April in the Sidebar

Eagle eyed readers will have spotted a few new “faces” in the sidebar this month.  Remember, nobody pays to be featured in the sidebar, I just choose great stuff that I’ve tried and loved. When I sat down to write this I noticed there’s a bit of a masculine  theme to this month’s selection.  Three great companies that I’m sure you’ll be hearing lots about.

 

Let’s start with 9 Meals from Anarchy. I love these guys! I first met Tom and Matt when I interviewed them for a feature on their new veg box scheme a couple of years ago. Back then they had just taken over a tiny small holding on the edge of my village. Today they’re settling in to a new, larger plot and producing this fabulous vegetable stock. There are a few (and growing) stockists, but you can also buy it mail order. I can confirm the postal service is great, your stock will arrive safely wrapped and ready to add to stocks and stews.  We need more Veg Men in the world right now.

Next up is Lakeland Muesli. We first tried this toasted artisan muesli at the Cockermouth Food Fair last year and loved it. Even more I love their story. Like many people born and raised in Cumbria they’ve been trying to find their way back home and starting Lakeland Mues has been part of that “grand plan”.  There are plenty of stockists around Cumbria now selling it (But not enough), so if you’re heading up to the Lakes this year look out for it. It’s fuelling Mr T’s Fred Whitton training and I’ve had no complaints so far! My favourite is the Artman Classic  – but guys, if you ever want to trial a coconut free variety – I’m your gal! You can also buy mail order, so no excuses. It’s far tastier than those faux artisan cereals you buy in fancy cardboard boxes in the supermarket!

Lastly Nom Nom Chocolate. Made in Wales I first discovered it in my local farm shop. I’ll admit I’m a sucker for packaging – but once I tasted it – wow! It’s delicious! We’re partial to the salted caramel, but there always seems to be something new to discover. Once again, check out the stockists lists or buy online.

You can click on the links to visit the websites or find all three on social media.

Have a delicious  weekend x

PS I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I’ve been quite overwhelmed by how many of you have shared your stories on here, Facebook, Twitter and particularly Instagram. There will be a follow up post shortly, but I think it’s pretty clear that we’re all struggling one way or another and it doesn’t hurt to say so occasionally.

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  • I’m Tracey Todhunter. I’m a freelance writer. specialising in green / ethical living – with a “sideline” in craft!

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  • The gooseberries are plump and tart - perfect for gin! This is my favourite summer gin. Add a few elderflowers if you like. Freeze the gooseberries first so they release their flavour. 
#gooseberries #gin #girlgardener #eatwhatyougrow #ediblegarden #permaculture #countrywisdom #slowliving #summerinaglass #homesteading #greenliving #slowliving #slowfood Borage. I'll be freezing these flowers in ice cube trays for adding to summer Pimms & gin. 
The leaves make a fabulous "tea" to feed tomatoes (mix in a bucket of water with a handful of nettles), it doesn't smell as bad as comfrey feed and much cheaper / greener than the stuff you buy in garden centres!!
#girlgardener #edibleflowers #slowliving #foraging #permaculture #countrywisdom #mygardenrightnow Throwback . Taken on a visit to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire a couple of weeks ago. Can you read that  card? A valet to whiten your converse! Brought back memories of  whitening my Dunlop green flash in the 70's!!!
#chatsworth #converseallstars #conversetrainers Strange sky tonight. Common hogweed. Even the weeds look beautiful in the sunshine today. The flowers and  stems of this one are destined for the dye pot. There are lots of varieties of hogweed, if in doubt don't touch - the sap is highly irritant, even poisonous in some. 
#hogweed #foraging #ecodye #permaculture  #naturaldye #slowliving #bakingandmaking Everyone loves elderflowers - even the cockchafers (maybugs). Last night we sat in the garden drinking the first batch of elderflower champagne, watching the bats & the moths and listening to a blackbird serenading us. The hedgerows are full of elderflowers & champagne is easy to make (easier than cordial), if you have white wine vinegar, lemons & sugar. Click on the link in my bio and type "elderflower champagne" in the search bar. 
#wildfermenation #elderflower #elderflowercordial #elderflowerchampagne #foraging #slowliving #bakingandmaking #cockchafer #wildyeast #permaculture
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