Caroline Shipsey

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Weight Loss 4 Idiots

Yes, there really is a diet plan called Weight Loss For Idiots! I'm not a fan of diet plans - South Beach Diet, Atkins Diet, Weight Watchers - water off a duck's back to me.

I've been researching weight loss for my website and what an eyeopener it has been. Some people even believe that drinking large amounts of water washes fat from your body!

For me there is a simple explanation about how to lose weight, and yes you can do it without dieting. Eat a healthy diet, lots of fruit and veg, appropriate amounts of protein, cabs etc, exercise for around 30 minutes every day and the weight or rather fat will gradually go.

Experts agree that a safe amount to lose each week is around 1kg or 2.2 pounds, at this level it should be sustainable. Obesity is a real threat to life so please do take the first steps towards saving it by eating a healthy diet.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Community Farm

Today I'm feeling pretty good, possibly even excited despite yet another day of fog, rain etc which has left me pretty depressed lately.

So why the high spirits today? Well I'm about to become a shareholder, albeit a small one, in The Community Farm - my cheque is in the post!

The Community Farm is a not-for-profit CSA project which reconnects people with how and where their food is grown. They are Organic growers and run a veg box scheme.

From their website:-
The Community Farm was started by Luke Hasell, Phil Haughton and Jim Twine who all live in the Chew Valley. Luke and Jim started The Story Group a few years ago and supply organic beef and lamb to the local community. Phil runs The Better Food Company, which is an organic supermarket in Bristol, and he has been growing vegetables locally for the last 7 years. All three have a lifetime’s commitment to the principles behind organic farming. They have a shared vision to work with people from Bristol and the Chew Valley and hope to play a small part in reconnecting the local community with agriculture.

The Community Farm is based on Luke’s farm on Denny Lane in the heart of the Chew Valley where 11 acres are currently growing a wide range of organic fruit and vegetables. The farm has been in Luke’s family for generations and is a beautiful and tranquil place with stunning views over the lake.

Having a project like this locally to my home means that I can be really involved if I want to as they run volunteer workshop days, or I can just go and take a look at the progress from time to time.

They still need to raise money to fund the project so no matter where you live please consider sending them a cheque and become a shareholder in this brilliant project. This is the way forward for our food production - locally grown and distributed, eating seasonally, community involvement, fresh organic produce free of pesticides and chemicals.

So yes I am excited about The Community Farm. I already have my vegetables from an organic veg box scheme so I know from experience how good they taste. I think more about planning my meals and make a great effort never to waste anything now.

Please support this project or if there is one closer to you give them your support!

Visit The Community Farm for further information.
Photos courtesy of The Community Farm.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Where are the Snowdrops? - Favourite Spring Flowering Bulb

Of all the spring flowering bulbs snowdrops are my favourite. They bravely push their way through hard cold ground, so delicate and slender but surviving snow and frosts.

Some snowdrop bulbs have a surprisingly high value. They are sometimes sold for as much as £150 for a single bulb and can even be found for sale on eBay! I had always thought of them as being a typically English plant but not so - they come from Turkey, Greece and the Caucasus, though two kinds in particular grow well here – Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus plicatus.

To the novice enthusiast it comes as quite a surprise to discover just how many different varieties? there are. If I was a Galanthophile I would know the answer - this is the term used to describe a snowdrop enthusiast, taken from the Latin name for the snowdrop which is galanthus.

There is something about bulbs that I find appealing, especially the spring flowering bulbs. Such variety of colours and shapes starting with the snowdrop, then crocus, daffodils, hyacinth, tulips - all flowers which over the years I've enjoyed photographing and continue to do so each year without fail.

If you love these beautiful spring flowers and want to see them in your garden next year, try to buy them 'in the green' - this means with the leaves of this years growth attached. Specialist suppliers can provide them like this and they naturalize really well.

The first flowers of spring - Snowdrops