pollenating

last evening was one of those warm sunny evenings when everyone was out





peach rising

fibre optic flowers

in the same way that all meat you've never tried is supposed to taste of chicken, unusual untasted fruit is apparently a mix of pineapple and strawberry - maybe i'll get to tell if the pineapple guava is the exception this year - flowers everywhere on the young trees

flowering artichokes

nice not to eat all of everything

free space

creating hedges of edible species gets you the odd bonus - taking up none of the main growing room, it amounts to a 'free' harvest



rosa rugosa rosehips ripening - jelly from the windbreak

on the way

over half a kilo yesterday, 120g the day before that, 400g today

fresh, english apricots

the smell is incredible - forget the ones you buy, the difference in taste is like that between juice and squash

and i'm one fifth of the way towards winning my bet

a different kind of air travel

'food miles' is not the great food salvation from climate change - yes, it's nudged through the door into our everyday lives, and done obvious wonders in re-establishing our connection with producers, but the impact our food makes from plot to plate is about way more than just the journey itself

let's be clear, the whole transportation of our food amounts to just 13% of food related greenhouse gases....the use of artificial fertilisers, for example, hits the atmosphere twice as hard but for whatever reasons noone seems to want to talk about anything other than food miles - but i'm afraid someone has to, and that dubious responsibility has fallen to your correspondent



step forward an unlikely culprit....cow wind, yes friends, cow wind

pardon the l'oreal moment, but here's the science bit

- 1.4 billion ruminants graze the world - that's about 1 bolus botherer to every 4 people
- each cow parps out 70-100kg of methane a year*
- methane is a greenhouse gas 21 times more powerful than CO2

that adds up to a whole lot of wind - and in the context of climate change, a real silent but deadly

putting that into an understandable currency, each of these cud-crunching creatures gives off the equivalent of driving 4000 miles in the average car....quite amazing, and what it actually implies is that in most cases it is greener to keep your grass short by mowing than have cattle graze it

shame that by a cruel twist of nature (given its constituents) we can't press charcoal biscuits into service to alleviate the frequent fearful flattus



clearly we can't do away with all our four-stomached friends....cattle in particular are the centre of subsistence farming in many parts of the world, essential for the survival of many...but here in the cosy developed world, our consumption of beef and dairy is extraordinarily high, and entirely out of proportion with what we need

looking at it another way - it takes about 9x the energy of the food itself to get our average supper to the table, and meat is just about the king of the hill when it comes to energy inefficiency....while each of these regurgitating ruminatia converts it's food into meat it uses up 96% of the energy of that diet in doing so - a startling 4% comes our way as burgers, brisket and brescaola

add that to the vast production of gastronomic greenhouse gases, and it doesn't become difficult to piece together a pretty reasonable case for reducing our beef and dairy consumption....wherever it comes from


* sheep = 7kg of methane a year

someone's got to do it

increasingly i'm asked why i don't write more about climate change on the blog - i think it's partly because i have a tendancy to assume people know enough about it anyway, and partly because it can be dreadfully boring to quack on

that said, the laughable popularity of offsetting* puts paid to the first of my assumptions, and given that things maybe even more pressing than we thought i think i'll just have to risk the second

so here goes, and with some reluctance, i think it's time for an occasional series of maybe a dozen steps to eating our way to a healthier planet...oh dear, registering a bit high on the sting-ometer already



* i won't get myself started on offsetting, but if you still think it's a good idea, check this out

Go to Otter Farm | by Mark D