100 Days.

Question, Can you eat almost 100% only what you can grow or forage here in the cold Black Mountains of Wales?

I recently saw a YouTube video of a man called Rob Greenfield who was only eating what he could grow and forage for a whole year! Wow I thought impressive. Hmmm. He lives in Florida. He is foraging coconuts, bananas, passion fruit and that’s just for starters! A bit different to here where you’re lucky to find dandelion leaves and some nettles! Also he is living on his own, not with a bunch of people eating only what the forage from Tesco and the pantry! But it made me ask the question,

Could I live on eating only what I can grow or forage here, whilst still working in my part time job ( in a chipshop!!!) and being full time mum, wife, taxi driver, cook, agony aunt, etc etc ( if you have kids you’ll understand).

I’ve decided to give it a go and just see how I get on. I quickly went against the whole year timescale, but thought a month a bit short, so came up with 100 days. As I’m not in Florida and to give myself a sporting chance I’m letting myself have sugar, that way I can make the most of things like rhubarb and gooseberries. I eat a plant based /vegan diet so unlike Rob I won’t be indulging in fish, squirrels or the like!

I have to say everyone thinks I’m a bit mad and doomed to failure! But I’m quite excited! Hopefully at the very least it might help me shift some of my very unwanted pounds – maybe I’m on to something- the dandelion leaf diet!

One last rule I’ve allowed myself is that I can drink water from anywhere. My water here at home is from the mountains and tastes amazing and I usually take a bottle with me. But with summer here and it gets very hot at work behind the fryers I’m not dehydrating for anyone!

So here’s to 100 days of good/ interesting food with no packaging or E numbers! Hopefully Rob will be proud.


Too cold for Romance!

Well the beast from the East has certainly left it’s mark here 1000ft up in the Welsh mountains. Snow drifts aside I’ve put my back out trying to rescue my onions! ( as you do, so annoying as life is on hold a bit till I can move!) Well I had a feeling we were in for some pretty bad weather, as some frogs and a badger gave me a tip off ( we didn’t run out of toilet roll and milk, I was prepared.)

A few days before the first snowflake as I ran past a badger set I knew. It looked the same as it had the week before, no sign of life.Leaves and twigs still covered the entrance. Also badgers usually spring clean and there were no scuffle sign or chucked out old bedding. The badger was still asleep.

Closer to home a lot of romantic intentions were definitely on hold! A nearby pond only a few days previously had been a buzz or a croak of activity. Frogs had begun to noisily hang out there. The sound is amazingly loud, like chainsaws! Then all of a sudden, nothing. No frogs, no noise, surprisingly no frogspawn either. They must have sensed the bitter temperatures to come, which can kill the spawn, and have hopped off to hide for a while.

Meanwhile my garden took huge snow drifts, as high as my polytunnel. It’s going to put my planting behind schedule, especially with my bad back! Never mind, it should all catch up. If March comes in like a lion it should go out like a lamb. Here’s hoping for a good summer – but only the birds will know that………

Rebellious gardening!

Well I have really broken all the gardening rules lately! I have so much to do and spring seems to be getting dangerously close, I really need more hours in the day ( and possibly some extra energy too! )

I wanted to transplant some raspberries to a new growing area, but the weather has not been on my side. Snow, hail, rain, freezing cold, which means one thing. Mud, mud and more mud! They say keep off the ground if the mud sticks to your boots. Well I’m sorry but I was up to my knees carrying on regardless! It was a moon fruit day and half term so I had assistance so I went for it, despite the snow and mud! Goodness knows if the poor raspberries will survive and grow, they nearly had my wellies planted next to them a few times too. I don’t think drying out is going to be a problem with this new patch either, in fact I am making plans to straw between the rows to try and soak up some of the excess. My daughter found the whole thing very entertaining anyway, seeing her mum sliding around knee deep in muddy puddles. Peppa pig would have been proud!

More Polytunnel blues!

I’m still trying to sort my polytunnel out ready for spring. It seems to be taking forever. I’m just doing a bit at a time so I don’t throw my back out again! I found a huge ants nest in there whilst digging. Ants are a big problem for me in there. They eat crops such as strawberries and sweet corn and when you plant and weed they bite like crazy! Ouch. I’ve tried various gentle organic approaches over the years, but they still seem to like living there. Well I’ve dug up and moved as many as I can now, although they can go miles down, so I might have only scratched the surface. This year I’m hoping to install a new watering system to keep the tunnel from drying out. This might encourage them to move out. I managed to wash one side of the tunnel with a good dose of soapy water , but the temperature plummeted that night and it froze solid. It was really unbelievably beautiful though.