I am going to London tomorrow for the Social Enterprise Awards reception at the O2 arena. Growing Well put us forward for the Social Enterprise Partner category. It’s a bit of a thrill even reading the list of finalists: Glasgow Caledonian University, RBS Community Banking West Lindsey District Council … and little old Low Sizergh…

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Dad, John, is off to the House of Lords next week where he’ll be presented with a certificate welcoming him as an Associate Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies (FRAgS). This award is made to people who are judged to have made a significant contribution to agriculture, so we’re very proud of his achievement.

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A Barrow-in-Furness woman, Nella Last recorded her day-to-day life during and after the Second World War. Food features in Nella’s life, as you’d expect in an era of rationing. Her diet was simple and she loved pudding, here’s a list of the dishes she favoured… brisket beef, poached cod in milk, steamed egg custard, stewed…

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Growing Well’s manager, Beren Aldridge and I spoke yesterday at a Kendal conference on Mental Health and Wellbeing for Cumbrian businesses. There was a comprehensive presentation from Dame Carol Black, the government adviser on health and work, mainly about work being good for us (given the right characteristics). Growing Well supports people back into employment…

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How about this for an unusual marketing plug? The following email is from Cannon Richard White of Liverpool Cathedral (which arrived at the same time as a delivery of Jerusalem artichokes from Growing Well – timing that made me smile anyway): “About ten days ago we visited Low Sizergh Barn, one of our favourite coffee shops. While…

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On International Women’s Day Helen Browning is someone to celebrate. She is Chief Executive of the Soil Association and she visited Growing Well at the farm yesterday, and spoke at last night’s meeting of Cumbria Organics. The Soil Association certify for the public that farmers and growers meet high organic standards of chemical free, wildlife…

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This morning’s cold weather coincided with a delivery of wood chip for the biomass boiler. A load of 23 cubic metres keeps the barn warm and heats all the hot water we use in a winter fortnight.  It’s a delicious kind of heat, generated by seasoned wood from local managed woodland. There’s a pleasure to…

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Two footsore travelling showmen called in at Low Sizergh Barn last month on their month long tramp through the South Lakes, performing puppetry, stories and songs at sites along the way. Their show, Vagabonding, was inspired by puppeteer Walter Wilkinson who walked and performed his way around the UK in the 1920s and 1930s. I…

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Askham Bryan College in Yorkshire has been appointed to run courses at the well-loved Cumbrian agricultural college, Newton Rigg. Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Borders is seeking 6000 names on a petition for the college to remain a resource for agriculture in Cumbria. Not that there’s a lack of faith in the Yorkshire…

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Today, March 8th is International Women’s Day, and I wish I could get to the Reading Museum of English Rural Life where the curator of the current exhibition — Land Ladies: Women and Farming in England 1900-1945 — is due to talk about the many different ways women have been active in food production: “Women have…

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