Category Archives: Blog

A weekend in Devon

Last Thursday I made my way down  to see dad, Molly and her boyfriend in Devon from Brighton. A 5 hour relaxing journey passing through gorgeous countryside.

The first evening was spent listening to Glastonbury music on the radio while cutting vegetables for the Friday and Saturday market in Totnes. 20kg potatoes peeled and cut, 10kg onions cut, garlic, ginger and tomatoes cut…

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It was my first time in Totnes and what a beautiful place! Dad was very popular at the market, everywhere I turned I heard stallholders say ‘Oh is that Kumar’s daughter’.

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On Saturday, Molly came with us and we spent the day helping out dad, meeting everyone and popping into ‘Seeds 2 Totnes’ for a latte.

 

On Sunday we went to the farm to see the farm and sheep.

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We hadn’t wormed the ewes yet so we herded the flock into a pen with the help of Tiger (who helped a little, despite not being trained to herd the sheep). There was always one ewe who decided to run of in the wrong direction.

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We eventually managed to worm the ewes and check the lambs over. Then I walked around the land seeing new things that happened since I saw the land last. Such as a new compost heap and fence netting for the veg patch!

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Ending up with tea and biscuits to end the day on the farm and a pint at the local pub.

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Food photography, hugelkultur and festivals

The madness has been slowly increasing!!

I’ve been attempting food photography for the website, social media and Instagram. Using inspiration from Jaimie Oliver and David Loftus. Managed to get a few lovely shots that I’m proud of. Just need to keep practising and practising. As soon as dad is out of the house, the spices and camera come out!

We have started planning a little ahead now. Managed to get a stall space at Dartmouth Food Festival on the 21st/22nd/23rd October and Powderham Festival on the 1st and 2nd October. Our first two festivals, which is a little scary. Need to find someone to help as Molly will be at Uni and I’ll be in Brighton.

Have written around ten other food and music festivals that sound perfect for us. So when the time is right we’ll fill in the applications.

We also have a few new dishes we want to try out – idli,  vadda and chutney and kothu roti. I’ll try and get dad to try out the new 50 idli dish steamer next week!! We’ll see.

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As for the farm side, we are going sheep shopping for an additional 30 sheep in September. Purebred Llanwenog sheep from a nearby farm in Devon. Just hunting for a ram and then we can tup them in November for lambs April next year!!

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Our sheep we have now – 1 Charollais x Masham, 2 Charollais x Mule, 1 unknown and 2 xxxxxxxxx

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Our flock of Llanwenog sheep we had back in Kent

 

The barn will hopefully go up by the end of the year and we are planning to try out our hands on a bit of hugelkultur!

Pretty mad right?! Well we’ve had a few ideas from my sister’s friend in the States who is interested in permaculture, and gave us a few alternative ideas to have a mini veg patch to grow potatoes and onions for the markets.

Apparently Hugelkultur is no more that no-dig raised beds but the impact is greater.

“They hold moisture, build fertility, maximise surface volume and are great spaces for growing fruit, vegetables and herbs. Simply mound logs, branches, leaves, grass clippings, straw, cardboard, petroleum-free newspaper, manure, compost or whatever other biomass you have available, top with soil and plant your veggies.” –https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/many-benefits-hugelkultur

We’ll start small and see what happens. The aim of this is to try and grow most of our produce on our land.

It’s been a year…

JUNE 9th 2015 – ARRIVED IN DEVON

It’s been exactly a year since we moved from Kent to Devon. Dad and I sitting in the front seats of the Audi with the dogs in the back. Sifting through motorways down to Hampshire to pick up Molly from her friends house. A surprise birthday cake and pressies at Molly’s friends house and then back on the road.

Since moving last year, the farm is slowly progressing. Got the fencing done, worked in the woods a little, cleared brambly bushes, lopped branches, marked where we would like our barn to go and now have five slightly mad sheep on the land. A few Charollais x Mule and one Charollais x Masham.

We’ve seen the seasons change from warm to cold and back to warm. Have had those rainy wellie walks, visited festivals and started food markets in Exeter.

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The arrival of the Devon Dusters

On Sunday we decided to emerge from the cocoon of the South West and make our way to Kent to pick up the Devon Dusters (Mo and Dusty), our two ewe lambs my sister was given.

We woke up at 4am, got ourselves ready and walked the dogs. Half asleep as we stumbled into the car around 6:30am. Dogs in car and a box of sandwiches, fruit and a flask of hot tea for the journey ahead.

We hitched a borrowed trailer to the car and left Devon, weaving in and out of cars along the tedious and long A303. Streams of white lights glaring in our eyes as the dark stormy clouds disappeared. Listening to desert island discs, a captivating talk with Alex Crawford and Kirsty Young.

We stopped at Cobham services where dad slept and let the dogs have a wander about.

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Merry Xmas from Lifton

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It’s our first Christmas in Devon and Molly and I have been making the cottage christmassy, by putting up fairy lights and setting up speakers for our cd/tape player to listen to music. Bowls of satsuma’s and apples are on the table and the dogs seem to always be sprawled out on the floor with their legs in the air asleep.

On Wednesday we did a Christmas night market at Piazza Terracina, Exeter, the last market of 2015. A perfect oval of food stalls with music playing by Sandie Horlier and The Locked Horns. A few couples dancing and crowds of people mooching around deciding what to eat. It was on and off rain but we had four hours of clear weather until our journey back when it tipped it with rain. We set up our new front board which we couldn’t wait to see what it looked like. Just now needs painting black now and then chalk added on.

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A birthday in Autumn

Can’t believe it’s Autumn already. Seems unreal that we have been living in Devon for four months already.

Last weekend was dad’s 57th birthday. His first birthday in Devon and with both Molly and I at University, he decided to drive up to Dorset to spend the day on a farm, where they were holding a harvest film festival. He was invited by a friend (whom he met when dad and I went to Dorset about a month ago to talk about cooking for Diwali festival). He took the dogs with him and spent the day watching short films, meeting people and walking the dogs.

He phoned me the next day to say that he had a lovely time, but classic dad, he lost his keys while walking the dogs on the land, but found them again with a metal detector.

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I booked tickets for dad to go to the Powederham Food Festival at the beginning of the month. Hoping for dad to book some festival dates for 2016. I wanted dad to check out the buzz of the place and see what the stalls and atmosphere was like. Dad phoned to say that there were lots of people, amazing smells and a few stalls he had seen before.

The farm is looking good. Took longer than expected but slowly slowly. Just need water on the land and then sometime dad will go back to Wye, Kent to pick up Dusty and Mo!

Saved by a rice cooker

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When we decided to cook rice, dhal, masala potatoes and cabbage instead of masala dosa, the last thing we thought would happen would be not being able to cook rice. But the day came on Saturday at Bath market.

Half cooked rice and dad nearly in tears, we were all ready to pack up by midday. Saved by Stephanie from ‘Pothead and Panface’ who let us borrow her rice cooker.

Met some amazing people again who all wanted masala dosa! And some great tips from a few people about having chutney or pickle.

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