Bedford Real Food Co-op
Live in Bedford? Eat Real Food? Then join up our facebook group and take advantage of bulk purchasing with other like minded people who care about their families health... and their budgets!
I support Compassion and would love to encourage you to as well. Please take a few minutes to read about the work they do and how you could get involved
My incredibly talented friend Hannah has just launched her new website selling custom illustrations for your home. Click here to take a look. You won't regret it!
Below the Line
Each year Matt and I live on just £1 a day for a week in aid of poverty relief in the UK. You can find out more about our experiences (and sponsor us!) by clicking here
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
Monday, 28 May 2012
Sunday, 27 May 2012
- Growing from seed is hard work. Make life easy for yourself and buy one of those pots from your supermarket.You can totally trim off the tops for your kitchen and replant the bottoms and they will shoot up over and over again.
- Cut early and often. Don't make the mistake of thinking you want to use the older more established leaves. The plant needs these to keep on growing. Eat those sweet new growths that shoot out the top.
- Don't let them grow any flowers. Someone once told me that plants are like teenage boys; they like to focus all their energy on procreation and forget about growth. If you trim your plant regularly it will grow thicker and more productively.
- Plant some canaries. Basil is a great way to keep an eye on the health of your herb garden. It wilts visibly and quickly if you don't water it enough, but also recovers fairly well. Plant lots of basil around to let you know if you are getting enough water or not.
- Pick something easy. Anyone from the mint family (including lemon balm) grows and spreads like wild fire.
Saturday, 26 May 2012
There is a massive overgrowth of thyme taking over a large section of a flower bed and everywhere I look there are little lemon balm shoots.
We've been looking at Shavuot with the kids this weekend, and one of the traditions is to decorate your house with greenery. We used these herbs to create beautiful fragrant pieces for our home, but the more of the lemon balm I collected, the more I seemed to notice.
So today I made my first cup of mint and lemon balm tea, and it was divine! Thanks to this little tea cage that my sister in law bought me its super easy.
Simply pack the little cage with as many leaves as you can (I go about2:1 in favour of lemon balm) then soak the little cage in hot, but not boiling, water.
Both mint and lemon balm are crazily easy to grow, and left unchecked they will spread throughout an entire garden.
As we have so much, I'm thinking I will dry some for the winter too, although its such a refreshing drink I may use it all up this summer!
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Friday, 18 May 2012
Monday, 14 May 2012
Part of me wanted to do beauty because of the profit margins in running a salon. I'd just left my 3rd year of business school for the second time and couldn't face going back for a third attempt.
The reality is I think there was also a very insecure girl begging to be taught 'how can I be pretty?'
One of the most valuable lessons I learned in beauty school is that healthy skin is beautiful, and one of my favourite teachers taught me 'healthy is never out of fashion'.
Yes, we want thinner models, but we airbrush their skin to make them look healthy, because no-one wants to have unhealthy looking models.
It to this end that I've realised I'm short sighted when I spend too much money on cosmetics. They have a temporary effect at best, when spending that money on better nutrition would have long term results on my skin health.
Just one week on live below the line was enough for my skin to lose its 'glow' and appear dull, yellow toned - to the point that my blush was the wrong colour.
Invest in real, organic food - the long term solution to beauty.
Sunday, 13 May 2012
Breakfast Cake with Strawberry Honey (GAPS legal)
1/2 cups ghee (or coconut oil)
1-2 tablespoon honey, depending on taste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup coconut flour
Preheat your oven to 160c
Friday, 11 May 2012
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
I'd factored into the cost that we would be ordering less towards the end of summer, as our garden becomes more productive and we can pick fruit from the park.
It wasn't until I started making Butternut squash crisps
(trying to preserve some of this weeks produce because we are on Live Below the Line) that I realised I was throwing away a tonne of seeds each week!
Good, healthy, organic seeds!!
What a great way to make the most of our fruit and vegetable boxes each week! And when I've got more than I can keep in our garden, I'll start donating seed to the school allotment.
Monday, 7 May 2012
Yesterday 'the Castle Quarter' of Bedford had a medieval festival. It was so awesome. I had a great time and picked up some great things.
Despite needing to be dragged over to look at them, my son became pretty obsessed with the bees (once he realised they were trapped in glass); and I fell in love with several types of cheese, one of the best being with nettles in it! The man on the stall was even generous enough to give me the recipe so that I can make my own with some of the mountains of nettles I keep pulling out of our yard.
There was some delicious organic cider, with no added sweeteners or yeasts, so GAPS friendly (hooray!) and plenty of people dressed up.
|Photo credit Staying Awake Blog|
I got a flyer inviting me to a community screening of 'Food inc' followed by an open mic night which looks awesome.
My favourite part though, was the plant swap. You brought along a few seedlings, left them on a table, and picked up a few different ones. It was a great idea and I picked up a lovely little butternut squash.
I also bought a few more herb for our garden. We got chocolate mint, pineapple mint, blackcurrant sage, orange scented thyme and lemon verbena. I cannot wait to start using these, I think they are going to add a whole new dimension to our fruit harvest this summer.
|Fruit and Herb Combinations|
Saturday, 5 May 2012
Today we decided to take a family bike ride. The problem is that our bikes are knackered (I haven't ridden mine in seven years and it's been stored outside), so we hired some.
I pictured the day; beautiful, sunny, a picnic by the adventure trail followed by a leisurely pedal around the stanwick lakes sculpture trail. It was going to be beautiful. Maybe we'd do it every Exeat and holiday; maybe I'd even take the kids without Matt and do it sometimes whilst he's at work...
Unfortunately stanwick lakes was closed due to flooding, so the rangers had banned bike hire.
Not to worry though, Grafham Waters was still open, so we headed over there. Here are ten things I learned.
1. The children will only enjoy being in the bike trailer for approximately eight minutes. After that the novelty wear off and they will need to be distracted with with snacks/singing the entire way to keep from crying.
2. If somewhere has been closed for flooding, the place down the road is probably pretty wet too. You will get covered in mud, and there is no 'way around' most of the flooding - you just have to plough on through.
3. If you set off and the bike is too big you should stop and adjust it. Complaining eight miles in that you have to fall off the bike in order to stop will be humiliating when your husband flicks a switch and adjusts it.
4. Likewise, make sure you know how to ride a bike. Getting halfway round with legs like jelly only to have your husband point out that you haven't changed gears for five miles leads nicely to my next revelation...
5. It's always hillier than you expect it will be. Stop rejoicing at the downhills, you'll have to go uphill again very shortly to complete the circuit at the same point you started out at.
6. If you hire a bike, be careful with the brakes. The lightest feather-y touch can lead to instant stop and you flying over the handle bars. In fact I like to apply the 'Mario Kart' principle - never touch the brakes.
7. If your child poops in their diaper four miles in, they will not 'settle' for you to do the next six miles. You must pull over and change the diaper, no matter how wet/flooded the ground is.
8. The wind and rain feel colder when you you are cycling, bring a coat and gloves - or steal your sons hat. He's in a trailer anyway, he doesn't need it.
10. I LOVE family bike rides. Yes it was cold and muddy, but it was fun.
And I can't wait to do it again!
P.s no.11 is that no matter how old and respectable you are, you feel like a naughty teenager if you ride around a car park with your hoodie on.