and i nearly didnt go

the independent, the telegraph, bbc breakfast, itv news, radios 2 and 4, the washington post, radio new zealand...and on it goes

now a senator from california wants to talk climate change with me on his next visit

quite a week



then an invitation to richard and judy...live tv, not the printed word, the prerecorded, the rehearsed

id like to report that it was laughable, that they were ridiculous, itd be a better story...but it wasnt and they werent

an hour talking food with gennaro contaldo before the show
talking specialist producers with jo the food buyer from harrods
after, talking about cornwalls fruit heritage with the interested and lovely hosts and hearing how their acres of planting are helping to preserve so many of the vanishing local varieties near their cornwall home

and 2 million-odd more people knew about otter farm at 5.27 than at 5.20

complete fun

cv

name: phaecelia
address: the new mixed orchard



occupation: attracting bees

skills: offering the perfect home to aphid eating stages of syrphids like the hoverfly, fixing nitrogen to feed the soil, accumulating minerals in my tissues, acting as a living ground cover to choke out the weeds, and acting as a decomposing mulch to feed and warm the roots of neighbouring fruit trees through winter



personal statement: im a tall, slender but leafy, purple flowering annual currently working in the position of 'green manure' due to my nitrogen fixing, mineral accumulating skills



why do you think we should give you this job?: because while the olives grab all the headlines, i intend to work quietly away achieving a dozen jobs around the farm giving you more time to sit down with a beer

a new view

one of the very greatest pleasures in trying to do something a little different here is when someone else gets it...when someone sees beyond the sticks in the mud and sees trees as theyll become - umbrellaed with fruit, sees the plane of red when only the first red clover leaves are just poking through



for the second time in a month someone who sees that way has visited to write about it, suspending the weather, the long grass, the time, the need for a cuppa, and imagines it as it will be...i get to listen

it may be all about the now, the species, the habitats, the detail or the long view...each persons futureview is different but it takes me out of my stale view and refreshes the place in my mind, and in a quiet inspirational way puts a footprint down in the form of new ideas that may otherwise not have taken place

it makes me carry on with it when im low on cash, energy, inspiration or belief that itll work

a huge huge thank you

wild

sun then storms then sun and although the plants quite decide if its spring or summer, things are starting to burst

and then there were 9

id forgot how furious i get with the sow



she can stand on the head of her young, squealing, and not notice...you hear the shreaks and run from whatever part of the field youre busy in, pound the side of the ark or her backside to get her angry and running at you, whatever it takes to move her

but you cant be there night and day

6 dead in 24 hours

48 hours later and no more have gone, so perhaps the rest will survive

two minutes old

a once a year sized storm and everything goes slightly peculiar...the clovers germinated, the peaches visibly swollen overnight, a last lamb which must have been conceived the day the ram left, and our second ever litter of saddlebacks...fifteen, all feeding well



id better get back out there

olive extract

click to listen to the food programme - otter farm extract



broadcast sunday 4 june/monday 5 june 2006

food special

the independent on sunday



this sunday

a little ignorance

if I told you that i knew about the sun and the moon id be untrue
i wanna make it wit chu - desert sessions



its interesting being asked a range of unknown questions by an interviewer...it made me aware of some aspects of all of this that i hadnt really appreciated

i hadnt allowed myself to take on the blinkered research ive carried out - nor realised the degree to which i have very little idea of how the science of climate change really supports or blows apart what im trying to do...i havent contacted the hadley institute - that world centre of climate change knowledge just up the road

instead ive come at it the other way, from the plant rather than the weather - ive trusted the growers and their experiences and followed my own hunches

maybe my ignorance has taken me into something thats doomed to failure or perhaps it has given something unlikely the chance to occur

Go to Otter Farm | by Mark D