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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Doing my bit for the environment

I had prepared another childhood memories post about schooldays since this week all the children seem to be going back to school but it was a bit on the long side and I thought you'd probably not be that interested in settling down to read 5000 words and that something less wordy might be better so here goes...... 

I recently signed up for a weekly vegetable box (actually a bag in our case and you'll be pleased to learn that the bag is used to line our under sink bin and not tossed away) from a local farm whose produce we have been buying regularly at farmers' markets and at the farm gate too.  This was today's offering -all organic and mostly grown locally on the farm with the carrots coming the furthest being from a farm in Devon - see the lovely red earth still clinging to them?!  The invoice that accompanies the selection has the dates of all the local farmers' markets at which they will be along with an article written by the farmer's wife and also a poem - this week's article was about consuming less and whether or not economic growth requires us to consume more and if so at what cost to the environment and the poem was Unharvested by Robert Frost (last week's was Ode to Autumn by Keats - I think this is a lovely touch don't you?

Lunch today was a cauliflower/courgette/broccoli and carrot cheese with wholemeal scone topping and very nice it was too and the air miles involved - zero!  It made a pleasant change not to have runner beans as a vegetable today!!!

I got this book from the library  on Monday and have enjoyed reading the essays as well as looking at the patterns but it seems it is not easy being green not even when it comes to knitting which might be seen as the ultimate green past-tme using only a couple of sticks and no energy other than that of the knitter!

Is it better to use cotton which is produced using tons of pesticides but which will rot down when the garment is no longer needed?  Is wool the best option but then think of the noxic chemicals that sheep are regularly dunked in to prevent fly strike and so on.  If you were able to obtain organic yarns what would they have been dyed with even vegetable dyes usually require some sort of chemicals as mordants to endure the dye takes to the yarn.  I wonder if it is possible to be green in the twenty first century - we can't go back to the stone age and even if we could would we really wish to do so?

Love this little teddy with a buttoned back so that you can insert a rice filled bag warmed in the microwave (but is a microwave a green option or not and would the rice be organic?!)  I guess what it all boils down to is doing the best we can in whatever small ways we can and hoping for the best!  So I will continue to support local farms with my veggie box and will use up the yarns I already have rather than go out and buy eco-friendly (or not) ones.

Thought you might like to see a recent visitor to our garden - sorry the photo is a bit blurred but I didn't dare to open the door first!  This chap was just outside the back door taking a drink from the bowl of water which is there to disguise a drain cover and which Thomas likes to drink out of and the blackbirds to bathe in.  He is the second fox we have seen in the past week or so  the other one was a younger fitter looking one in his prime - this one had a back foot missing but it didn't seem to be bothering him at all.  The badgers will soon be in the drive crunching the hazelnuts every night if last year is anything to go by so you can see we are doing our bit for wildlife here too!!


  1. delicious veg, I'm having a sweet potato and butternut squash phase at the moment. We've lived in the country now for almost 10 years and could count the number of foxes I've seen on two hands. We had a 'pet' fox at our old house in Beckenham. Is the book recent? I need to check out amazon. I've exhausted the knitting books in our local library.

  2. I agree, being green is mighty complicated ... I think we all just have to do what we can when we can and hope that collectively we'll get it licked. A veg bag sounds like a great way to be greener :)

  3. Hi Jane,

    Well done. I buy vegetables from our local farm shop. It is a 5 minute drive from my home. They do run a box scheme, but I found that I did not always need what they supplied etc etc. I know it works well for some people. Will be interested to hear how you get on with it.

    Lunch looks delicious :)

    Poor fox. It never ceases to amaze me how they cope with their deformities. We used to have a very old fox with a really bad limp. We affectionately named him 'peg leg' Sadly he is not around anymore. If he was I probably would not have so many rabbits in my garden. He was a great hunter.

  4. How nice that you can order from a local farm and have just a bag full. I keep trying the veg boxes but there are always too many courgettes or other things that I don't like or don't wan to deal with so have given up. Besides, there is just me to eat it all. You lunch looks very good.distlen

    The green thing is such a trial, one tries one's best and then finds out that it wasn't good enough. I have a lot of yarn that has been in my garage for twenty years or more so I can use that when I finally get round to knitting again.

    Love the fox! I used,regularly, to see them here in my semi-urban district but they are hiding from me recently.

  5. These boxes are such a good idea. No one seems to have thought of them here, sadly, not that we even need one. My husband brings our 'boxes' straight from the garden!

