sticky and pliable.
3 Grease a 1b bread tin with the lard or
butter and place the dough into the
tin, scattering a few more seeds on top.
4 Leave to stand in a warm place until
the dough has risen by a quarter and is
approaching the top of the tin.
5 Preheat the oven to 180癈 and bake
for 35 minutes then check to see if it is
baked using a skewer. If it doesn?t come
out clean then reduce the temperature
to 160癈, bake for a further 5 minutes
and test again.
The modernisation of flour has often
resulted in a loss of flavour, and the one
thing you can say about this medieval loaf
is that it has a wonderfully moist, nutty
and malty flavour without being heavy.
This is one of the earliest and most
important English bread recipes. The燝ood
Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchen was
published in 1594, and is one of the first
English cookbooks. The anonymous
author offers a wide range of recipes,
mostly simple, and most reasonably
accessible to modern readers, and the book
includes two recipes for manchet, the
finest white bread made in private homes,
and not traditionally sold by bakers at the
time. Since we have so few recipes from
the 16th or 17th centuries, it is impossible
to know whether the very stiff dough was
common or just an eccentricity of this
particular baker. Manchet was used to
make trenchard ? a medieval dinner plate
? and a stiff dough ensured the trenchard
would not dissolve into mush after the
food and sauce was placed on it. I爓ould
take the author?s warning not to be
discouraged by the stiff dough and to resist
adding more water, as a hint that even
in its own time this recipe was somehow
different from what people normally did,
which makes sense. Why buy a recipe
book that doesn?t show you something
new? In addition to an unusually small
amount of water, the recipe also calls for
the incredibly short rising time of only 30
minutes, after which the loaves are formed,
and without letting the dough proof
further the bread is popped into a slow
oven and baked for an hour.
?Take a half a bushel of fine flour twice
boulted, and a gallon faire luke warm water,
almost a pint of yeast, then temper all these
together, without any more liquor, as hard as
ye can handle it: then let it lie half and hour,
then take it up, and make your Manchets,
and let them stand almost an hour in the
oven.?
A LITERAL REDACTION
OF THE RECIPE BY
BREAD EXPERT, WILLIAM RUBEL
Take a half a bushel of
unbleached all-purpose flour
(20.5 pounds) and a gallon of
unchlorinated luke warm water
(8.3 pounds), almost a pint of
ale yeast in the form of barm,
70 www.homefarmer.co.uk
or 5 ounces of fresh yeast dissolved in that
same amount of water (14 ounces), then
mix all these together, without any more
liquor, as hard as ye can handle it: then
let it lie half an hour, then take it up, and
make your manchets by gently cutting the
dough into 8 to 16 ounce pieces, forming
into a ball which you then flatten and
deeply cut around the waist, and then
poke in the top five or six times with the
point of a knife then let them stand almost
an hour in a cool oven at approximately
120癈.
Recipe in Baker?s Maths:
Unbleached all-purpose flour: 100%,
39.7% water, 4.3% fresh ale barm or 1.4%
fresh yeast dissolved in 4.3% luke warm
water.
JOHN LETTS? MEDIEVAL
BREAD FACTS? AT LEAST
AS FAR AS WE KNOW
the evidence from medieval
thatched roofs indicates that the
bread consumed by most people
was made from a mixture of wheat
and rye ? a ?maslin? (from the latin
for ?mixture?). Some ate pure rye
bread while the rich ate pure wheat
bread, and the lower and middle
classes enjoyed pure wheaten bread
primarily on special days or at feasts.
lThe rye and wheat was always sown
in winter and harvested in August.
lFarmers grew ?landraces?, genetically
diverse crops similar to today?s
?heritage? wheat blends.
lBoth rich and poor baked their
bread using long-ferment sourdough
methods and culture. Yeasted bread
could be made from brewer?s yeast
? collected from the bottom of the
vat ? but it made bread dark and
didn?t have as much flavour as good
sourdough.
lPeople were obsessed with the
colour of bread, not its texture.
