Welsh Girl's Allotment

Hello World,(a bit ambitious as only my mam knows I am here yet !) This is my blog detailing my quest for an allotment, its cultivation and hopefully bountiful crops. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE COMMENTS, EVEN IF IT IS ONLY A HELLO !!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Back to the plot !!

After chickens and darts, perhaps its time to get back to the plot. Its time to make a start on the lawn as I have nicknamed it. Its an embarassment to see, I still blame the slugs for eating all of my pumpkin seedlings - the plan was to fill this area with the pumpkins and as they were eaten by slugs late in the season I was at a loss as what to fill the space with. The strawberry bed (the great big grassy bit next to the path) is in serious need of attention, the pine needles from the christmas tree are waiting to go on them as mulch, they help to enhance the flavour and supposedly act as a weed suppressent - it obviously didn't work last year !!
I want clear this section as this is where I intend to plant the potatoes, I have been thinking about how to take care of them this year, I am considering planting the potatoes in shallow trenchs and when the foliage comes through I will cover the potato patch with weed suppressent fabric and have small holes for the foliage. I was wondering if this would be a way of arresting the growth of the weeds and helping the potatoes.

As I thought the blue tarpaulin did not fully block out the light, so when I had a sneaky peep, the couch was there laughing at me. So for the moment I thought as the couch comes off the uncovered part of the plot I will throw it on top of the tarpaulin and this may omit the light. The soil on the plot quite clayey so when I dig up a chunk of couch a few pounds of earth come with it. I intend to try and wash off the earth before throwing the couch in the site skip - I do not trust couch to ever to be dead enough to compost.

Come on Webby - You can do it !!

It finally looks like Mark Webster may get his fingers on the Lakeside Trophy. It has been a fascinating week of darts - the Lakeside Tournament at Frimley Green is something to look forward to after the New Years nonsense ! The match against Wolfy was amazing - worthy of a final itself with plenty of ups and downs, the way things are going it looks as if his opponent will be Simon Whitlock from Australia and that would be one hell of a final !! So come on Webby - do it for Wales !!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Chicken Out Campaign

Although this is an allotment blog and I try hard not to deviate I have been fascinated by the recent three part series by HFW highlighting the treatment of chickens. I will admit that it wasn't a revelation - I have known about this practise and refused to buy battery eggs or cheap chickens for some time - my husband however cannot resist a bargain and does buy them occasionally.

Love him or hate him you can't fail to have an opinion about HFW's ideas. I agree with his aims to encourage people to purchase free range chicken - hence my decision to include the banner with the opportunity to sign up to the campaign - I apologise for the constant binging noise I am trying to remedy that ! If I can't shut it up I will remove it and put a silent link in place!

I understand that the cost of a free range chicken is a bit galling to some people - but surely its a matter of choice - do you need that last pint down the pub or should you put the money towards better quality food. Life is about choices

However, as always there are two sides to every story, whilst reading Stoneheads blog - something everyone should do see the link in the sidebar!! he has done some digging around and has discovered that;

"I was even more puzzled by HFW’s comment that intensive farmers would not speak to him in person or in front of the camera.
After all, it does seem they have a good point to make.
I continued my research, eventually finding
Lloyd Maunder’s website and a very interesting press release (dated Tuesday, 8 January 2008).
It reads:
FOR THE RECORD – In the first ‘Hugh’s Chicken Run’ programme last night Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall claimed that when he asked poultry farmers for access to an intensive farm “they wouldn’t let me any closer than the end of a phone.”
This is untrue.
In the making of ‘Hugh’s Chicken Run’, leading poultry producer Lloyd Maunder Ltd. facilitated filming for Hugh and his production team on no less than three farms, including a standard Assured Chicken Production (ACP) unit which is the type of ‘full-on intensive’ farm that Hugh claimed he couldn’t get access to.
The company’s commercial director Andrew Maunder was interviewed by Hugh on three occasions and engaged in a robust debate with him about the chicken industry.
We have been told the reason the footage and interviews have not been included in the programmes is because of duplication with Jamie Oliver’s upcoming programme ‘Fowl Dinners’, for which Lloyd Maunder also facilitated filming.
However, we do not believe this is grounds for such a blatant untruth.
Lloyd Maunder is one of the UK’s leading specialist poultry producers, supplying supermarkets nationwide.
Visit www.devonshirered.co.uk or www.lloydmaunder.co.uk for more information and pictures of Hugh’s visits to our farms.

Please visit Stoney's blog and read his article as I have used his research to supplement my post.

So it would appear that all is not how it was portrayed by the programme - is anything in the media these days?

However this does not distract from the fact that HFW has brought these industry practises to mass public attention - knowledge is power what you do with the knowledge is up to you !!