  6. What a lovely post and I agree it is so difficult being green. Fabulous looking veg box.

  7. That veg box looks fab - I'm off to pick runner beans, AGAIN!

  8. You're so right about the difficulties in being green. I try to do my bit and just hope it helps.
    Your fox vistor is wonderful, it's great how wildlife can overcome deformities and injuries. We had some nightly badgers on holiday once in Scotland - amazingly they were after the leftovers from cleaning the mackerel and other fish that we caught and ate whilst holidaying. When we discovered the bins had been ransacked we were convinced it was foxes, but it was a family of badgers. We didn't get much sleep for the rest of the holiday as we'd sit up every night to watch them :o)

  9. Good for you buying local veg! I tend to plan my weekly meals around mine, and we eat a greater variety than we ever did in the past.
    The knitting book looks fantastic! I think its important that we do our bit for the environment where we can, no matter how big or small.
    Lucky you having a fox in your garden. It's amazing how they adapt, you have to admire all animals will to survive and thrive. He (or she) is absolutely beautiful!

  10. You are quite right Jane, it is difficult being green - I think we can only do our bit, but what always distresses me is turning all the unwanted lights off in my house and then seeing how many lights are on all night in our town centres and cities.
    Your veg 'cobbler' looks tasty.

  11. Just popped by to say "hello".I am also sick of runner beans.We only have a tiny veg patch but manage to grow salad,beetroot,runner beans,potatoes etc.
    I am a knitter and a crocheter.I have been using up lots of bits of wool in a crochet blanket.Waste not -want not is what they used to say

  12. Oh I love your garden visitor, he's a handsome fellow, such a shame about his foot though.
    I agree it is quite dificult to be green and as you say we can only but try and do our best.
    Your lunch looks and sounds delicious!
    P.S. Thank you so much for your lovely birthday wishes. :)

  13. Those veggies are beautiful colours, and I bet they tasted delish too.

    Interesting post about 'green' knitting, and the teddy is so cute!

    Love the photo of your foxy visitor.


    ps would still be interested to read the post about schoolday memories.

  14. Lovely post Jane with plenty to think about as ever. I used to have a veg box but it was costing too much to feed our huge brood. Very lovely though. As for turning back the clock, a defintie 'no' from me. I like to take what works from the past, but love my washing machine and hoover! x

  15. Your vegie box looks great but there is one there that I don't recognise. It's the one in the top right hand corner. We go through lots of vegies in this house - especially in Winter. In Summer we tend to eat more salady stuff.
    We don't talk about food miles here like you do in the UK. With extremes of climate and big distances between places I guess that just doesn't work but I hate to hear that we are importing goods that we can grow very well here, just because it can be produced cheaper overseas ( where wages are very low ) The thought of importing pineapples and bananas into Australia is rediculous - and harming the livelihoods of our own farmers.
    Sounds to me that you are doing your bit.

  16. That vegetable cobbler has made me drool.............
    A beautiful shot of your "visitor"! :O)))))))) I'm afraid I opened the window and shouted at one the other night. The hullaballoo down the garden was all too much...........

  17. Your veggie box has a Romanesco in it! I LOVE them and just shared a recipe on my blog on how to serve them! I think your box is brilliant and I LOVE the poems, a VERY nice touch!
    I do love popping by here to see and read all about your life......lovely post!
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

  18. your veggies (in a box/bag) Great to see the Romanesco too, I always feel guilty about chopping them up & spoiling their looks! Can't stop for long as am now popping over to take a sneaky peek at Karen's recipe!

  19. Jane, I love the idea of getting a poem with your veg box. What a treat that Robert Frost is. This is a great post but I am up for the 5000 words if you're going to share them! I love your reminiscences. You have a way with words that brings the memories to life. Lesley x

  20. How lovely to receive a locally produced veggie box with a poem too! I think this is a wonderful idea.

  21. Hello Jane. First of all I want to say how peaceful your header photo of the ocean beach is. I just want to go there and sit and listen to the sound of the water. I found it peaceful just looking at the photo!

    As for being green, I think we have to pick and choose as to what we can do. I think eating locally is a good start. That brocoli looks wonderful, I love brocoli. Fresh vegetables are so good for a person.

    Love seeing your fox. I've only seen a fox in these parts twice in about 15 years. They are shy creatures. Wonder if this one got his foot caught in a trap?

  22. Oh yes, we eat 'locally'... right out of our backyard garden.

  23. Well lots in here again to think about Jane. I love vegetables...probably a good thing really...we used to belong to an organic vegetable scheme, but by the time I had travelled a considerable distance to collect my box, I eventually decided I wasn't really doing the environment quite the favours I'd hoped to.

    The book looks interesting and you have of course raised some valid questions. How 'green' can we really be when we weigh up all scenarios.

    Loving the fox in your garden.


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