Whilst we haven't really had many rainy days, we did the ultimate rainy day activity - we completed our jigsaw of our beautiful design work that our friend Vanessa Stone has created for us. Lots of people have asked about her when they pick up our fliers. Do have a look at her website here.
Finally, don't miss an opportunity to have your own fun on our farm next Wednesday. We have our first Open Farm Event - details here. Expect farm tours, trampolining, apple pressing, pop-up farm shop with ethical clothing on the side, the Colchester and Ipswich sling library in residence, and much more!
It was the first pressing of season. Discovery and Scrumptious doing their very delicious thing. We have invested in a hydraulic press which is incredibly efficient and a wonder of physics, if physics gets your wonderment going.....
We will be helping the RSBP run an apple day at Flatford Mill RSPB garden on Sunday 24th September. We will have this machine working hard for us all day. Save the date!
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We have so much news but such terrible internet (who'd like to guess the company? - apparently the next slot for an engineer is 4th September.....). Rebecca is currently writing this in a Costa in Colchester with very wet feet and 100 emails to answer.
So for now three things:
1. Please sign up for our mailing list as we will be sharing our lovely new logo with you with a free prize giveaway and everything. We promise it will be completely worth it.
2. If you are London way come and stop by the Growing Communities Organic Market in Stoke Newington on Saturday - we'll be there with plums galore, discovery apples, courgette relish (#spicy), greengage jam, gooseberry cake (thanks Marina for freezing some gooseberries for us) and much more besides.
3. Here's a film of how much fun we're having. It's a John Deere come true.
While Daddy was away, we went to the Stoke Newington Organic Market: www.growingcommunities.org/market. We all had to be very responsible and carry our own snacks and water. We had to take an overground train, underground and a bus. It was quite scary at Kings Cross as there were so many people. We held other's hands very tightly. There was a tricky moment at Liverpool Street because Mummy didn't know where the bus stop was.
We went to the market because in August we are moving to a farm in Essex and it will be US going to the market with all our fruit. So we went to see how Marina does it. We tried the strawberries, raspberries, elderflower cordial and even the gooseberries and blackcurrants which were very sour.
There is a really big park behind the church with bars to swing on and a slide. There is also a labyrinth in the grass which we ran around and we did lots of flips on the bars.
After all that hard work we walked into Stoke Newington and had AMAZING ice-creams on deck chairs. Dee-licious.
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Marina gave us gooseberries! They are amazing. We have been overwhelmed by Marina and Mark's generosity of spirit, knowledge and harvest. Although perhaps we should not be surprised as permaculture is all about connections and relationships.
"The core of the principles is the working relationships and connections between all things.” Juliana Birnbaum Fox
Nothing is going to stop when they leave and we arrive. Nature will keep doing its thing and hopefully we will keep the flow going. This will undoubtedly be thanks in great part to them passing us the baton with such care.
So we made gooseberry and almond cake. The bottom right picture is this year's gooseberries at the Growing Communities Saturday market and we have high hopes about bringing glorious, fruity baked treats to the market from August onwards to sell alongside the freshly picked fruit.
It went down a treat at our big father's day feast this evening, eaten al fresco in our Hertfordshire garden.
We think it needs more gooseberries so we will be making batch 2 next weekend to take over to Mark and Marina's to get their seal of approval when we next visit. We are contemplating adding ginger although the gooseberries are so tart and delicious we might just make them sing for themselves.
Here is the cake, still bubbling fresh out of the over.
We're basically getting a bit ahead of ourselves but we have heard from so many of you who want to come and stay. So we have already lined up a bell tent to add to the two caravans that are on site. If you are itching to come and visit from mid August, drop us a line! There is a bit more here about accommodation and ways of visiting and using the facilities.
We will be very ok with fire pits.
We will be extremely happy for people to visit with children (as long as they play with ours and stay out of the pond).
We will be extremely happy for people to come and pick apples!
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Meanwhile, still in Hertfordshire, we have mixed up our veg beds this year to develop more poly culture growing spaces in the garden. Broad beans at the back with climbing sweet pea, peas and onions in the middle, radishes and lettuces at the front and flowers and herbs in the gaps. It's a little bit weedy, it's a bit self sown (lettuces left to go to seed from last year and a few strawberries for good measure) but it's very productive and wonderful on the eye. Here's lunch!
We went running and walking in the Dedham countryside. We found caterpillars, butterflies, dragonflies and fish. Grandad was the fastest runner.
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Elderflower cordial! Need we say more? Perfect sun, perfect summer scents, perfect day off just at the right time.
It's a serious business.
Two days of waiting. Let the magic begin.
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