White bread was a mark of wealth
and status, whereas working
people ate dark bread (rye, brown
or wholemeal). Some ?doctors? at
the time thought eating too much
fibre ?corrupted? your digestion and
wasn?t good for you. The slightly
denser texture of sourdough was
normal to medieval society, and
the cost of bread depended on how
white it was.
lBarley
lAll
lThe
culture of white bread was
probably introduced by the
Normans, who brought with them
both the ?upper class? notion of
white bread being superior, and
?pollard? (or ?rivet?) wheat which
makes the whitest flour when stone
ground. Rivet wheat has a sweet
and nutty flavour and is great for
making sourdough, but does not
contain a lot of strong gluten.
lMedieval flour was not ?strong? in a
baking sense, i.e. it did not have as
much high quality gluten as modern
flour, but sourdough degrades
gluten in any case, and in the
medieval period as well as today, the
?rise? in a sourdough loaf depends on
how the dough is worked as well as
?oven spring? due to steam escaping
when the loaf is baked.
lFlat medieval loaves were cut to
form ?trenchards? which were used
like plates, and sometimes given to
poorer members of the household
after the stew had been consumed.
and oats were often baked
into bread. John Letts is currently
growing ?bere? barley from Orkney,
the oldest continuously grown crop
in the UK, which is still grown there
to make ?bere bannock?.
lRye makes an impossibly heavy loaf
if risen with just yeast so must be
baked with sourdough if it contains
100% rye. It is usually mixed with
at least 50% or more wheat to make
a lighter loaf.
lAll sourdough should contain a
little rye as it adds flavour, nutrients
for the lactic acid bacteria and wild
yeast in sourdough culture, and
allows the bread to keep for longer
without spoiling.
FURTHER INFO
John?s heritage Lammas Fayre
flour blends are available from the
recipes section at bakerybits.co.uk,
where you can also find many great
recipes.
The section featuring manchet
bread from The Good Huswifes
Handmaide for the Kitchen is taken
from the fascinating website of
William Rubel at williamrubel.com,
where the ?menus and widgets?
section alone should give you years
of inspiration. He is a writer and a
specialist in traditional cooking,
and travels the world studying food
customs and gathering recipes.
January 2018
71
THE WALE INTERVIEW
Michael Wale
Brought up on a farm in
Sussex, Michael was a
journalist, scriptwriter and
TV performer for many years.
He fought a battle to save
allotments in West London
and wrote a book about it
all, View from a Shed. He爏till
helps the allotments he
fought to save, and now
writes about agriculture and
horticulture.
D
Photo � Kyle Ellefson.
SAVE OUR SOIL
In light of alarming reports about the longterm fertility of our earth, Michael Wale
looks at one man and his daughter?s plan to
save our soil
efra Minister Michael Gove
recently backed an organisation
set up as a father and daughter
collaboration in order to restore our soils
to sustainable health, and within just a
single generation. Representatives from
across the agricultural world were all in
attendance at the House of Commons
launch of the Sustainable Soils Alliance
(SSA), which was headlined by Gove,
whose rather-more-liberal-than-expected
approach to the future of the country?s
farming has alarmed some of the more
conventional sectors within the industry,
but has certainly pleased the organic
lobby, among others.
Neville Fay, together with daughter,
Elly, are the Alliance?s co-directors, and
have the direct backing of Rebecca Pow,
Conservative MP for Taunton Deane,
who is also Michael Gove?s Private
Parliamentary Secretary. She was actually
brought up on a farm, and worked as
an agricultural journalist prior to being
elected.
Michael Gove addresses the SSA launch.
Rebecca Pow.
Neville Fay, an expert on trees who
has worked in the industry for 25爕ears,
explained how the Alliance had come
about. He attended a conference at
Reading University on soil health
orchestrated by Professor Chris Collins
of the Natural Environment Research
Council?s Soil Security Programme,
who was also at the House of Commons
launch, and who heads up the SSA?s
science team. At the Reading Conference,
Fay came away with the belief that there
was a clear consensus building up that
the Government should be alerted to
the fact that our soil was rapidly being
washed away or degraded. He recalls
talk of anywhere between just 60 and
100爃arvests left in our soils, and also the
dramatic effects the over-use of chemicals
has had on arable soils.
