Food

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PIEATHALON 9: Borden Candy-Apple Cheese Pie (1990)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/09/2022 - 10:45pm in

Tags 

Food, Apple

It’s back, baby! (albeit a few weeks later than normal) Nine years later and I still find that there’s no better way to close out summer than throwing random pie recipes at my fellow food bloggers. So let’s get into mine. My recipe comes courtesy of Camilla’s Culinary Adventures. From Borden Great American Pies Cookbook,Continue reading PIEATHALON 9: Borden Candy-Apple Cheese Pie (1990) →

Britain’s Blind Farmers Are Teaching Others How to Grow

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/09/2022 - 6:00pm in

“All I’ve ever wanted in life is to be a farmer,” says Mike Duxbury, who lost his sight at the age of six through infantile glaucoma. Having grown up on the family farm, he was determined not to let the loss of his sight stop him chasing the only career he ever wanted.

In the late 1980s, Duxbury applied to every agricultural college in the country before being accepted by just one: Warwickshire College of Agriculture. He qualified as an animal nutritionist and graduated in 1990 with a degree in agricultural business management.

blind farmerMike Duxbury and his partner Ness Shillito started Inclusive Farm on the premise that people with disabilities should be able to participate in whatever industry they choose. Credit: Alexander Turner

“Even back then, prejudice was very high, but I learned at college to do the things I wanted to do. They gave me every opportunity; they never put up a barrier.”

Today, Duxbury and his partner Ness Shillito have established one of the UK’s first working farms dedicated to training people with disabilities for a career in agriculture.

Credit: Alexander Turner

With 10 pigs, 10 sheep, four goats and 50 egg-laying birds, Inclusive Farm aims to give students the full range of skills expected on any British farm.

With 10 pigs, 10 sheep, four goats and 50 egg-laying birds, Inclusive Farm near Flitwick in Bedfordshire aims to give students the full range of skills expected on any British farm. It is now guiding disabled students from Milton Keynes College towards animal care qualifications.

“We are a working farm, and what students see and what students do is part of that working farm,” Duxbury says. “They learn that animals need to be kept clean, fed and watered. I don’t do anything with the students that a working farm wouldn’t do on a daily basis.”

The farm has been adapted for people with a wide range of physical needs so that by a combination of touch, sound and texture, Duxbury can move around without assistance. Credit: Alexander Turner

For almost a decade after qualifying, Duxbury worked as a livestock specialist and a stud person for national farming companies. He then switched careers to work in telecoms. The money was good but the work was only a “means to an end,” so he kept on farming when he could.

In September 2021, disillusioned by a lack of diversity in farming, he set out to prove a point to the world: disabled people should be able to participate in whatever industry they choose. With the help of local friends, he and Shillito began transforming a rented acre of overgrown green field into a working farm with disability access.

Credit: Alexander Turner

The beauty of it is that people from different backgrounds, communities and with different aspirations can bring something new to farming and make it more modern, wider-thinking and more 21st-century.

The farm has been adapted for people with a wide range of physical needs, and Duxbury believes this would be possible across the industry. Each animal enclosure has a different frontage, with unique shapes cut into fencing so that by a combination of touch, sound and texture, Duxbury can move around the farm without assistance.

“From a tactile point of view, I’ve used different types of front. One will have a picket type front; one will have a post and rail; one a rail and a wire. They all help me at a glance. When I say ‘at a glance’, I mean I reach out my hands to touch. I know exactly where I am at any given point.”

Even not being able to see, Duxbury can navigate the farm on a customized golf buggy. Credit: Alexander Turner

Matting is strategically placed around the farm so that the feel of the ground can be used as a navigational prompt: “It means that, when I’m carrying buckets of feed and I’m with the goats, I’m not going to give them chicken feed.”

It is not known how many disabled people work in farming, but the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution — a national charity providing local support for farming communities across England and Wales — estimates that 21 percent of all farmers experience problems undertaking their usual activities.

Mark Thomas, of the Farming Community Network, says that many of the calls the charity receives are from farmers experiencing physical and mental health issues that can prevent them from carrying out their work. “We tend not to get calls from disabled people looking to get involved in farming, but we often do from people where a farm accident or physical illness has become an issue while working on the farm.”

At Inclusive Farm, electricity and running water have yet to be installed, but Duxbury and Shillito are already ushering their first intake of 14 students towards completion of their courses.

An estimated 21 percent of all farmers experience problems undertaking their usual activities. Credit: Alexander Turner

Duxbury says: “The beauty of it is that people from different backgrounds, communities and with different aspirations can bring something new to farming and make it more modern, wider-thinking and more 21st-century.” Beyond farming, his message to other industries is: “When you are recruiting or have people who become disabled or have issues, instead of just throwing them on the scrapheap or ignoring them, talk to people like ourselves.”

Dorset farmer Jyoti Fernandes, a policy coordinator for the Landworkers’ Alliance, was raised by a blind mother and says that Duxbury’s example has the potential to become a powerful force.

“It’s about peer support … somebody who is blind themselves showing that you can just get out there and do it, and you can have job opportunities doing whatever you feel you are capable of. People should be allowed equal access to jobs — any job that they can perform while being disabled.”

Duxbury hopes to eventually expand across more land so that the farm can grow, teach students a wider range of agricultural skills and bring more products to market.

blind farmer“The world is not like it used to be in terms of technology and attitude. There is plenty of room for people like myself to go and develop a career in whatever we choose to do.” Credit: Alexander Turner

“We’re trying to give people hope and a chance to stop thinking about limitations and start looking at what they really can do,” says Duxbury. “We can cater for pretty well every disability.”

“When I was at school, a lot of adults wanted to make decisions for us because we were that ‘poor disabled person’ who couldn’t make a decision for themselves. But we can.”

“The world is not like it used to be in terms of technology and attitude. There is plenty of room for people like myself to go and develop a career in whatever we choose to do.”

A version of this story appeared in The Guardian

The post Britain’s Blind Farmers Are Teaching Others How to Grow appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

If Labour were in charge there would be a full-blown currency crisis…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 03/09/2022 - 7:13am in

The pound Sterling is now worth a lot less than it used to be – even just looking at this Bloomberg graph for the post Brexit year of 2022. We have in this allegedly ‘economically responsible’ (but in fact economically incompetent) Conservative government, policies that are accelerating Sterling’s decline – which is important for energy... Read more

156. Greek Lamb Stew in Baked Eggplant Boat

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 02/09/2022 - 12:12am in

It’s National Gyro Day! Sadly, I do not have a gyro to share with you, but I do have Greek Lamb. In a boat. That’s not too far off, right? Whatever. Just roll with me. So it would be remiss of me not to mention that I made this dinner in March of 2021. Yes,Continue reading 156. Greek Lamb Stew in Baked Eggplant Boat →

The Wartime Roots of the Global Fast Food Boom

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/09/2022 - 9:00pm in

Tags 

Politics, Food, War

How McDonald’s, KFC, and other American eateries spread around the world. Even before the war, Aban Pestonjee’s business was doing rather well. In the 1970s, Swedish and American home appliances were the kind of thing that lots of people in Sri Lanka wanted, but hardly anyone knew how to get. In response to a series of economic shocks, the government largely barred imports...

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141. Chicken Teriyaki

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 31/08/2022 - 12:08am in

I made this one back in May and I didn’t take notes. All I can remember is that we hosted my friend Kevin and it was a weeknight. This was a good choice for a weeknight because it was only supposed to take a little over an hour to prepare and I marinated the chickenContinue reading 141. Chicken Teriyaki →

Public Health – another problem of capitalism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 23/08/2022 - 7:06am in

All health is actually public by definition – unless you believe there are simply no communicable diseases. Which idea surely at the very minimum, the Covid pandemic has scuppered. So individualism cannot be any real solution. A couple of weeks or so ago (I’m nothing if not up to date) there was an interesting FT... Read more

Amazon not so fresh with the UK

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/08/2022 - 9:26pm in

It looks rather as though Amazon Fresh is struggling to break into the UK market. According to the Sunday Times it has halted the expansion of its stores Apparently (but unsurprisingly): sales at most of the stores had fallen short of expectations and that the fit-out costs are multiple times higher than with a standard... Read more

Saturday’s ‘brain candy’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 20/08/2022 - 10:01am in

Apparently inflation is such that we now have food banks for pets. That is why I have titled the piece ‘Brain Candy’ (which sounds like an American expression but seems to be Canadian, in fact) but it is of importance simply because the UK is in such a parlous state that even its alleged ‘man’s... Read more

250 million years and then somehow best before…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/08/2022 - 5:47am in

Amid all the disastrous food inflation news, I did enjoy this twitter post: Lovely that 250 million years expired sometime in 2019! But joking apart, because the container is clearly plastic, the suppliers should, I think, have suggested instead a transfer to a more inert glass container as soon as practicable after purchase. I surmise... Read more

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