Wednesday, September 27, 2023

An informal community...

It has just occurred to me that - although I am the legal owner of the property known as 'La Chaise' - it seems to have developed into a sort of commune where various outsiders' skills and needs meet my lack of skill though much in need.

The fields are an example: grassland needs mowing or pasturing otherwise it just rots.   Since I gave up sheep-keeping because of age - (mine, not the sheeps')  I have had to find well equipped strangers to do the mowing - largish mowing equipment is needed, proper hay making machines. The deal here is that the person + machine who does the mowing and gets to keep the hay and I get clean fields, hopefully in time for the mushrooms to show their caps...

The individual trees are an even better example...I forget how many walnut trees are planted but I have not forgotten the chore of picking up the individual nuts...assuming the wild boar has not ploughed through them...Since my time some clever person has created a gadget for collecting the nuts.  This looks rather like a football made with metal fencing on a long stick,  The gather strolls to and fro, rolling his gadget into which the nuts neatly fall.

But it is the surrounding woodland that has produced the best partnership of all - between this land and woodland owner and the local 'chasseurs'  - the 'hunters' who want to stalk and shoot the wild life in both field and woodland.  It is in their interest that the wild game stays localised in my woods and fields.  So I have had much help with fencing - I buy the material, they install it.   There is 


Friday, September 1, 2023

1001 ways with a home grown courgette

1001 ways with a home grown courgette

Fatly sliced, or in chunks, to be stewed or pan fried

With onions, garlic, tomatoes, herb bouquet all tied;

Or grated into spiced flour and dropped in hot oil

To emerge as that gourmet delight, zucchini fritti;

Or hand cut, lightly battered to make vegetable chips

Whose deep fried nature on children plays tricks

Or layered with potatoes, topped with strong cheese

Baked over lamb mince, moussaka will usually please;

Or if too big, stuffed with plain rice and poor meat,

An old English Fifties country house watery treat;

Or if very young, finely sliced, dressed oil, first pressee

Expected by the modern, advanced diner as salad entree.

The Great Green Marrow is Vegetable-in-Chief,

Bullies cooks all summer till winter breaks, oh blessed relief.