Fay says: ?Time is running out for our
soil, and we?re working on a conference in
2019 that will do for soils what the Stern
Review (in 2006) did for climate change.?
He confesses that in the beginning the
Alliance had absolutely no money, adding:
?We were supported by my own company,
Treework, and the Woodland Trust gave us
a bit, and Yeo Valley. Then in December
72 www.homefarmer.co.uk
churning the soil and impacting it, if you
drench it in chemicals that improve yields
but in the long term undercut the future
fertility of that soil, you can increase the
yields year on year, but ultimately you
really are cutting the ground away from
beneath your own feet. Farmers know
that.?
At the launch,
Gove underlined just
how seriously both he
and his Department are
taking the formation
of the Sustainable Soils
Alliance and urged them
to hold the Government
to account and bring
him new ideas and
inspiration, saying: ?We
are listening to you now,
and it?s critical that we
do so.?
One of the people in
the packed audience at the
launch was Simon Parfey,
who founded SoilBioLab
four years ago. It was set up
as an independent company
Above: Neville Fay. Right:Elly Fay.
2016 we had a meeting with Rebecca Pow,
whom I?d met once before; a kindred spirit
on the subject of soils.?
The Alliance had been due to be
launched in May, but the hastily-called
General Election put paid to that.
The爑nexpected delay did, however,
do the Alliance a good turn, as Gove
was made Environment Minister in
the newly-assembled government,
giving the position some much-needed
public attention at last. Gove has
certainly wasted no time in making
clear his belief in a much more
environmentally-aware approach to
his brief, which has pleased many
sections of British agriculture which
were previously virtually ignored by
Government, like the Soil Association
and its CEO, Helen Browning, an SSA
Champion, who has had a number of
meetings with Gove and confesses to
being quite impressed. In fact, much of
what Gove said at the Alliance?s launch
revealed just how much the role of Defra
might change in the not-too-distant
future.
Gove stated that he wants to
incentivise responsible farming, and
warned: ?It?s an emergency. That is why
we?re taking steps at Defra to restore health
to our soils.? He is also on record as saying
that the Department supports the planting
of 11 million trees, and at a meeting
attended by Helen Browning, �0,000
was set aside to ensure the effective
monitoring of soil quality. There is too the
commitment he has made to extending
the ban on neonicotinoid use ? something
which perhaps took many by surprise,
at
Helen Browning
including Green MP, Caroline Lucas, who
had earlier described him as ?uniquely
unqualified? for the post of Environment
Minister.
Gove also criticised what has been
going on in conventional farming in the
past, saying: ?We?ve encouraged a type of
farming in this country that has harmed
farming. If you have heavy machinery
the SSA launch.
inspired by the commitment of a group of
like-minded people led by Parfey who were
alarmed by the state of our soil?s health,
including a vital need, in their opinion, for
reliable, robust and credible test results.
Parfey worked for 18 months at
Jodi Scheckter?s 2,500-acre organic and
biodynamic farm at Laverstoke Park which
has its soils tested by its very own specialist
January 2018
73
THE WALE INTERVIEW
It seems more people are ready to accept
something new. But is it quick enough?
We燼re doing over 600爁ull microbiology
soil tests a year, and it is increasing.?
He燿id, however, have one criticism of the
launch meeting, and says: ?I was taken
aback by the general lack of presence
from some of the supermarkets. The front
end is how you change the views of the
general public. Retail multiples are very
responsible for the use of the soil as well?.
Simon Parfey of SoilBioLab.
soil laboratory ? then the only one of its
kind in Europe. Laverstoke Park?s soils are
well considered and a system of ?replenish
and replace? applied, ensuring that all
areas dedicated to growing are topped up
from an onsite 40,000 tonne commercial
composting site.
Parfey told me that over the past
18爉onths to 2 years there had been a real
shift in farmers contacting the laboratory
on the subject of whether they should use
cover crops or green manures, and with
regard to matters such as no tillage or min
till. It seems perhaps common sense that
the next stop now should be microbiology.
