Two good days.

My endorphin levels must be ridiculously high at the moment because I’ve had two exciting things happen in two days. Yesterday I received my first delivery from Green Bean Organics which was pretty exciting as you can see…

In my mixed box (price £21) the veg I got:

  • 1 small aubergine
  • 1 cucumber
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • a load of broad beans
  • 1 Romanesco (spiky cauliflower thing)
  • 1 swede
  • 2  Cavolo Nero (dark greens)
  • 1 big bunch of carrots
  • 1 celery
  • a load of potatoes
  • 2 Onions
  • 1 Garlic

Fruit I got:

  • 4 pears
  • 6 very small apples
  • 3 oranges
  • 4 bananas
  • 2 kiwi fruit

When I get a chance I’m going to do some further analysis into whether this is a good deal or not.

Also in my order from Green Beans I had some dairy products from Calon Wen which is a Cooperative of Welsh Organic dairy farmers. On the milk bottles it says “shake me- I’m not homogenised”. Do you remember when milk used to get a layer of cream on the top and you would shake the bottle before you pour? Well homogenisation is what they do to commercial milk to stop that from happening. I’m definitely loving this old school milk for doing what it’s meant to do and not what humans want it to do.

The best part of the order was the Flour from Felin Ganol which is stone ground by a working watermill in Ceredigion. Mostly I just love the brown paper bags; Welsh on one side and English on the other. When I made my starter mix (for sour dough bread) last week I was using up the last bits of Tesco’s own (probably bleached) flour that I had. My starter mix was really not good and smelled really vinegary but for the last two days I’ve been feeding it the Organic wholewheat flour and today it’s smelling sweet and ‘beery’ just like Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall said it would.

LUSH!

 

The second exciting thing that happened was that I went to Mumbles Farmers Market. It was AMAZING!!!! There was a stone oven cooking pizzas, amazing Welsh cheese stalls, free range organic poultry, colourful cup-cakes, homemade preserves, pastries, soaps and loads more. I was like a kid in a sweet shop and people were looking at me a bit odd. I actually said Phoar!!!! outloud when I saw these-

This photo is The Parsnipship stall where I bought a Beetroot Bomb and an Indian Summer Pie which Lloyd and I had for our lunch (and yes they were amazing). The Parsnipship specialise in teaching vegetarian and vegan cuisine and are basically leading a Welsh food revolution. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Swansea for 8 years and never came to this brilliant farmers market or found out about these amazing local producers.

A familiar face from last weeks Sketty Local Produce market was Mair from Mair’s Bakehouse. Mair is also a specialist in her field and teaches sourdough baking courses and even offered to give me a starter mix if mine didn’t work. Here is Mair and her shy assistant.

Lastly I splashed out 75p on two Wild Boar Cheeks. Yes you read that right. Following a discussion with a friend of mine I decided to explore the idea of using some of the more unusual offcuts of meat in order to economise without depriving Lloyd of meat for long periods. Harmony Herd breed wild boar and rare pig breeds and they were even able to tell me where the pigs feed is grown. I explained to Sarah from Harmony Herd about my ambition to live more sustainably and support local producers but that I was, like most people, on a tight budget. She was only too happy to show me a multitude of different cuts and explain the best way to cook them. I settled for cheeks which she said would be nice stir fried if I sliced them up thinly. I wasn’t intending to eat them myself but Lloyd had them for dinner and loved them and I definitely loved the price and friendly service.

On my way back I stopped at the Green Grocers in Mumbles (they also have a stall in Swansea Market) which had some amazing fruit and veg, loads of which was british and some local, but most notably it was really good value. I’m going to do some more research into this and another Organic veg box scheme which I came across at the Farmers Market. My advice to anyone in the Swansea area is to put 13th October in your diary and go to the next Mumbles Farmers Market and while you are there have a look around the village. There was a woman selling gorgeous local flowers from the front of the White Rose pub (Made in Mumbles), a craft fair in the Ostreme Centre and even a man selling onions from a bike. I had no idea any of this was happening only 6 miles down the road from me!

This journey into sustainability might not be quite so difficult as I thought……..

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