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Archive for December, 2009

Depending on where you live, soup is either the last thing on your mind right now or you’re craving something hearty and warm by the fire. Either way, if you’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a successful crop of carrots and are now looking for something to do with them, this recipe for carrot and butterbean (also known as “Lima”) soup is as tasty as it’s wholesome. If you’re thinking of a starter for Christmas dinner, it’s perfect in the festive colour department too. (more…)

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Landshare.org is a British initiative that looks to re-think the way we produce and grow food. The community puts people who have land in touch with people who want to produce food and encourages people to get talking and working together. The idea is that people with a bit of spare space can offer it to a would-be grower in exchange for some of their harvest. The British TV station Channel 4 has set up a web site and forum based around the aims of the organisation. If you’re looking for some inspiration and would like to get involved, why not check it out.

www.landshare.org

http://landshare.channel4.com

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If this doesn’t get you out into the garden and growing your own, nothing will. Writers Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser are involved in this documentary about everything that’s wrong with the American (and, consequently, global) food system and what we can do to change it.

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The taste of a freshly pulled organic carrot simply can’t be beaten by anything you get at the shops – even dyed-in-the-wool organic-skeptics admit that they taste better. For a product that’s widely viewed as something of a poster child for everything that’s good about natural produce (who can resist photos of baskets of them, complete with their fan of green foliage?), it’s interesting to note that carrots are quite possibly one of the most tweaked-with vegetables around. Originating in Afghanistan, selective breeding over centuries has improved everything from the appearance to the texture and, indeed, the colour: carrots of yore were naturally purple – the orange was bred into them by, surprise surprise, the Dutch.

Today, carrots come in all shapes, sizes and colours as diverse as purple, white, yellow and red. If you’re thinking of growing your own, maybe opt for the less common varieties – the regular kind are readily available in the shops and cost very little, so you may as well reward yourself with something a little bit different for all your efforts. Here’s how to grow your own carrots. And yes, if you do eat too many of them your skin really will begin to turn orange…  (more…)

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