Archives for the month of: June, 2014



I am overwhelmed by potatoes. This is because there are sacks of sprouted organic ones I am getting for free because no one else wants them, neither to buy nor be given, at our local organic vegetable shop /community enterprise.  I feel a personal resolve to rescue them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reblogging the following: Sounds really scary what’s happening.

These people have been peacefully creating an alternative community that gardens, organises, sells beautiful food, educates for a fairer world, and works hard to be a part of the larger village and Forest of Dean. They are facing violent eviction in what seems to be about the power of a property developer who wants this land at all cost. There is apparently a very dense and confusing story to the official ownership of the land– no one seems to own it, but as squatters they are hoping to grow into it.  I don’t know the full story except what I read …  They seem to be supported by residents around the area. This is something I found written by a visitor a while back. I think this might be a story that evolves to represent a lot of contested realities around farming, property rights, Tory privatising of public lands, forests and the land registry, historic usufruction,  divided Britain, all of it.  We are all just learning on our feet. but I’m pretty inclined to be on the side of the Yorkley community, sharing so many of their values and visions for a better agriculture and food system. Anyone there reading this, sending you courage and love! Ah, I’ve just read they’ve been granted an injunction.  Temporary relief, breathe deeply.

Yorkley Court Community Farm

We are a group of ecological farmers who have spent the last two years creating a community farm for the benefit of local people.  We live peacefully in Yorkley where we have contributed positively to the Forest of Dean in many different ways.

At five o’clock Monday morning bailiffs, private security and contractors entered the farm in an attempt to remove our property and take possession of the land by force. We resisted their attempt and the bailiffs quickly stood down when they were made aware of the legal situation regarding contested ownership of the land.  We managed to remove everyone from the land, culminating in a stand off at the gate which we have maintained for 48 hours straight.

This shocking and aggressive attempt to destroy a blossoming community farm and peaceful peoples livelihoods has apparently been pursued and paid for by local property developer Brian Bennett colluding with…

View original post 62 more words

Hooray for the Vegetable Orchestra, and hope you enjoy listening while you peruse below.  As usual, articles, resources, links et al. are piling up on my to-share list.  They’re the customary Kitchencounterculture mix of political, community, and DIY domestic.  Hope they are of interest…

Read the rest of this entry »

I love prawns (or shrimp as they’re known in the US), but I don’t really eat them or cook with them.  This is mostly because I’ve been aware of how destructive they are to the tropical mangroves where “farms” are set up to raise them.  Mangroves are important ecologically to coasts and to oceans as nurseries for so much sea life and protection of inland eco-systems.

Recently the Guardian in particular has completed an important investigation of conditions of slavery in the Thai prawn industry and uncovered gruelling facts.

As a newspaper, they’ve been campaigning really strongly recently on the ethical issues facing shoppers and consumers who want to eat with their conscience.  The conclusion is pretty much one of moral horror as well as reliance on Marine Stewardship Council certification, which for better or for worse may be the best we’ve got at the moment.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hi Everyone

This is a quick post Kitchencounterculture felt important to write. There’s extremely little public debate about TTIP, a trade deal between the USA and the EU. It’s very anti-democratic with quite worrisome implications. I feel I only know about it because of the “Echo Chamber” of my own information gathering / receiving on the internet.  Maybe some of you reading this occupy a different Echo Chamber,  and will catch wind of this through this piece here, because we believe in democracy and open speech and people to people communication.

Read the rest of this entry »

PLANTING CORN, NOT PIPELINES : Kitchencounterculture gets fascinated by people in Nebraska reminding us of the importance of corn as a central and a symbolic food… linking climate, water and food movements … bringing together unlikely allies.   The Cowboy-Indian Alliance protests in an exciting new way.  Read on…


People in rural Nebraska are protesting the Keystone Pipeline running through their lands, and doing it in an exciting way, reflecting agricultural history and a vision for the future.. Thanks to the internet, one can live halfway across a large yet small world and find oneself piecing together a story that makes important connections between food and climate movements. Watch this local newscast:

The Cowboy Indian Alliance represents the fact that new coalitions and allegiances are necessary to a diverse Climate Movement.  Read about it via and in this link, with great photos.  The symbolism of the alliance, two groups so mythically/historically/stereotypically opposed, speaks loudly against the dangers of the Keystone Pipeline, and of the Tar Sands project too, regarding climate instability as overarching and destruction of water supplies and communities as immediate..

Climate Access describes the healing aspects of movement building that the Cowboy-Indian Alliance represents.  This link shares positive, meaningful lessons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Well, here’s something to watch– A 1989 Brazilian “documentary” about human beings, animals, farming, social economies, wealth, poverty, hunger…through the singular life trajectory of a tomato. You will be amused and outraged at the same time.  The film is a comment on economic systems, food systems and the human folly that creates such hideous inequity.

There seems to be a debate about whether the scene with people scavenging for what the pigs reject was orchestrated, with people paid to be actors.  Is this a documentary with a metaphorical point, therefore a different kind of documentary, or would such “falseness” reduce the veracity and seriousness of the film which, despite its quirkiness, aspires to literal truth-telling? I’m undecided.

Here’s the Lebanese food writer Barbara Massaad.  She has collected recipes to make a book called Soup for Syria, proceeds from which, if all goes well, will support a community kitchen for Syrian women refugees. I gave a small amount. If you can, please do too, or just spread the word.

And this is an informative and evocative piece on eating in exile.

I had a dream the other night
When everything was still
I dreamed I saw Susannah dear
A-coming down the hill.

The buckwheat cake was in her mouth
The tear was in her eye
Says I, “I’m coming from the south,
Susannah, don’t you cry.

I adore the Be Good Tanyas, and in the spirit of blogging to songs I love, have been wondering about Buckwheat Cakes.

Well, wonder no further than My Kitchen Witch‘s delving into Elizabeth David’s English Bread and Yeast Cookery, an amazing anthropological / cultural / technical / social history of bread on this Island.  Debi makes Buckwheat  Griddle Cakes, or Bockings, and they are what I would place squarely in the mouth of Susannah, Coming Down the Hill.  I plan to make them this weekend — maybe with a little sourdough starter instead of yeast, or kefir or buttermilk in place of the milk– but looking forward indeed.

Read the rest of this entry »

I want to share this fascinating historical docu-poem, encountered on an Ecologist page , where you can read the full text by Heathcoate Williams. What an incredible thing this writer has done, to set this story, this biography, these food politics, to verse.

Here’s Nanjundaswamy’s obituary in The Guardian.   I am happy, via this video and poem, to have learned of his life’s work. Ten years on from his death, we are still fighting the same battles, for seeds, for people to have rights to stand up to ever more mega corporations, for foods to remain diverse and in “the commons,”– for a vision of Food Sovereignty…. For Democracy.

I wonder what my readers from India make of all this (including the uber-posh accent reading the poem).

And the really fanciful, sometimes happily straining rhymes:

Make sure to read the poem.


%d bloggers like this: