Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Home-Pressed Apple Juice, Llanerchaeron, Ethical Trading, Last 2 Lab. Puppies

The Farmer has been harvesting our apple crop in the last few days. The ancient trees in our old orchard have produced as well as ever, though the apples of this particular tree are not good keepers, so the Farmer has contrived an apple press and is juicing them all, bottling the juice and then freezing it. We then have fresh apple juice all throught winter and delicious it is too.

At the weekend the Farmer & I attended a open day event at Llanerchaeron, the National Trust house near Aberaeron, where we had been asked to man a stand on behalf of FACE, the organisation for Farming & Countryside Education. We were there to talk to the public about visiting farms with school groups and how accessible many farms are now to the public and to encourage people to make the connections between food & farming. That all sounds a bit earnest but its just a matter of engaging people in conversation, at which the Farmer is very good.
We had our stand in a rather draughty pole barn along side a man making horn-handled walking sticks, a pen of Angora goats and some Llanwenog sheep.
There were displays of bee-keeping & saddlery, a wonderful plant stall where I purchased some very healthy looking box plants and the most inspirational walled gardens to wander around, with very old espaliered apple trees, box-edged vegetable and herb plots and fish ponds, all to be found through faded creaking doors in high walls that just ask to be opened and the horticultural treasures to be revealed.

Yesterday we attended a meeting with representatives of the Soil Association, OMScO & Yeo Valley Organics to discuss  Ethical Trading. An interesting debate ensued as ethical trading is as much a part of organic production as the non-use of pesticides (there is a Soil Association Ethical Trading standard) and needs to made as visible to the consumer as Fairtrade has become. Like Fairtrade, ethical trading reaches right along the production line from the farmer/grower to the retailer. Everyone, from the farmer to the consumer should benefit from ethical trading whether they farm or shop organically and it is further reassurance to the consumer that their food has been produced sustainably.

We are now down to just 2 puppies...2 dear little black bitches who are so naughty and so endearing.
Their siblings have all gone off without a backward glance to their new homes with their adoring new families and I'm sure are giving them huge fun.
Homes will turn up for these remaining two I'm sure, in the next few days, though the Farmer has been heard to say that if they don't it's okay, we'll just keep them on and train them, though I must admit the prospect of 4 Labradors around the place is fairly daunting!

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