THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Aug24

If You Want To Meet Some Brilliant People…

If you want to meet some brilliant people, we recommend you get stuck into reading this list below.

It outlines five of the people Modern Mint have interviewed in the last year and a half about what they do, why they do it and what we can learn from them.

They are brilliant.

1) Rosy Bee – Plants for Bees

“There is a lot written – particularly by the wildlife trusts – about native plants being best. This never made any sense to me as many of the bees are not really native.”

2) Essex Bees

“My brother, Dan, used to be a high-flying bank executive working around the world on credit card fraud and IT systems. I used to be a partner in a successful marketing services group in London.

For different reasons we both decided there was more to life and ‘downshifted’ about 10 years ago. I got an allotment, Dan bought a smallholding in France to live the ‘good life’ and learnt how to keep bees from an ancient French beekeeper!”

3) Earth Friendly Gardener – John Walker

“The only way that the more destructive parts of the ‘gardening industry’ can operate is by creating a false divide, backed up by poor and frequently misleading garden journalism. Why else are so many gardeners still using peat-based composts, when mining peat is a direct cause of the destruction of wild nature?”

4) The Cycling Gardener

“When I first started out I found that pulling a trailer full of tools (and on occasion, with bags of sand and cement) quite hard going – especially the hillier routes I used to take. I was quite fit anyway as at the time I was used to being on my feet all day in the kitchen and trained weekly with a local running club. Even so it took a few months of pulling the trailer around till my legs got used to it.”

5) Seedballs!

“It’s easy to overlook the impact that our gardens (or even window boxes and patio pots) can have to help wildlife (and their own well being). In the UK alone the area our gardens cover combined is more than the combined area of all our national nature reserves.”

We have had a fantastic time interviewing these wonderful folk and we would really love to do some more – we are especially interested in talking with vegan or stock free gardeners – but no matter who you are, if you’re out there and want to teach us or share something, please get in touch!

For now though, please enjoy these brilliant people and what they are doing with their lives…

Mar19

Wasting Water

Well worth a read in the BBC today – a note on how wasting water in the UK “as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby.” Read the report here. I have written a talk about how we use water in the  garden. It was written when I moved from Hampshire to Essex and found out for myself just how dry this area of the UK is. It completely changed the way I garden. The lack of such a precious resource as water made me question what we can do to save it, store it and …

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Mar14

The Foie Gras That Tastes Like Nature

Ethical Foie Gras? Is That A Real Thing?   Foie gras – can it be ‘grown’ ethically? The video showing how this farmer works suggests it can… We first read about this in a book called The Third Plate by Dan Barber. I loved it and I love how Eduardo the farmer, who farms on the Dehesa in Spain, has a ‘take half leave half rule’. When talking about how the geese eat his olives… “They’re always quite fair. If you make sure the geese are relaxed and happy, you’ll be rewarded with the gift of fatty livers. That is God’s …

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Mar04

Hardy Orchids Via James Wong

Hardy orchids – here is a subject I would love to know more about – so lo and behold, James Wong has written about it in the Guardian! Read the article about hardy orchids here. I love having orchids in the house, just your usual run of the mill buy them in any shop orchids, but it is a pleasure to read about the plants that will grow outside and cope with this weather. (This insane weather! From the hottest days of February on record to Storm Freya, all within a week. Weather is always such a factor in gardening, but …

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