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Friday, July 30, 2010

Eat Biodiversity

Being as it is the Year of Biodiversity and I am making my own plot more biodiverse than it was, I thought this would be interesting for you biodiversityfoodiephiles.

Bem-me-quer is a vegetarian restaurant located in the centre of Lisbon (Portugal).

This vegetarian restaurant has launched a cuisine to show how a simple dish can contain millions of years of species evolution.

The project, titled “Biodiversidade à Mesa – como proteger Natureza com faca e garfo” (Biodiversity at the table – how to protect Nature with the fork and knife),aims to promote to diners the value and impact of people’s every-day food choices, and the important role that traditional agriculture has played over millennia to bring us crop varieties.

 
More information is here:

http://www.countdown2010.net/article/biodiversity-at-the-table

and the restaurant's website is here: http://www.bem-me-quer.pt/

If you are in Portugal you can visit it here:

View Larger Map

Friday, July 23, 2010

An Uncommon Day Out

Last weekend I went on a family outing to Sussex to see where my brother works at www.commonwork.org as they had an open day.

It was fascinating and inspiring, I discovered:

- nettle tea goes clear when you add lemon drops
- how to bodge a rounders bat
- when to collect woad for dyeing
- a new drink called kefir - its fizzy yoghurt and its yummy. I have been craving it since trying the free sample
- that all the sheeps wool in the UK ends in a single processing plant, I think its in Huddersfield - but do correct me - and from there it gets auctioned once a week to highest bidders.
- how to make artists charcoal
- that buddleia makes a good yellow dye even after the flowers are dead

I also got some beeswax, a diblet, milk fresh from the cow, honey, sunshine, a delicious lunch of mutton, organic beetroots, a lesson in wood turning from a delightful man called Bob, some fresh willow charcoal, and a lift there and back from mum and dad.











Super nice man who swapped charcoal with me


Super super nice Bob who let me wreck several pieces of wood on his pole lathe...



It was really great and interesting. I wish I lived in a town like that. I am saving up so I can go on a course and make a shave horse next May. Will have to get a house to keep it in as well....

Bicycle Botanist Trailer


More coming soon!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Mid-Late Summer Update

It's been a while but the plants have moved quickly. A month ago the plot was green and lush and new things seemed to be appearing every day, crowding each other out. Now it looks untidy and shrivelled but I have been collecting poppy seeds and heads for decoration, and some of the slower things are starting to look fat with promise.

So by way of an update here are some photos from June:

Looking lush in June

 
















Opium Poppies
Common Poppy

Opium Poppy in July is covered in aphid. The green heads are where opium comes from so I wonder if that is the attraction for these black bugs.

Where the aphid do well, so do the ladybirds


Broad-leaved dock





















I think these are red admiral caterpillars on the nettles in June. Now it's July, I have seen a lot of butterfilies but more in the nature reserve than on this plot.

Wild Rocket


Pam


The opium poppies look pretty but I am not convinced they will be so well used next year. The seeds are delicious and so are the leaves earlier in the season but they are very shabby when they go over and take up a lot of space. I may try to keep them in more around the edges, and eat most of the little ones as lettuce.