Pig Business Documentary by Tracy Worcester

Went to see Pig Business film by Tracy Worcester last Tuesday at York City Screen. The screening was organised in conjunction with Slow Food North Yorkshire who are a group passionate about food and locally sourced and ethically produced food.

Tracy Worcester is a passionate campaigner for animal welfare and she is against industrialised farming and the destruction of rural livelihoods and the Pig Business film documents Tracy’s 4 years of research and exploration into the global pig business.

This documentary asks if you know the true costs of cheap meat, which you are not likely to find on the labelling! It looks at intensive pig farming, focusing predominantly on the US and Poland and highlights the animal welfare issues, the environmental impact of the large factories and the health related problems of factory workers and those living near the large factory farms, as well as the impact the large corporate factory farms are having on the structure of the pig farming industry and the individual small scale pig farmers.

This is a very thought provoking film and I feel that it does begin to highlight the true costs of cheap meat on the animals themselves, the environment, health and the pig industry. Next time you pick up a packet of pork, ham, bacon or sausages, give some thought to where the meat was produced, that is if the label can provide you with that information! Click on this link for more information about pig meat labelling.

You can watch the Pig Business film now on Youtube.

Please let me know your thoughts on this film and the issues raised in this film.


Book Review – Chickens, Mules And Two Old Fools By Victoria Twead

I recently bought myself the book Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools by Victoria Twead after I came across Victoria on twitter and had exchanged a few communications relating to Spain where Victoria now resides and where the book is set.

I love reading and this book is a perfect gift for a book worm, a food lover and anyone with a dream for starting a new life. This book was a joy to read as Victoria brings the characters that we meet in her book to life so that you feel like you know them yourself. The characters you meet along the way are colourful and loveable.Victoria’s description of the Andalucian village where Vicky and her husband relocate to are so goo that you feel like you are there with them every step of the way!

Victoria writes with humour and pathos making this a funny book with laugh out loud moments as well as bring tears to my eyes as I read some of the events occurring in the book.

I really didn’t want the book to end I was enjoying living the Andulcian life along with Vicky, Joe  & the hens and reading about all the events and encounters they had in the first few years in the village.

I found the book very inspirational as it shows a dream coming true. Anyone dreaming of starting a new life, a simpler life or a life abroad should read this book. It made me want to move abroad but it really made me want to move to the same village in Spain and meet the characters of the book and enjoy the village events like Vicky and Joe did.

The stories of the acquisition of the hens, the egg sales and meeting the cockerel were highlights of the book for me.

Not only is Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools a great, entertaining read but it is also interspersed with wonderful Spanish recipes which help to bring the true flavour of Spain to life.

I highly recommend this book – it would make a great gift.



Organic Places To Stay UK And Ireland – A Book By Linda Moss

Do you farm organic, garden organic, eat organic or just believe in the principles of organic? If so then have you thought of holidaying organic?

I was recently introduced to the work of Linda Moss by my good farmingfriend Helene over at Countryside Connection.

Organic Places To Stay In The UK & Ireland by Linda Moss

Organic Places To Stay In The UK & Ireland by Linda Moss

Linda has written a book about organic places to stay in the UK and Ireland. The book includes 588 accommodation entries and is now in it’s third edition, testiment to it’s ever growing popularlity. The contents of the book include:

  • Bed and breakfasts, guest houses and small hotels offering organic, local and sometimes home-grown produce.
  • Self-catering accommodation on organic farms, generally in renovated farm buildings.
  • Camp sites on organic farms and smallholdings, ranging from those where you pitch your own tent to more luxurious camping.

This book gives you all the information you need for an ‘organic holiday’.

The Author: Linda Moss created www.organicholidays.co.uk ten years ago. She is
married with three grown up children and two grandchildren, and has lived in
Guiseley, West Yorkshire all her life. Click the link to buy Organic Places To Stay – UK & Ireland – 3rd Edition by Linda Moss at £12.95.


Alpaca Socks From Perilla

Early last week I received some gorgeous alpaca socks in the post from Perilla. As you can see they were carefully wrapped.

Alpaca Socks From Perilla

Alpaca Socks From Perilla

I first heard about Perilla via the Countryside Connection website for rural businesses.

I was delighted to receive my 3/4 length ribbed socks in indigo for me to gear test or welly test as I like to think about it.

3/4 Length Ribbed Alpaca Socks

3/4 Length Ribbed Alpaca Socks

Well I have indeed been able to welly test these socks as my two pigs have farrowed in the night / early hours of last week and I had the Perilla alpaca socks on. When I get a spare minute in between bottle feeding a few of the 30 piglets I am now looking after, I will be writing a review of the alpaca socks, so watch this space. In the mean time it is safe to say that if you are in need of some very comfortable, warm, soft and washable socks then head over to Perilla right now.


