Doing it Together

| 18th May 2019

One of the things I love most about Hen Corner is that we share our hobbies and passions for sustainable living with so many other wonderful people.

Recently I’ve spent some time with my friend Elsa who is really living my dream! I know her originally through our Bee Keepers Association and was quick to discover that not only is she a dab hand at making preserves, but she also keeps chickens in her back garden. However, I’m really rather jealous that she has been able to take self sufficiency even further by rearing some larger animals for meat. She is fortunate to live close to Horsenden Farm in Perivale and last year kept both billy goats and pigs in the beautiful woodlands around the farm. This year she has eight pigs, Tamworths above and Gloucester Old Spot/Berkshire cross breeds in the picture at the bottom of the page

When we first bought the house at the corner of the street from our friends, on completion day as Ruth handed me the keys, she said ‘Share the garden, please share the garden’ and I promised that I would, not wanting to take for granted the extra space that we now had. Little did either of us know then that we would go on to welcome around 400 guests a year as they join us on courses, schools visits or pop in to buy bread from the bakery each Friday. We plan ahead for school holidays to ensure that there are always family sessions that little ones can join in with, learning new skills and discovering more about where our food comes from.

If you’ve been on one of our bread courses or bought our bakes on a Friday, you will know that Katie and I trained as Bread Angels back in 2015. We are proud to be part of a network that has angels around the world making Real Bread available to our local communities. A few times a year, we try to get together for encouragement, training and bread tastings. Here, the founding angel, Jane Mason, is demonstrating how to get those lovely big holes in ciabatta… yum!

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist another piggy photo… There’s many more of these to come 🙂

Other news:

  • Our bees are doing well, we have three new queens heading up gentle colonies, let’s hope they can build up to a good size giving us a bountiful honey harvest
  • I spent a couple of days up on the Welbeck Estate for an Ice Cream course with Kitty Travers at the School of Artisan Food, I’ve been happily churning frozen treats since
  • When a primary school in Kensington discovered their honey bees swarming last week, I was happy to help collect them (from 4m up a tree) and am looking after them until the school are ready to have them back

Jobs for the week:

  • Pack up the hens for the annual Syon House Schools Day with Countryside Learning, all 300 primary school pupils will have the opportunity to #HugAHen
  • Partner with London Sustainability Exchange for the first of our Brentford Together sessions helping local people create delicious nutritious meals from local seasonal ingredients
  • Hunt out a good supply of local elderflowers to make another year’s worth of cordial

How are you enjoying the longer days of Spring?


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1 comment

Emily 18th May 2019 at 10:05 pm

Eight pigs! Go Elsa!


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