Town and Country

| 10th August 2013
The school holidays are well underway and we have been enjoying time together both in the town and the country. Since our last post I’ve heard that I passed my British Bee Keepers Basic Assessment, we’ve had some surgery done to our trees in the town and escaped to the country for some wild camping!

Jenks WokinghamShort back and sides…

We’ve lived here at Hen Corner for five years now and, as the corner plot, we have three neighbours; the homes either side of us and a secondary school wrapping around two sides of the garden. Previous owners of the house, we know the last two families, planted a row of Leylandi trees to hide some of the nearby school buildings; the mother of one of our daughters classmates grew up in this house and she remembers them being planted at just 2ft high. By last month they had reached about 30ft, so we brought in the team from Jenks of Wokingham to bring them down by a third and trim a Silver Birch that had branches swaying a bit close to some power lines. The last owners of the house planted a little Bay tree in the corner of the kitchen garden which had since grown taller than our house, so this was brought down to size as well! As I like to use bay leaves in many of my recipes, I asked them to leave the removed branches so that I could pick the leaves off to dry for the kitchen. I confess that I was rather too ambitious in this aim, needless to say, I have more than enough stored for friends, family and beyond and have bagged up the remainder for green waste recycling!

Campfire BreakfastFull English for Fifty…

We were really thrilled to have been invited by our friends Matt & Esther to join their friends at a very special Wild Camp called The Village in Edenbridge last month. The vision was to draw people together from all walks of life for a sense of community, rest and encouragement.

Join in –  Bonfires, barbecues, singalongs, swimming, and old-fashioned fun for the kids.

Muck in – Everyone lends a hand; wood chopping, water carrying, pot washing, etc. Here is some of my cooked breakfast; we discovered it was easier to cook 50 rashers of bacon on the campfire grill than in frying pans on gas stoves…

Chip in – We contributed what we could to help cover costs.

With no electricity, lights or water supply we went back to basics with daily swims in the river, dinner by candle light and the most fantastic wood chip toilet; this year housed in a garden shed! We had the most wonderful time, thanks Jeremy and Esther, and hope we get invited back next year…

A Slice of Organic LifeBook of the Blog Post:

A Slice of Organic Life: Get closer to the soil without going the whole hog

Edited by Sheherazade Goldsmith

Whether you live in the town or country, this is an inspiring book that gives step by step tips for everyone to grab a slice of a more sustainable life. The first chapter is for those without a garden and the last is for those with access to a field! In true Dorling Kindersley style, the photographs are delicious and the content is accessible. So whether you want to make your own cordials or milk your own cow, this book is a great starting point.

This book is available with many of our other favourites books from the Hen Corner Shop!

Other News:

  • We’ve been delighted to read some of our recent course reviews
  • The Jellied Eel, London’s magazine for Ethical Eating published this lovely article about us
  • At a recent photo shoot for a London magazine we took off a frame of dark toffee honey; the girls must have found some sweet chestnut!

Jobs for next week:

  • Keep collecting the eggs, not so many at the moment as many of the girls are moulting
  • Check on the bees as one of the new queens has died/gone, can they raise another one in time and will she mate well?
  • Support the cucumbers and melons as their fruits continue to swell

Have a good week yourself…Hen logo good

Join us on the Journey!


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