One of the big disadvantages of leaving Bristol is moving away from the amazing artisan Mark’s Bread. One of the things we are looking forward to at The Secret Acre is learning to make bread ourselves.
There’s a very good reason why we won’t eat non-organic white bread from a supermarket. Not just because real bread like Marks tastes amazing, but because two in every three loaves of bread sold in the UK contain pesticide residues.
You are literally eating weed killer on your toast. Worse still seven out of ten people in the UK have traces of this weedkiller in their urine, which the World Health Organisation says is probably carcinogenic to humans. No wonder The Soil Association want it banned.
You might well wonder why such a crazy state of affairs ever arose in the first place. As usual the culprit is big business agriculture putting profits before people. It is important when harvesting wheat that it is as dry as possible. But the old fashioned way of the farmer waiting for sunny weather doesn’t fit the timetable of big business and contracts. So about twenty years ago someone had the good wheeze of spraying the wheat with weedkiller just before harvest to kill it off and help it dry out. So today you can enjoy weedkiller in your urine. Nice! And that’s why we’ll be making our own bread at The Secret Acre.
Where’s the dislike button? Can’t believe that two out of every three loaves contains residues. That’s horrendous. I make all my own bread. Soda bread and yeast and thought that was great for eliminating additives and preservatives but hadn’t thought about the flour. You’ve given me a lot to think on. Thanks for writing this.
Thanks. Love the great design of your blog. What would be your top three tips on the ups and downs of starting a smallholding for a couple like us just about to start?!
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Oooo. Great question. Hoping that we’ve learned from our mistakes along the way but we are no experts by any means. Chatted to Mr. Fairweather and we’ve agreed no. 1 is start small. Start out at less than you think you can manage. Everything takes longer than you expect and it’s tough if you fall at first hurdle so start small, succeed and expand from there. The stories I could tell about us starting out!
No. 2. Make a plan. You start small but dream big. You don’t have to stick to the plan but have an idea of where you’d like to go with things. We would eventually like pigs for meat but haven’t a clue whether I’ll be up to killing and butchering so we started with hens and ducks because at least if I fail to eat them I can still say I’m keeping them for eggs!
Start with easy things you like to eat. Don’t grow radishes and beetroot if you can’t stand them. You need early rewards to spur you on.
That’s our tuppence worth. Hope it helps!
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