Putting silly ideas into people’s heads

6 February 2011

I shouldn’t have watched the People’s Supermarket.

It’s just given loads of silly ideas about running our community shop as a co-op with discounts for members.

Silly programme.

I’d much rather sit at home and watch TV like everybody else, waiting for the Tesco van to pitch up with milk costing 19p per litre from Mr Farmer when it costs him 24p per litre to produce. It’s his fault for not being competitive enough.

No, Sainsbury’s should continue to dump 100s of tonnes of food a day, some of it perfectly good except for a torn label or past its display date, because that’s economic.

Why should I work for my community? It’s not like we all have to live in the same place, deal with the same snow, the same lack of services, disappearing bus service, Asda-isation of shopping and alienation.

Food miles? No, it’s all about Nectar points.

I’d much rather send the profits out of the village. And, profit it is. Feeling good about the place you live is no substitute for profit.

Silly programme. Putting silly ideas in to people’s heads.


Time to bake bread

23 April 2008

040620-bread097

Perhaps a time to step back and look at the wider picture. And, I don’t mean comparing my growing efforts to Bill or Eamon or George or even my siblings.

It has probably not escaped your notice that the news is rather lousy at the moment.

Be it the credit crunch – every expert saw that one coming – or global warming – which has been around long enough to become boring and the subject of a treatise by a worse chancellor than Alistair Darling – or turrsm, it looks bleak. Hey, we have forgotten about AIDS and SARS and what about the threatened flu pandemic?

There’s a new one today: not only are petrol prices still on the rise, but we are facing a fuel shortage thanks to good old industrial action.

It was a standing joke in my family that whenever things got bad you should start baking bread.

The story originated in the mid 1970s when New York, where my family then lived, was facing the mother of all snow storms. ‘We’ve started baking our own bread’ said the tv weatherman to explain how cataclysmic the snowfall would be.

Point being that with the transport chaos and power failures, there would be no bread in the shops. So, the weather team had made their own preparations.

Well, it looks like even homemade bread is going to cost a lot more:

Families who have been hit by rising energy and petrol prices and, in some cases, higher mortgage costs, are also facing a 15% rise in the cost of many basic foodstuffs, according to website Mysupermarket.co.uk.

Many staple items have been hit by the rising price of wheat.

It’s all the fault of the two year Australian drought and land used for biofuels rather than edible crops.

What on earth does this have to do with allotmenteering? Am I going to start growing wheat?

Figures from garden centres and seed producers suggest that rising shop costs and a growing interest in the provenance of food is leading more families to try producing their own food.

Vegetable seed sales are reportedly up 60% on this time last year.

Well, you knew that anyway (funny, I thought seed sales where up 6%?). That’s why a lot of you out there cannot get an allotment.

Maybe some of you are also starting to bake your own bread.

We already do.

And if you want a bag of my potatoes when the food crisis gets worse, the bidding starts at £50 a kilo.


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