Sunday, 14 March 2010

Sunday 14th March 10

Well, an early start, not sure why. I had to go to the allotment shop before midday, but that didn't necessitate such an early start.

However, wasted time til 11 and then cycled off to Low Moor to get seeds for the forthcoming York in Transition Seed Swap at St. Nicks next Saturday. It was suggested that we'd get maybe £15 worth of seeds as a starter, so there was something to swap even for the first person who arrives. I volunteered to get some as I'm a member of the Low Moor Allotment Association (£2 per year) and this gives me access to cheap gardening supplies.

So this is what I got:
4 Mizuna, 4 Sorrel, 10 Basil, 4 Chives, 4 Coriander, 5 Lollo Rosso Lettuce, 5 Iceberg Lettuce, 5 Little Gem Lettuce, 5 All Year Round Lettuce, 4 French Breakfast Radish, 4 Bright Lights Chard, 5 Spinach, 5 Calabrese and 5 mixed Broccoli. 69 packets of seed for £14... brilliant!

I cycled round to Country Fresh and got a big bag of veggies plus two sacks of compostables, plus had a laugh with Richard who was in a jolly mood.

I popped in to Freshways on the way back home and they just had some out of date sliced bread, some of which we eat (ie today's haul has a best before date of 13th March, and is perfect for toast for a couple of days) but there's always too much to eat, so it gets dried by the stove and when completely dry, it makes great kindling. (really!) I'd rather it didn't end up like this... but the alternative is landfill, or I could compost it in a tumbler, but they're all full at the moment. Gone are the days when out of date food could be fed to pigs... now they are fed with foodstuffs specially grown for them. If our omnivorous meat animals could be given 'pigswill' (out of date and waste food, mixed and brought to the boil) their carbon footprint would be considerably less. But due to the stupid policy of feeding herbivores (cattle) rendered down protein from other animals, including bovines, and this causing the prion disease 'BSE' to develop and spread, causing the 'mad cow disease' outbreak, the practice of giving commercial food animals waste food was banned. Now it mostly goes to landfill. Madness. Additionally, the BSE problem led to the most ridiculous composting legislation, the 'animal by products regulations' which mean that processed food which might have been in the vicinity of some animal-based food may not be commercially composted in, for instance, council windrow systems. This material now has to be composted in 'in vessel' composting equipment, despite there being no proof that this treatment destroys all prions. The only beneficiaries have been the producers of 'in vessel' composters.

Fortunately home composters are not affected by the ABPR, and may freely compost kitchen waste in their compost bins, as they should.

Anyway, rant over. After lunch I chainsawed up a couple of pallets and soon after 3pm, my visitor arrived, Ansar, and his brother, Amjid (I think) who had driven over from West Yorkshire to see my Clearview stoves. Ansar had been researching woodstoves as he wants to install one in his rather cold and drafty house. He found this blog (I think) and contacted me. I tried to persuade him to use ethical transport, and gave him train and bus info, but like many, he is a petrolhead and preferred to drive here. Hey ho, at least he's wanting to make his house warmer using renewables. It's a start. We had a long chat about how the stove works, chimney lining or not, logs and different sorts of wood, storage and more.

Right before they went I mentioned my environmental education stuff, and mentioned Muslims the York Mosque... and so they headed on down there. I hope they found it. Nice chaps. I hope the visit was helpful.

Not sure what else I did... just a bit more work outside and then inside, more fruit drying and housework, made some tomato and onion base which Gill modified with celery and red pepper, and added some cooked macaroni, and we had this alongside some asparagus.. a Mother's day treat Gill said.

Lots of email traffic to do. I'd like a break, a few days when I had no emails or phone calls, and I could concentrate on my book, which I haven't touched for over a year. But today I did download the 116 replies to my questionnaire, and asked a mathematically inclined friend if he'd like to help me interpret the results.

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