THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jun20

Do We Need Pandas? by Ken Thompson

This is one of our favourite Ken Thompson books (the other? No Nettles Required: The Reassuring Truth About Wildlife Gardening)

It is witty and light enough in style that the depressing information you are given does not prevent you from reading it… or making notes with a marker pen… or even lifting your head from the pages and telling anyone within earshot, “oh gosh did you know…”

Did you know something like this?

“…only one strategy has any long-term hope of getting every endangered species off the sick list: to conserve the fabric of whole eco-systems, and let the rare species look after themselves.”

Or his completely logical argument to help preserve (currently) untouched wilderness…

“Great works of art should be protected and conserved, and I find it hard to see why wild nature should not be cherished for much the same reasons. No-one argues that we can afford to lose the odd Matisse because there are still some left.”

We have long been fans of Ken Thompson because you always come away from reading him with more knowledge about the world. He is constantly asking questions and challenging current conventions. This is important! Not every new idea is worthy of spreading through the horticultural world, but there are many outdated practises. So if you want to get your teeth into something new, start with Ken Thompson’s books… they will delight and teach in equal measure!

These are the best 3 to buy!

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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