Countryside Connection – More Than Just A Directory Of Rural Businesses

Do you have a rural business ? If so then you may want to consider becoming a member of the Countryside Connection website.

Countryside Connection

Countryside Connection

At first glance you may think that this is just another directory of rural businesses but you would be wrong. The founder, Heléne Leichter-Saxby goes to great lengths to make sure that new members get alot of coverage and have access to a wide network of rural businesses.

Each month a newsletter goes out to all the members with features about new members and letters from current members which helps to raise your businesses profile and presence on the web. Helene also takes time to make links between members with similar rural businesses and encourages networking and correspondence between members to help forge new business relationships and networks.

In addition, Countryside Connection has just started a Featured Member listing on the home page which provides extra coverage for your rural business.

Countryside Connection currently has members whose businesses fall into the falling categories:

Bed & Breakfasts and Self-Catering,
Country Inns,
Farms, Country & Artisan Products,
Restaurants & Pubs,
Arts & Crafts,
Activities & Adventures,
Education Courses,
Wedding, Conference, Spa & Retreat Venues,
Bookshops,
Rural Business Support,
Relocation & Restoration Services and
B&B Inns & Homes for Sale.

So if you have a rural business that fits into one of these categories then I would highly recommend that you visit the Countryside Connection website and become a member today.


Favourite Egg Recipes Book

An excellent book for those who love eating eggs or those of you that have your own chickens and ducks and need new recipes for all your surplus eggs is the Favourite Egg Recipe book.

I bought this book at the weekend and we have already tried one of the recipes, duchess eggs which I’d never heard of but it’s worth trying.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.

Favourite Egg Recipes (Favourite Recipes)


Mark Eccleston’s Calendar

Mark Eccleston's CalendarI recently bought Mark Eccleston’s calendar from Lulu as I admire his work.

I was very impressed with the calendar when it arrived. All the photographs are excellent but here is a sneak preview of my favourite photograph in the collection.

Mark Eccleston's Calendar - my favourite photograph.

If you want to see the other photographs then visit the Lulu site.

This calendar is good value for money priced at £7.50 and would make an excellent Christmas gift.


2008 Calendar For A Special Cause

 Drew Bennett's Calendar

I recently bought Drew Bennett’s calendar from Lulu as I greatly admire his photographs.

I also wanted to support Drew because he has created this calendar to raise money for the Machinski family and their battle against cancer.

I was very impressed with the calendar when it arrived. All the photographs are excellent but here is a sneak preview of my favourite photograph in the collection.

Drew Bennett's Calendar - My favourite photograph.

If you want to see the other photographs then visit the Lulu site.

This calendar is good value for money priced at £8.27 and would make an excellent Christmas gift and don’t forget your purchase would be raising money for a good cause too.


Classic Pork Sausages From The Blue Pig Company

This week is British Sausage Week so what better way to celebrate than by having our favourite sausages – the classic pork sausage from The Blue Pig Company for lunch.

Classic Pork Sausage Label Form The Blue Pig Company

Preparation

Uncooked Classic Pork Sausages From The Blue Pig Company

  • Cooked in roasting tin for 30 minutes in a hot oven with a little water in the bottom of the tin.
  • Served with mashed potatoes, beans and grated cheese.

Verdict

Cooked Classic Pork Sausage From The Blue Pig Company

  • Colour of the cooked meat was not pink when cut into but a light brown colour.
  • The sausages browned well on the outside and in places had a crunchy, crispy texture which complimented the moist and juicy texture of the inside of the sausages.
  • Juicy sausages.
  • Moist and meaty.
  • Texture was not too fine and not too coarse.
  • No gristle or bone in the sausages.
  • No shrinkage in size when cooked.
  • Not fatty.
  • Tasty.
  • Also very suitable for the BBQ.

Click on this link for more information about The Blue Pig Company and The Blue Pig Company’s Products.

What are you doing to celebrate British Sausage Week?

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Baby’s Bib From Cafepress

I recently created a “Cool Chick” range of cafepress products.

I decided to order the “Cool Chick” baby bib priced $7.99 (approx £3.99).

Cool Chick Baby BibI was impressed with the baby bib when it arrived. The bib is a good size and made from 100% cotton. The photograph has reproduced very well onto the fabric. I have given this bib to two of my friends who have just had little girls and they thought the bibs were very cute. This bib would make an excellent gift for a baby shower, christening, birthday or Christmas.

If you like the look of this “Cool Chick” baby bib then visit my cafepress shop.