Thursday, 7 April 2011

Purple Sprouting to Piggies.

Wow, I finally have an hour to myself (just mistyped that as 'my elf', but I've paid him no attention either) Life has suddenly become overwhelmingly busy as the Norfolk Kitchen empire expands. As you probably know I have 2 allotments for the first time this season. I keep telling myself it's not as daunting as it sounds as both plots are half the traditional size so, really, it's just one plot. That's not too bad is it? Really? It'll be all right won't it??

I took advantage of the glorious weather and visited the Bressingham allotment (the old one) yesterday. Sadly, I forgot my camera which means I couldn't capture the blossom on the fruit trees or the glorious, glowing, shimmering purple of the sprouting broccoli. I photographed it at home but it's just not the same as when it's bathed in sunlight. I'm uncommon pleased with the purple sprouting, I bought a few spare plants from a fellow allotmenteer for 20p, stuck them in the soil and ignored them til now and suddenly, unexpectedly, I have this gourmet treat (stir fried in olive oil with anchovies by the way)

When I'd finished swinging a matock while sweat dripped off my nose in an attempt to dig over the sun hardened clay of the ex-Cavolo Nero bed, I called at the new allotment to check out the rotavating a friend did for me. The soil is beautiful, as fine a tilth as sand. I surveyed my blistered hands and could've wept!

Added to the extra land I've taken on 3 extra chickens making a total of 5, plus I'm getting quite heavily involved in the Diss Community Farm Livestock project. The Community Farm is basically a co-operative of local people, we're hoping to rent some land, work on it ourselves, share the produce and have a few laughs along the way. It's a huge project to get off the ground and lots of people are working very hard on it. The hope is that the Farm will become a reality next year and in the meantime we're running a couple of small pilot projects to test our plans and procedures. The vegetable growing project I'm leaving alone (see above) but the Project Piggy is a different matter ....

A local landowner has agreed to lease us an area of woodland of about 2 acres for a peppercorn rent and a side of pork, our plan is to keep a few pigs and some nice fierce geese to keep them safe from marauding teenagers. If all goes well we can scale up for the farm proper.

We're holding a Family Cream Tea this Sunday, 10th April, at Roydon Village Hall at 3pm. Please come along if you'd like to find out a bit more about our project or get involved. And if you're very lucky, you may even get to sample a little Norfolk Kitchen jam (but not the courgette and ginger which was very firmly rejected!)


  1. Hi Tracy, just found your blog, great, also a keen forager, jam maker and trying to be as self sufficient as poss, will be Burgh castle just outside Yarmouth for Easter what can I hope to find and where

  2. Can't think of much that will be ready at Easter to be honest. There are lots of cherry and mirabelle plums around Burgh Castle itself, by the edge of the Fen but they obviously won't be ready yet. Right time of year for wild garlic though, let me know if you find any!

  3. Hi Tracey nice to see you back - wondered where you had got to. Your piggy project/farm escapade sounds really interesting and promising. Look forward to hearing more on that. Good on you all I don't blame you one little bit nothing nicer. As you say good practice for whatever lies round the corner! My grandparents used to keep their own pigs and the meat always had so much more flavour. They also had the Geese and the chickens and we always had roast Goose for Christmas dinner - never Turkey. Anyway real life is interrupting will have to dash.

    Take care

    Tricia (aka Pattypan)


  4. I have felt a bit guilty for neglecting the blog but it's nice to be missed! I've never eaten Goose but we're thinking we may raise a few for Xmas.

  5. I misread that as purple sprouting piggies!!
    My mind was agog.

  6. Well things definitely sound busy for you Tracey...just remember you need a little relaxing time in there somewhere too!!

    Te farm project sounds great..I would love to come to the tea but i live to far away so i expect you to blog about it extensively and not forget you camera!!

  7. Good to see you posting again. :)

    PSB is such a treat. Mine finally got itself into gear about three weeks ago, and has been supplying plenty.

    Trouble is, this warm weather is making the stems grow without the leaves. I never thought I'd be hoping the temperature gets colder!

  8. Yes! Mine's all stem and no leaf but never having grown it before I didn't realise it wasn't supposed to do that! I've been chopping off some of the larger leaves too, shredding them and mixing them with the stems.

    Tanya - Yes it's very busy at the moment. I'm doing the Farm blog too if you want to have a look: