30 November 2013

14 November 2013

What to forage in November - Sloes

Now is the perfect time to pick blackthorn/sloes for making into sloe gin. The frost will have softened the skin slightly, unfortunately they are still as lip puckeringly sour. Recipes vary from half the weight of sugar to sloes to a more reasonable couple of spoonfuls (remember its easier to make it sweeter than less so later on). Stab the fruit (in revenge perhaps) put in a wide necked bottle add sugar to taste and fill up with gin. The longer you leave it to infuse the better.

Remember to wear stout gloves as the thorns are strong enough to puncture tractor tyres, but the idea that a scratch from a blackthorn is more likely to become infected than other kinds of trees is a myth.

The leftover fruit from a empty bottle are delicious dipped in chocolate.

11 November 2013

21 October 2013


Horrible but thought provoking.

20 October 2013

Apple Pressing

Miserable weather but a good turnout of people with bagfuls of lovely apples for pressing. Sophie Wheldon from Wheldons Fruit Farm was with us and did a wonderful job identifying mystery apples. They have their own Apple Day next Saturday. Had a good writeup in the EADT and another local paper was there so fingers crossed.

Mystery red fleshed apple the stumped Sophie

Two people needed even with a little person turning the handle

Red apples made the tastiest and prettiest juice of the day

14 October 2013

What to Forage in October - Walnuts

Not all walnuts are created equal

 There is a house in Melford Road ( just past the vets) with a huge box of walnuts for sale at 50p a bag. There are also some for sale in the health food shop. The trouble with making a map of good foraging spots is people seem to be using it! Having to buy walnuts is outrageous.

Swap Shop

Chelmsford Local Food Market

7 October 2013

Farmers Market Pop Up Shop

Just received this from Suffolk Market Events (who run our fabulous farmers market).

For Eight Weeks Only!

Our Pop Up Producers Shop will open every Tuesday & Thursday from October 22nd

At Kersey Mill, Suffolk, IP7 6DP

Our Pop Up Producers Shop is going to be more than just a shop. As well as selling some of the very best local produce, all made by small scale producers within 50 miles of Kersey, we will also bring in the producer!

Every Tuesday one of our invited producers will be holding  FREE demonstrations all about cooking the food you love to eat. Plus we'll have a fantastic Pop Up Tea/Coffee Shop courtesy of Hope & Glorious Vintage which means slabs of good cake will be on the menu too!

Below are details of the first two weeks and there's lots more to follow! We are asking people to book a slot so if either (or both!) of  these take your fancy, please contact Suffolk Market Events and we'll reserve you a space, all free of charge. The actual demos will take place at 12pm and 2pm and they will last about 30 minutes.

Tuesday October 22nd
Duncan Parry, Chef & Founder of Stour Valley Smokery
Preparing a sumptuous Christmas Eve Smoked Platter using tapenades, olives & smoked salmon.
Either arrive at 11am for a special 2 for 1 offer on mid morning coffee & cake followed by a 30 minute demo and then enjoy the delights of Duncan's Smoked Platter or arrive at 2pm for the demo followed by tastings before enjoying a delicious Cream Tea 2 for 1 offer.

Tuesday October 29th
Carl Shillingford, chef, forager & owner of Seasonal Suffolk
This a real treat! If you have ever wondered what foraging is all about then here's your chance to find out. Arrive at Kersey Mill at 9am when you can join Carl on a morning forage (and you can have a special peek inside the mill). At 11am you can have morning coffee and cake (2 for 1 offer) before Carl shows you how to make delicious mushroom pate using your foraged finds.
If you would prefer not to do the walk then just arrive at 2pm for a second demo and treat yourself to afternoon tea instead!

These are just for starters! Over the next eight weeks we will be preparing fresh game, making choux pastry and Christmas puddings, tasting wines and weaving willow and it's all free of charge! All you need to do is contact Suffolk Market Events to book your place and then turn up!

Come along, meet the producers, taste some gorgeous food, learn something new and even eat cake!!

22 September 2013

What to forage in September - Hazel nuts

Found a tree that is dropping delicious thin shelled nuts all over the pavement at the junction of Acton Lane and Waldingfield Road.

Also a pitiful if tasty harvest of beech mast, when peeled they taste like a slightly oily sweet chestnut.

19 September 2013

What to forage in September - Elderberries

Plentiful juicy elderberries this year, really easy crop to process just strip the berry off the stalk with a fork.

Cook with sugar and a little water. When cooked add to apple for use in crumbles and pies or reduce down to syrup (excellent for keeping winter colds at bay).

24 August 2013

Grow Local, Buy Local, Eat Local

Sudbury residents are being encouraged to take up the challenge of only eating food produced within 30 miles of the town in September.
The 30-Mile Food Challenge will be launched at Sudbury's farmers market on Friday 30 August, when Transition Sudbury and District will have a stand promoting the initiative from 9.30am outside St Peter's Church. There will be a raffle with prizes donated by local shops and producers including a food hamper from Health Foods for You, Lavenham Brook Sparkling Wine 2010 and vouchers from the Rafi's Spicebox, The Suffolk Venison Larder and Seasonal Suffolk.  

 The group will be handing out free calendars and stickers for children to record what they have eaten during September and there will be a competition to win a £10 voucher for Ice Cream from Hadley's Dairy Products.
 The challenge is part of a Suffolk-wide movement, organised by Transition groups, to encourage people to source their food and drink locally to benefit local farmers and producers and support the associated distribution and retail jobs.  The group will have details of where items can be purchased to make it as easy as possible to take part.
This keeps our money in our local economy, and reduces food miles and carbon emissions. Local food is often fresher and has less packaging.
But don't worry - you can take three non-local items such as tea, bananas and chocolate to keep you going during the local food challenge!
Many Suffolk towns are taking part, including Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Woodbridge, Bungay, Saxmundham and Halesworth, and there is a whole series of events being put on, including tasting weekends, cookery courses, farm visits, pickling and bottling and bread-making workshops, picnics and meals supporting local food.

Sudbury Transition group is organising a 'bring and share' local food lunch on Saturday 21 September. If you would like to come along, please get in touch with Jane Hatton on 01787 468634.

To find out more, please visit http://30milefood.transitionipswich.org.uk/  and click on 'Local Groups' for Sudbury, or for a leaflet detailing events and producers, please contact Jane Hatton on 01787 468634 j.hatton@btinternet.com or visit Sudbury Tourist Information in the town centre.

Ideas for your 30 Mile Food Challenge shopping

Meat and Fish

Lavenham Brook Beef and Lamb, Brent Eleigh, CO10 9PB Lamb is seasonally on sale from August and on through the winter. Fresh beef is on sale at the farm from the first Saturday of every month. Frozen beef available at all times.
Seasonal Suffolk Terrines and pates, smokehouse, foraged goods and country meals can be ordered online and also visits local markets and events check the website.
The Suffolk Venison Larder – Range of locally shot venison 01787 375513
Bowyers Beef, Pentlow, CO10 7JN They pride themselves on the high quality of their beef . Being locally reared, it is also fully traceable available online.
Beer, Wine and Cider
Mauldons, Sudbury, CO10 2YA. From their micro brewery in Sudbury, they produce traditional bitters, stouts, and porters.
Available from The Brewer Tap, East Street Sudbury and some retailers.
The Felstar Brewery, Felstead, Essex, CM6 3JT. All ales are brewed on the premises using traditional methods available direct and local retailers.
Growler Brewery, Pentlow, Essex, Co10 7JJ. available in local retailers.
Lavenham Brook Wine, Brent Eleigh, CO10 9PB Wine from the 2009, 2010 and 2012 vintages won gold medals in the UK Vineyard Association ‘Wine of the Year’ awards. Available online.
Mill Green Brewery and Castling Heath Cottage Cidery, Edwardstone, CO10 5PX. Crafters of flavoursome and unique real ales that have distinct character from this eco brewery. available from the Fleece Hotel, Boxford and The White Horse, Edwardstone.
Fruit and Veg

Wash Farm Sible Hedingham,Essex CO93RH. The farm is not a large, intensive operation supplying the supermarkets, but a small family farm selling direct to the public. Sweetcorn and Autumn lamb will be in season for collection from the the farm.

Willow Farm Potash Lane, Polstead Heath, CO6 5DL. Farm gate sales of apples, plums and pears etc also PYO.

Wheldons Fruit Farm Newton Leys,Sudbury, CO10 0QE. store is open 7 days a week, from 10a.m. – 5p.m. We stock a good range of seasonal vegetables and are trying a range of mainly British cheese (including Suffolk Gold). We have discovered an excellent local butcher who is supplying us with locally sourced meat. We use our own fruit to make traditional jams, conserves, chutney, pies and puddings. In addition we stock local products such as honey, apple juice and fruit ice creams.

