We’re trying very hard at Whistlebare to reduce our environmental impact in all aspects of the farm and the yarn business. We’ve recently sourced new packaging for our website orders – more on that another time, and we are using the electricity from the solar panels to run the equipment for the yarn dyeing. So the next step in the reduction of impact is to try and reduce the amount of packaging that comes into Whistlebare. Supermarkets are under a lot of pressure at the moment to reduce the amount of excess plastics on their produce and many of them are beginning to take note and make changes, but it’s still practically impossible to buy many fruits and vegetables without ending up with a rubbish bin full of plastic. We don’t have any farm shops nearby so the next solution was to try and grow our own. We are on a farm after all. However anyone who remembers last years incident with the sweet peas will know that growing things at Whistlebare doesn’t always run smoothly. For anyone who can’t remember the sweet pea incident, lets just say that there may have been some escapee goats involved, and what was once a very pretty wigwam of flowers was within minutes a tasty afternoon snack…… And then there’s the howling wind that always blows here, making growing conditions even harsher than you might expect in the wilds of Northumberland. And a puppy who is rather keen on digging. But I was undeterred. I decided to start small and out of the way, hidden from both the wind and the goats, and I planted up one of the metal planters next to the studio with spring onion, mixed lettuce and radish seeds. Weeks of patient waiting followed. The planter was guarded from marauding goats, and protected from the wind, and watered carefully during the baking heat of the summer. I had high hopes of a luscious crop of crisp lettuce, some crunchy radishes and slightly sweet onions. All gloriously produced without bringing a hint of plastic packaging though the door. Sadly it was not meant to be. The onions didn’t grow at all, the lettuce bravely showed it’s head and I think a snail ate it, and we managed to grow ONE whole radish. And very tasty it was too.
You have to start somewhere on a mission to save the world, even if we only do it one radish at a time.