Rambles from The Farm

2 07 2012

ImageSutton Community Farm has once again been brought back from the brink. Funding has been secured for another year and we can throw this and all the considerable energy, goodwill and momentum into our continued development as a healthy growing hub for plants, people and planet.

The summer’s unusual weather patterns have provided us with many challenges including erratic crop growth rates and a burgeoning slug and snail population. Harvesting has however been able to meet the veg box demand.

We have a steady stream of people arriving looking to volunteer. No wonder given the sense of elation at this elevation looking down to the London city skyline. HImageere there is space to breathe, to think and just to be as hand and head unite to work the land. Enthusiastic, motivated teams transform the potentially tedious tasks of weeding and seed sowing into a friendship forging opportunity.

My routine walk around the site has revealed the ongoing blossoming of English wildflowers (more than our neighbours are happy with) including what promises to be a bumper crop of brambles at the edge of the fledgling forest garden. I’ve been experimenting with bramble tip tea and found it to be a substantial tasting brew with a tantalising hint of blackberry. It’s going down a treat with the mixed spice muffins at morning tea so I’ll finish with the recipes and recommend you give them both a try.

Bramble tip tea:

½ c bramble tips into a six-cup teapot

6c boiling water

let stand for 3-4 mins before serving

Ruth’s Mixed Spice Muffins:

  • 1½ c  unbleached flour
  • 1 ½ c whole rye flour
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1 c demerara sugar
  • 1 c almonds
  • 1 c raisins
  • ¼ c crushed flax seed
  • 1 banana
  • ¾ c oil
  • 2 c cold water
  • 1tbsp lemon juice

Method:

Dry ingredients:

  •  Whiz up sugar in blender
  • Place flours, baking powder and mixed spice and sugar in mixing bowl and combine

Wet ingredients:

  • Whiz almonds in blender.
  • Add banana and blend further
  • Add raisins and flax seed, oil, water and lemon juice and blend lightly

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.

Mix lightly and spoon into cases in muffin trays.

Bake in moderate to hot oven for approx 20mins or until cooked.