more images

i've finally found some time to post up more images, covering spring and summer this year

turning to the sun

if only all plants were as wonderful as the jerusalem artichoke



where else would you get: a cut flower, a seasonal windbreak, endless kilos of compostable material, delicious food?



and i love their contrariness....neither from Jerusalem nor an artichoke, but a sunflower, originally named Girasole after the italian for 'sunflower', originally meaning 'turning to the sun', and linguistic laziness took its course



ridiculously high in potassium, iron, fibre, niacin, thiamine, phosphorus and copper, and a wonderfully tasty source of carbohydrate, jerusalem artichokes are enjoying something of a revival....but there is, of course, their reputation for digestive disturbance....English planter John Goodyer, in Gerard's Herbal 1621: "which waysoever they be dressed and eaten, they stir and cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body, thereby causing the belly to be pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine than men"...perhaps Mr Goodyer spent a tad too much time near the dressing up box as a child, but there's no getting away from their guffgiving qualities , if not quite up there with Iceland Muesli

the problem for some lies in the inability of our starch-digesting enzymes to break down the carbohydrate (inulin)...only in the colon does bacteria begin to metabolise the starch which releases carbon dioxide and (more pertinently) methane....fortunately the more frequently you eat them the more effectively the body deals with the starch: not only cause for celebration (unless you are male and between the ages of 6 and 16), but an invitation to eat more of this most underrated of vegetables



steam rather than boil, make soup, crisps or the finest risotto you'll ever eat

statastic

an amazing 6375 unique visits made to the website in july

more than the average on fridays...

szechuan pepper

it might sounds like stating the obvious, but when you rub the leaves of the szechuan pepper plant you can really tell the impact it's had on much of china's cooking, same goes (for their respective cooking) for the nepalese and japanese pepper we also grow



hot (nibble a peppercorn as small as you can), with a background of lemon...a real winner

history

away from all the attention of the climate change crops, the Devon orchard is doing better than anywhere on the holding this year...the rain, the sun, then rain, then sun, suit its mix of local apples, plums and sorbs perfectly



every variety is completely different

this may sound obvious, almost stupid to be mentioned, but i mean really different...undoing a lifetime of supermarket banality....it's not just a nice apple, it's a characterful apple, more so, a characterful hoary morning apple....applenamer, must've been the best job in the world until Sun-headline-writer came along

monbiot, on the button as ever

thinking too hard

anthony wilson has died

Speaking before he died a few weeks ago, Wilson reflected on life and death....

"I used to joke in my early 50s that I'd had such a fantastic life, I'd be happy to die,"



"And then suddenly, I find some other reasons for living and just like get excited again about life when it comes along. So that was slightly annoying. I think I was a lord of my own presumption for thinking I'd be happy to die"



Somehow related, is the feeling i have since the arrival of the smallest smallholder... I get afraid that all this happiness in doing what we're doing, the complete sense of satisfaction (while, perversely, never being completely satisfied), the removal of that endless buzz of looking for whatever it was I was looking for, will call in some dreadful levelling...not a tragedy - nothing so grand, just a return to a dullness, to lack of 'a point'....maybe I'm afraid of having to get a job

Go to Otter Farm | by Mark D