Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Tuesday 4th January 11

A very busy day.  Got up fairly early and added to yesterday's blog, as in the morning I heard news of Pete Postlethwaite's death, and that had been with me all day.  So today, I had quite a lot of reading to do, for this afternoon's Environment Forum meeting.  Barry Otley had asked us to read about Ecosystem Services, which is a way of valuing all sorts of things which don't have a monetary value... such as urban trees, wildflower meadows, or saltwater marsh.  So the value of urban trees, for instance, lies in their ability to absorb some atmospheric pollution, absorb noise, help cool the 'Urban Heat Island Effect', provide fruits/nuts, shade in summer, and if planted along pathways, can help make pleasant cycle and walkways.  Not only this, but having greenery around, such as trees, helps improve mental health and wellbeing.  All of these have been measured and well described.  So I read for about two hours, mainly documents Barry emailed to Environment Forum members. But there's plenty of info on the web, such as wikipedia for starters.

However I had three phone calls for Professor Fiddlesticks bookings, one next week, one at the end of the month, and one in the summer.

During the afternoon, Gill went to town to get clothes for the boys, and at 3.30 I headed off to the Guildhall for the Environment Forum meeting, which was very interesting.  It finished at 6pm but I chatted to Dan about Five Thousand, a new initiative which hopes to help jobless people gain skills etc through gardening.  Also chatted with June Tranmer and Edward Harland.

I got home just before 7 and had 3 slices of home grown pumpkin with rice for tea... the pumpkin had started to go off, so I'd rescued it by slicing it and removing the seeds and small area of mould, and roasting the lot in the bottom of the oven whilst something else was cooking.  So I've got another 10 slices of pumpkin to eat!  I'll have to do a family meal and try to hide pumpkin in it!


hilary said...


Karin said...

Sounds like your family love pumpkin. Have you tried them with butternut squash?

Compost John said...

Thanks Mummy... I did soup.

Hi Karin, we do grow quite a few pumpkins and squash, although this year none of my butternuts set, so I got only a handful of other varieties. I'm not sure I'd serve pumpkin and squash together as they are too similar. How do you prepare them, together, so that you get a balanced meal? My favourite squash recipe is to slice them and simply bake them, and generally I eat them skin and all. I patiently peel the seeds once dry and use the kernels in my muesli. A very worthwhile vegetable to grow.

Karin said...

I didn't express myself too well. I meant have you tried your family with butternut squash? I'm now guessing you have. I make a mild, curried roasted butternut squash soup with coconut milk, which my family all found edible and some even enjoyed. It has a different flavour from pumpkin, which some people might find more acceptable, although I think it benefits from additional flavouring, not having a very strong flavour itself.