Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Organic Food Festival

On Saturday I visited Bristol's Organic Food Festival. I love this annual event which gets better and better every year. My personal highlights were:
  • Listening to a talk by the West Country's very own Self Sufficientish duo where, amongst other things, I learned how to make an insect house using a plastic bottle and corrugated cardboard. They were so reassuringly down to earth and unpretentious.

  • Watching a cookery demonstration by Sophie Grigson, she of the amazing ear rings. On Saturday she was wearing ones that looked as if they had been made from a tin of pilchards. She prepared a selection of 'white' dishes - a chowder, a Thai soup and junket.

  • Being given samples of organic recyclable female sanitary products and discovering that I can buy them locally

  • Watching another cookery demonstration by Xanthe Clay, whom I had never heard of, but who created several dishes from one duck including confit, which my daughters loved during their recent exchange visit to south west France, and which I would like to recreate for them at home.

  • Discovering Dove Farm's Ezekiel Bread Mix and picking up two packs for £1 each. It's a savoury loaf which apparently goes very well with cheese.
My only reservation about the festival is the amount of waste it must engender but I was pleased to note that most suppliers appeared to be using recyclable containers and utensils and the site was well supplied with recycling bins.
PS If the mention of Sophie and Xanthe's dishes has tickled your taste buds then you will, hopefully soon, be able to access the recipes on Bordeaux Quay's website. However you'll have to wait as they are not there yet.


  1. Hi Gai,

    Good to see my old forum contacts on still going strong.

    The baking links were of particular interest since home baking is necessary to avoid plastic packaging waste. My efforts include madeira cakes (lemon, coconut or sultanas) and sponges (jam, cream).


  2. John - Home baking not only avoids plastic waste, it's also healthier and tastier. Your cakes sound yummy.

    It's not difficult but it does require some planning to ensure you have all the correct ingredients. Many's the time I've had to pop out to buy half a dozen eggs or a pack of butter.

  3. Hi Gai,

    Thanks, it all gets eaten.

    A baking routine is very helpful, in my case weekly. With the lack of suitable choices, I find it essential for Zero Waste.

    I followed Chris Jeavans, Life Without Plastic blog recently and came across a bunch of plastic advocates. One character even spoke out against home baking!

    Are any of your contacts taking up the local Zero Waste Week challenge? The Green's recent effort was a great success.


  4. John - I think you're right about the routine. It prevents my usual scenario of having to dash out to the corner shop for a box of eggs or a bag of sugar.

    However I have made a special effort this week - flapjacks on Monday, fruitcake on Wednesday and cranberry muffins this afternoon. I've also got a loaf of bread proving. It's a packet mix, but I usually use my breadmaker.

    I've talked to quite a few of my friends about the challenge but Im not sure how many are taking it on.