He said there was a ?real buzz around
farmers and different agronomists,? with
a number of different trials taking place,
adding: ?We?ve just started on a large scale
trial for a large manufacturer of breakfast
cereals. They燼re wondering about how
the grain can be grown better. They have
brought in specialist agronomists and are
looking at whether there should be changes
in the varieties they are growing. Many
of the modern genetics have bred out
the potential for a symbiotic relationship
between the plant root and the soil.
It?s爄nteresting to see agronomists of that
calibre at work, and to find other ways to
manage soil and put the challenge down to
farmers.?
Parfey has also noticed that
conventional producers are increasingly
looking at and borrowing organic tools to
see how they can adapt them. He爏ays: ?It?s
nice to see it becoming more mainstream.
?Gove underlined just
how seriously both he
and his Department are
taking the formation
of the Sustainable
Soils Alliance and
urged them to hold the
Government to account
and bring him new
ideas and inspiration?
An important guest at the launch was
another key SSA Champion, Tim Mead,
dairy farmer and chairman of organic
dairy brand, Yeo Valley, who suggested
that, after 45 years of being a part of the
Common Market Agricultural Policy,
the UK now had a massive opportunity,
saying: ?Everything comes from the soil,
so looking after and protecting our soils
by redirecting British agriculture towards a
grass-based rotational farming system is a
massive opportunity. The question is, will
our politicians have the vision, experience,
courage and knowledge to deliver what is
right??
Indeed, that is the question at the
moment. As long as Gove is in the driving
seat at Defra all might be well, but as we
have seen in the past, previous incumbents
have often been toothless when it came
to pushing for change, and governments
have consistently been over reliant on the
views of ?agribusiness? and other lobbyists
representing the industrial farming sector
when making policy decisions. Only爐ime
will tell if Michael Gove will be the
incumbent to break with this tradition,
and if the Sustainable Soils Alliance is
able to convince the broader sector of the
importance of longevity over short term
profit for the agribusiness sector.
FURTHER INFO
Visit the following websites to find
out more:
? sustainablesoils.org
? sustainablesoils.org/
parliamentary-reception
(for a more detailed account of
the SSA launch)
? soilsecurity.org
? soilbiolab.co.uk
Photo � Rasmus Landgreen.
74 www.homefarmer.co.uk
l6
or 12 months available.
lGreat value for money.
lBuy online, by phone or by post.
lSpecially commissioned features.
lPacked with news, views and
know-how.
lSubs start from just �.00.
Y
YOUR KEC
L
A
I
T
C
A
R
TO P
SELF- Y
C
N
E
I
C
I
F
F
U
S
EASY WAYS TO ORDER
By phone: 01499 500553
l Online: homefarmer.co.uk
l By post: Send cheque (made payable l
to Home Farmer) to
Home Farmer, Firtree, Furnace
Inveraray, PA32 8XU
www.homefarmer.co.uk
Want to go paperless? Download the app www.homefarmer.co.uk/app
HOME FARMER LISTINGS
BEES
20 NATIONAL BEEHIVES FOR SALE
Headed by 2017 Welsh Dark Queens, Veroa treated.
Downsizing due to health reasons. �0 each.
Collection only. (South Wales area).
Tel: 07731 869442 / 01639 730588.
email: beespokebeehives@outlook.com
DONKEYS
GAMLINGAY DONKEY STUD
Small stud of quality miniature donkeys for sale at
sensible prices. Mares, fillies, foals. Various colours.
Well-handled, microchipped and passported.
Freeze marked and registered with MMDA.
Tel: 07753616571
CHICKENS
New Forest Poultry
Large fowl in Gold, Silver, Mottled and very
rare Isabella Orpingtons, French Copper
Marans in Blue, Black, Splash and Wheaten.
Cuckoo Marans, Light and speckled Sussex,
Welsummer, Silver Laced and Lavender
Syandottas.
Large fowl. Gold, White and Black Silkies.
Hatching eggs posted, day old, 8 week old
and POL for collection.
