THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jan26

Positive News – Changing The News For Good

Want to give you a heads up on a magazine we read a lot – Positive News.

They provide some wonderful articles, that are great quality and full of interesting ideas you may not have come across before. It is similar to how we feel about the writing of the Earth Friendly Gardener, that of giving voice to notions the would otherwise remain hidden.

Unlike the US administrations ‘alternative facts’, at Positive News you are told what is, in context, meaning you can then use your own brain to decide what you feel is right or wrong.

Our favourite writer at the magazine is Lucy Purdy, who consistently comes up with article topics that, upon reading them, you realise is exactly the sort of thing you wanted to read. It takes some skill (and passion) to lead your audience somewhere they felt they needed to go….

Here is an excerpt from an interview Lucy made with George Monbiot, author of Feral.

They are talking about combating loneliness and how to achieve connection. George is not saying ‘get on Twitter’, but presents us with two alternatives – making music and harvesting and creating food:

“The human spirit and desire to come together overcome almost all attempts to prevent it from happening. In early factory life, silence was imposed on the workers and so the folk tradition in England almost died because people were prevented from singing while they worked. But they found subversive ways of getting back together and strong factory communities formed and remain today. When the dictatorship in North Korea eventually ends, people there will come back together again.

Music is a really great way of facilitating and accelerating that. I think the harvesting and processing of food is greatly underestimated too. My and other families are involved in a communal apple pressing each year. We pool the apples from our trees then turn them into juice and cider. I realised that we’re reinventing thousands of years of hunting and gathering tradition. Finding and processing food together is a critical part of human existence and a great way of reconnecting people.”

How fantastic is that? To use food as a way to build communities. We have read books about places like Campodimele where the tradition is for the village to spend a day, together, creating the cherry jam that will be such a heavenly food treat for the rest of the year. Or a friend of ours at South East Essex Organic Gardeners, who visits Italy each year to help harvest olives – he links up again with old friends who also go every year, works hard,, then gets his supply of olive oil as payment.

We suggest you connect with some other, like-minded folk, by reading some Positive News.

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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