Welcome to the
It's Spring. The sap is rising. The ducks are mating. The views from Macbiehill are greening up and delighting our visitors (and us).
Bread Matters Newsletter
Bread Matters Courses
are flourishing; with Daily Bread, a new one-day version for 2012, appealing to home bakers from Edinburgh, Lothians and the Borders whilst specialist courses such as Sourdough and Gluten/Wheat-free bring returning students from previous courses, and from all over the world.
Our next four-day Baking for Community
course commences on 2nd May 2012. We are reserving one free place
on it for someone who will use it to bring real bread to more people and to help start, or develop, a community-supported baking project.
This year's Real Bread Maker Week
(starting on 7th May) will celebrate all the bread makers at the end of our arms, and in our local communities. What better way to join that celebration than to get some real bread into the places where you live, eat and work?
To apply for this free-of-charge place
on Baking for Community, please get in touch
and tell us how you plan to make the best use of it.
Comments from those who attended Baking for Community in 2011 included,
"This helped me to realise.. that this is what I want to do."
[Connor Rose, now employed full time in community-supported baking]
"I have a new 'fire in my belly' for baking. Sad to be leaving. A life-changing few days! Thank you."
[John Forrester of Blackthorn Trust bakery
"...a truly informative, fun, interesting and skill-building week. You are excellent with a group, which is a real skill."
[Bruce Frayne, Canada]
In Macbiehill Farmhouse Kitchen
he 'hungry gap' of the year has begun, when we reach the end of our store of winter vegetables and the spring produce isn't ready yet. But the eggs are coming in with golden yolks like melted butter and the oriental winter salads (mizuna, mibuna etc.) are really earning their place.
Our guests have been enjoying pirozhki, little pies made from yeasted pastry and filled with white cabbage, onion, boiled eggs and peppery rocket. This is Lenten food
at its best and makes a nutrient-packed lunch, great for carrying to school or work, well beyond Easter.
Energy Generation and Consumption
Thanks to Scaled Energy
of Edinburgh, the Evance R9000 5kw wind turbine was installed by the end of March 2012 and is
working efficiently and quietly.
Since then we have had a mixture of snow, rain, brilliant sunshine and snell winds to confuse the plants and livestock while exercising all the energy generating systems in turn.
In the last full week we recorded:
400 kw hours used
219 kw hours generated; 168 from the wind turbine and 51 from the photo voltaics
So, we generated 54.75% of what we used.
The remainder was sourced from Good Energy, which uses only renewables.
Agro-forestry on the smallholding
We have added two piglets, Rusty and Dusty, to the fold. They'll be here (vegetarians look away now) until the end of June. We have goose eggs that we hope will hatch at the end of April.
Exciting packages of trees are arriving, many of them from Alba
of East Lothian or from Taynuilt Trees
in Argyll, and we are developing wildflower areas, starting with some mixes from Scotia Seeds
We are looking for wwoofers and other willing helpers on the smallholding, at various points during the year, in return for their board.
is bringing its cycling Tastetastic tour here for several days during August. We are looking forward to an inspirational sustainable-food themed week of their company, as well as to having their help with some of our growing projects.
Breadshare products (including this Border Country loaf) are now available at St Mary's market in Edinburgh every Saturday morning as well as in local village markets, Whitmuir Organic Farm shop and other local independent shops.
There is a growing band of 'bread baskets' who collect bread on their daily journeys and deliver it to their friends, family and neighbours.
If you missed Breadshare's rising stars of the sourdough and the loaf loan on BBC Scotland's Landward programme
last Friday, you can catch it on iPlayer for two more days. It is also being broadcast again at 11am today, Wednesday 18th April.
good wishes and good baking
Andrew Whitley and Veronica Burke at Bread Matters