Spencers Farm Shop Wickham St.Pauls, Essex, CO92PX. Fruit Farm established 35 years ago, with Pick Your Own Fruit and vegetables according to seasonal availability.
Our Coffee Shop is open seven days a week, while in our Farm Shop we have over 900 specialist foods - locally sourced wherever possible.

Eggs and Dairy

Little Greys Farm, Little Cornard, Sudbury, CO10 0PF. All sorts of eggs available from the farm gate goose, duck and chicken for the less adventurous, you can even hear the geese in the background.

Hadleys Dairy Products, Colne Engaine, Essex, CO6 2HU fabulous ice creams and sorbets available from local farm shops.

11 August 2013

Updated foraging map

The map has been updated with lots of new finds. Its at the bottom of the page. Lots of cherries still to pick and the blackberries at the agribulk compound are almost ready.

If you can't see the map click here   http://tinyurl.com/foragingmap

13 July 2013

Foraging cherries

Serried cherries

 Been foraging for cherries over the last two days - picked seven and a half pounds of mainly black but some white cherries. They are delicious fresh but even I cannot eat that many so have constructed a drier to make cherryanas (cherry/sultanas).

 There are lots left if you can beat me there. Trees are on the approach track to Chilton Church and opposite outside Lavenham Leisure. Happy picking.

10 July 2013

Uncontroversial carbon offsetting

A lot has been written about carbon offsetting over the last few years (rather than rehash the arguments, a comprehensive critique can be found here) needless to say any industry that was worth an estimated $576 Million in 2011 (1) will be attractive to the slickest of snake oil salesmen.

To many, offsets appear  to be more a salve to our conscience than a functioning response to the problem. As Kevin Anderson, from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research put it;

Offsetting is a dangerous delaying technique because it helps us avoid tackling the task [of dealing with climate change]… It helps us sleep well at night when we shouldn’t sleep well at night” (2).

However I do believe that a 'Transitiony' response to offsetting focused on the individual and local environment, rather than some pay-to-forget business, could go some way to negate the little unavoidable carbon expenditures of everyday life.

Take for example-

the eminently recyclable aluminium cans discarded on the street, that the  council collect up  with all the other rubbish to go to landfill. Recycling these otherwise binned cans would then save 130g co2 per can by another not having to be produced from virgin material. This doesn't sound like a lot but its enough for 0.6 miles in an average small car.

Want to fly to New York? That will be 9000 cans first. (picture wikipedia)

  1. Smith, K (2007) 'The Carbon neutral myth – Offset indulgences for your climate sins' Carbon Trade Watch.

25 June 2013

12 June 2013

Kingfisher beds

Edible and Biodiversity beds have now been planted up at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre.

11 June 2013

Wheat Update

Wheat coming along nicely.

6 June 2013

Sourdough Bread

To be able to do the rapidly growing wheat justice, I've started to bake sourdough bread using this recipe (minus the rhubarb in the starter). After a few attempts that could at be best described as 'robust' the last few bakes have turned out loaves that are quite passable.  

sourdough starter
from this

to this

1 June 2013

Film Screening

Date: 24/06/2013

Time: 19:00

Venue: The Quay Theatre, Sudbury

Join us to celebrate Co-operatives Fortnight with a FREE screening of the Rochdale Pioneers. A film by the British Youth Film Academy about the birth of co-operation.

During the evening there will be the opportunity to find out more about co-operation in your area. After the film there will be a short presentation by Transition Sudbury & District and you can find out how you can become involved in helping make your local community a better place.

Booking essential. Please follow the link below

Contact Number: 01908 361500

28 May 2013

19 April 2013

Local Loaf Project

First shoots from Spring planted wheat varieties Damant, Meteor and Paragon (supplied by The Brockwell Bake). If the pigeons keep off  I'll take it from seed to bread over the year (hopefully).

CDs on string, not just for the tin foil hat brigade.

16 April 2013

Carbon Omissions

 The truth about the UK's Carbon emissions.

29 March 2013

14 March 2013

What is Transition?

Modern lifestyles have developed from twin fallacies, the cheap and infinite availability of finite resources and the limitless ability of the planet to absorb our waste.
Governments know the graveness of the situation but choose to do little, knowing that the choices offered would render parties unelectable.

The impetus is on communities, we can either wait for catastrophe to strike or do something to lessen the blow.