It’s going to be a quiet Christmas for us all but that need not be a bad thing. One of the best we had was the year we moved here. We were basically snowed in, just the two of us and the cats.
The freezer has half-full and there wasn’t too much in the cupboard. We had a cooker but the oven didn’t work. Still, Val rustled up a lovely stove-top meal which was just as nice as any traditional Christmas meal.
It’s hard to keep cheerful when the news seems to be endless doom, gloom and worry but make the most of what you have and have a really wonderful Christmas. It’s more likely to be Amazon delivering than Santa but I hope you get what you want.
We’d also like to thank all our readers, forum members and online friends for their help and support over the last year, in fact the last decades!
Time for a Change
I took a look at the Facebook pages of major supermarkets in the UK. The comments of the shoppers show what a lot of entitled, spoilt people are around. Their terror of not being able to get the right size of tomato or the type of lettuce they want for Christmas tea. I don’t know whether to laugh, shout or cry.
It’s about time they got real. Never mind the disruptive effects of a pandemic, the planet can’t afford to go on this way. Shipping out-of-season vegetables around in trucks and, worse still, planes.
It’s time we changed, we can do so much better. Regenerative, smaller scale farming is part of the answer as is growing our own, reconnecting to the earth that supports us. Sustainable, seasonal and local to steal a phrase. Perhaps more important is a respect for what we eat and returning to some of the values of previous generations.
I was born in the year that rationing finally ended in Britain. That didn’t stop my parents drilling into me that food should not be wasted. People were starving in far off lands and we should be grateful for having enough to eat. Not a bad attitude.
This year we have plenty in the store and freezer and a fully working cooker. Still available to harvest are carrots in the polytunnel, savoy cabbage, kale and sprouts in the brassica tunnel and leeks in the ground. All fresh, wholesome and pesticide free.
Not all went according to plan, though. If I’m honest I took my eye off the ball at times with all that was going on. For example, the caterpillars got a lot of brassicas because I didn’t spot them in time. On the plus side, we got some and have some cauliflower and calabrese in the freezer along with a long list of other home-grown produce.
I’m joining the old boys club
I’m officially an old boy next year. My pension kicks in come April and that will give me more time to do what I want and not to spend time on the business which our daughter will be running. I just wish I had the energy I had 30 years ago!
Quite what we’ll do in detail next year, I don’t really know beyond more growing and there are some more books I’d like to write.
Hopefully you will have a very Happy Christmas and enjoy all your lovely produce.
I really think it is time that more houses were built on brownfield sites, not fields, as there must come a time in the future when we will need to have the fields for growing veg. Also, there is also the risk of more flooding as many fields surely absorb extra run-off – just my thoughts!
Don’t despair about age – just reverse the numbers as I do (47 sounds much better than 74!)
Looking forward to more books
Happy gardening in 2021
firstly a happy new year to you and your family and as ever what you write is absolutely true and always worth reading
good luck for the new year especially April
Happy New Year John. Yes, I agree people especially younger people have been brought up with and got used to wanting every type of food available at supermarkets all the year round. I am 10 years younger than you (born in 1964) and even I can remember in the very late 1960’s and 1970’s when shopping was very much still seasonal produce only; tomatoes from Blackpool or Jersey in the summer, fresh strawberries were available only in the summer and not flown halfway across the world when out of season here. My mother cooked stews with root vegetables in winter and a salad every Saturday and Sunday teatime followed by tinned fruit in winter and the weekly treat of cake!