Grown in Wales

Grown in WalesGrown in WalesGrown in Wales

20

November

New friends

Charles Warner

 

We have never been so busy during the autumn period as we have been this year. Sales went on for a bit longer than we usually expect them to but after that there was such a lot of work to do to prepare the plants for winter so that we are well stocked in the spring. The count down to the first seed sowing has already begun and there is still a lot to do.

There have been cool, dry days and with the sun on them the autumn leaves have been spectacular. Between potting and trimming and replacing plastic on the tunnels I have had a few opportunities to get out along the Teifi gorge for walks and once up to Nant yr Arian in the spectacular hills above Aberystwyth.

For a couple of months our delivery van is hardly used so I always welcome the chance of lending it out to friends and other businesses that just need the occasional use of a large van. Recently a friend of mine needed to transport a dresser that he had built. I am full of admiration for anyone that has the craftsmanship to produce a piece of furniture and I was only too pleased to be able to help. It was his first commission and he wanted everything to go just so. he was quite apprehensive and wanted to ensure that his customer was delighted with his work. It reminded me of when I first had to go out to customers with the first plants that I ever grew. It is a very scary moment. You invest such a lot in getting to the point where you have something to show a potential customer. In my case I pulled up at one of the largest nurseries in the UK with some trays of plants and an appointment with the managing director. In my mind he was going to simply laugh at my pathetic attempts. As it was they took everything that I could grow in that first year of business and of course when that happens you slowly gain in confidence.

Anyway, to say thank you for the offer of the van (not even it's actual use) Matt and Alice did something very special. They baked me a loaf of bread. It was slightly misshapen and had a beautiful golden crust. I couldn't resist squeezing it and it crackled delightfully. Bread has been mans staple food since the dawn of civilisation. It goes back to a time when people first learned to grind a grain and produce flour. It is solid and sustaining. It's portable and great for ripping off and sharing or dipping into a soup. Students still live on it toasted and covered in marmite. People from the dawn of time must have made soldiers and dipped them into a boiled egg. When we make a loaf of bread we are sharing something with our most distant ancestors and if it's eaten still warm and covered in butter then there is almost no greater culinary pleasure. The loaf didn't last long. Good bread never does.

 

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