07831 413812
newforestpoultry.co.uk
OTHER POULTRY
Japanese Quail
From day olds to adults,
Carefully reared in Cheshire.
Delivery available
07922076123
www.countryquail.co.uk
SUNNYSIDE POULTRY
Specialist Midlands suppliers of a wide range of
quality hybrid and pure bred hens and Japanese
quail. Housing, products, feed, boarding and
courses also available. Tel: 07973655963 |
sunnysidepoultry.co.uk
UK GUINEA FOWL
Miniature Donkeys
Show quality, but also adorable
pets for the family as well as for
the holiday trade.
Tel: 07963 646402
www.highfield.eu/animals
DUCKS
MOONRIDGE FARM
Domestic ducks and geese. Cayuga, Indian Runner,
Khaki Campbell, Call, Moscovy, Silver Applyard
Ducks. Embden x Toulouse, Chinese and African
geese. Hatching eggs, day olds and POL. Sexed
from day old. Nationwide delivery. Established,
experienced breeders. Free, friendly advice.
Tel: 01392 851190 | moonridgefarm.co.uk
DEVON DUCKS
Best layers: Khaki Campbell, Saxony, Large Silver
Appleyards, Indian Runners, Cayuga.
Also: Geese, Quail, Peacocks. Large and small
orders, nationwide delivery from � per address.
Tel: 01837 83839 | devonducks.co.uk
THE FARMER?S YARD PANTRY
Cherry Valley ducks and Khaki Campbells - sexed
day old/POL, both excellent laying strain. High
line brown (warrens) and black rock (original
Scottish strain) - sexed day old/POL. Plenty always
available, small or large orders welcome.
Tel: (Wales) 07492 862965
HILLVIEW DUCKS
Khaki Campbells and Cherry Valley ducks from
sexed day olds to POL. Both excellent layers from
a good laying strain. Plenty always available. Small
or large orders taken and delivery available.
Tel: (Midlands) 07999507442 | hillviewducks.co.uk
STAND OUT
and be noticed
Get this exact same size and style
box ad for for just �a month.
Phone 01499 500553 asap.
Legbars of Broadway
Cotswolds, Burford Browns (dark
brown eggs) & Cotswold Legbars (blue
eggs) & rare breed Brakels (white eggs).
Buy direct from the founder breeder.
Tel: (Broadway) 079831849036 |
legbarsofbroadway.co.uk
Hatching eggs, day olds, poults, adults, outdoor
grass reared. 12 various colours, large/small orders
and nationwide delivery from � per address.
Tel: (Devon) 01837 83839/07870113867 |
ukquineafowl.co.uk
FELSTEAD FARM ESTATE
White rheas, emus, American wild turkeys, guinea
fowl. Eggs, chicks and yearlings. Tel: (Herts) 01442
833341 | email: m.newcomb1@btinternet.com
ALLANDOO PHEASANTRY
Golden, Lady Amherst, Reeves, Silvers, Eared
Pheasants, Tragopans, Peacock Pheasants,
Himalayan Monals, Firebacks and others.
Nationwide delivery. Tel: (Scotland) 01776 870244 |
allandoopheasantry.com
PEAFOWL AND PEACOCKS
Large: Buff & Black Orpingtons, Silver Grey
Dorkings, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Copper Black
Marans, Embden Geese, Abacot Ranger Ducks.
Tel: (Lancs) 01772 634889 / 07957220206
Newholme Peafowl, Indian Blue, Pied, White, Black
shoulder, Purple, Cameo, Bronze, Peach, Opal, Java
Green. Any size orders, nationwide delivery. Feel
free to come and have a look around ? just call to
make sure we are in! Tel: (Yorks) 01430 860957
newholmefarmpeafowl.com
HONEYBOURNE SMALLHOLDING
TURKEY BREEDS
LINDA FIDDLER
POL hybrid hens, fully vaccinated. Up to 7 breeds
inc: Amber Link, Sussex Ranger, Beechwood
Blue, Pied Ranger, Rhode Rock, Calder Ranger
and Goldline. Tel: (Norfolk) 01953 451963
honeybournesmallholding.co.uk
POSH POULTRY OF EPPING
Brahmas, Marans, RIR, Orpingtons, Leghorns,
Light Sussex, Vorwerk, Lakenvelder, Silkies,
Millefleur Pekin bantams, Cream Legbars, Zingems
as well as hybrids. Hatching eggs, day old chicks,
Grower and POL. Tel (Epping) 01992 560100
poshpoultryofepping.co.uk
PEAR TREE POULTRY
11 types of hybrid hens, over 60 different pure
breedhens, ducks, pheasants, turkeys, geese, quail.
