THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Mar11

Lauriston Farm, A Biodynamic Farm in Essex

A few weeks ago Modern Mint took a trip to Goldhanger in Essex, to see Spencer Christie who farms Lauriston Farm.

Lauriston Farm is run biodynamically – which in simple terms (in incredibly simple terms!) means the gardener or farmer takes account of an intricate web of relationships that can influence life on earth and tries to work with or guide it in a beneficial way. Beneficial for the soil, the animals, the plants and ourselves.

We have come across biodynamic growers before, most notably Beatrice Krehl the head gardener at Waltham Place, began to tend the vegetable garden biodynamically for Strilli Oppenheimer and her family.

It is easy to dismiss it as nonsense, or something hippies do… but visiting Lauriston Farm you get the sense of a place that is cared for. The sense of a place that is genuinely loved. If working biodynamically is the stimulus that encourages the gardener to make such beautiful places, then the concept should not be disregarded.

You can book a walk, free of charge, around the farm with Spencer as part of the environmental stewardship agreement. We encourage you to do so, to experience the wonderful views (the farm is right next to the sea) as well as the philosophical views (Spencer is a gentle, engaging storyteller) that the farm can offer.

Or look for Demeter certified food. Try it, and see if you can taste the difference. This may be the future…?

For more on Biodynamic growing, get these books…!

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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