Large shop, boarding service, coures, hatching
eggs. Open 7 days a week. Based at Barton Grange
Garden Centre. Tel: (Preston) 07808661873
peartreepoultry.co.uk
Small, traditional farm turkey poults and growers.
Small White, Norfolk Black and many others.
Tel: 01829733778 | turkeybreeds.co.uk
BRUCE HOWELL WATERFOWL
Swans: Black, Black Necked, Royal Polish Mute,
Trumpeter, Whooper. Geese: Barnacle, Egyptian,
Maned, Nene, Red Breasted, Ross. Ducks: Pintails,
Teals, Wigeon, Tree Ducks, Sea Ducks.
Tel: (Dereham) 01362 668303
brucehowellwaterfowl.co.uk
CLIFF AND SUE RUDD
Exhibition geese: Sebastopol, Brecon Buff,
Franconian (Lavender), Call Ducks and German
Pekin. Also Oxford down sheep.
Tel: (Yorks) 01609 882586 | quackpots.co.uk
ANGORA GOATS
Excellent prize winning fleeces. Young stock for
sale, very reasonableprices with friendly help.
Tel: (Plymouth) 01752 880252
puslinchangoras.co.uk
PYGMY GOAT CLUB
All information about the breed, the club, joining or
buying these wonderful goats.
Tel: 01248 470244 | pygmygoatclub.org.uk
RABBITS
MEAT RABBITS
New Zealand whites for sale, Excellent meat, pelt
or pet. Mature does and bucks � each
T & S Nurseries, Near Bingham, Notts
T: Anne- 07815 938951
THIS AD WOULD COST �A MONTH
Reach your potential customer. Simply contact
us with your wording and we will do the rest.
ruth@homefarmer.co.uk | 01499 500533
SHEEP
WESTMORLAND FLOCK
Valais Blacknosed sheep. Bred from Swiss direct
imports. A choice of quality ram lambs and
gimmer/ewe lambs. Tel: (Cumbria) 07521973039
valaisblacknosedsheepwestmoreland.com
PEDIGREE BABYDOLL SOUTHDOWN
Attractive, teddy-bear faces, white or chocolate.
Please ring for further information.
Tel: (Shrops) 07980467240
email: vmhammon5@aol.com
PEDRAN POULTRY
PIGS
ALLANDALE POULTRY
PEDIGREE MANGALITZA
Golden Hamburgs, Silver Spangled Hamburgs,
Silkies, Buff Orpingtons, Cream Legbars,
Welsummers and Runner ducks D/O to POL.
Prize winning stock. Tel: (Allandale) 07802591860
Large Black, Osford Sandy and Black ? weaners for
sale, wormed, tagged, starter feed bag. Boars for
hire. Tel: (Northants) 07855814362
email: rhiannon@sylphfurniture.co.uk
CHICKS, CHUCKS AND MUCKY DUCKS
OXFORD SANDY AND BLACK
supplier and breeder of good quality chickens
and ducks. Female chicks, ducklings to POL inc.
Marans, Light Sussex, Aylesbury, Khaki, Runner and
Calls. All stock guaranteed. Onsite shop selling feed
and accessories. Holiday boarding also available.
Tel: (South West) 07833647140
Pygmy Goats, Hybrid POL hens, bantams. Also
Alpacas, Jacob/Ouessant Sheep and manufacturers
of animal housin
Документ
Категория
Журналы и газеты
Просмотров
13
Размер файла
28 950 Кб
Теги
journal, Home Farmer Magazine
1/--страниц
Пожаловаться на содержимое документа