The new pond at Whitmuir The Organic Place is beginning to look less like a reservoir on a construction site and more like a place to find wildlife. Today, in rare gaps between cloudbursts, we transplanted around seventy clumps of native Scottish wildflowers (Scotia Seeds Pond Edge Mixture, raised from seed). If the young plants manage to survive being planted into what looked to me rather like potters’ clay, they will eventually flower, self-seed and spread. Watch this space. Even better, if you are lucky enough to be anywhere near Edinburgh, Peebles, West Linton or Lamancha, go and see the new pond.
As you can see, our work was closely supervised by The Management: ‘Just what, exactly, are you doing at my pond, young lady? And what have you done with my ducks?‘
More about Whitmuir Wildlife here
If you have been told that all pigs are pink (as in storybooks and model farms), then think again. These ginger porkers are at Whitmuir Organics at Lamancha, not far south of Edinburgh (here). If you want your kids to see real pigs – organically raised pigs – (or if you want to see them yourself) then visit Whitmuir.
Just be sure to wear wellies…
Also at Whitmuir… I’ve heard of free range hens, but this is ridiculous:
But the eggs they lay make AMAZING soufflés (if you are into that kind of thing)… and if I can make soufflés, then anyone can.
Two of the Whitmuir Free Range chickens will make history this Friday as the first farm animals to be allowed into the Scottish Parliament building. They will be attending the Scottish Eco-schools Conference. No doubt Lily will wonder where they have gone (I mentioned some time ago that she attempted to round up several piglets. She also has a go at the chickens occasionally, but rounding them up isn’t easy because she can’t fly).
The event is, appropriately, being held in the Members’ Restaurant.
*It’s who they would vote for
The big suppliers might not be delivering to Scotland but our local firms are. Just up the road from me is Whitmuir Organics, a farm shop on a farm that despite the weather, and unlike the big boys, is managing to deliver food and supplies to all surrounding parts. If they can do it, why have the big retailers chickened out?
Perhaps I shouldn’t have said ‘chickened’. Whitmuir has turkeys for sale, the chickens are for the fresh eggs. So if you want a fresh, local, Christmas turkey that has been allowed to run around in the big world, or if you want to buy a lot of other interesting things in the shop (or eat in the licensed restaurant) it really is the place to go.
Photo copyright (C) 2010 Whitmuir the Organic Place
In training for next year’s Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The third and fourth ducks need more practice, they’re not in step. It gives a whole new meaning to getting your ducks in a row. Taken at Whitmuir Organics after a tasty meal in the restaurant. Us, not the ducks.
Note: You are heading for the kitchen, guys. The pond is the other way.
I am a lucky man. Not only do I live in a beautiful part of Britain (right now I am looking at a stunning sunset), I am also only a couple of miles from an organic farm that has a shop, a restaurant, things to see and walks to go on. There is nothing pretentious about Whitmuir (for more, click on their link) and they are so good, and all work so hard, that they seem to be winning all kinds of awards for their produce, their food, and for the farm itself as a visitor attraction. There are signposted walks that I have yet to go on. They also run little events (see here).
Tomorrow, being Halloween, there is something for children, including (amongst several other things) throwing apples to the pigs. When I first saw the list of events I misread it and thought it said ‘throwing apples at the pigs’. This, from my previous observations of these creatures, would not be a wise thing to do.
Well, not exactly. Dances with pigs, possibly, as this tipi (teepee, if you are a cowboy or from Hollywood) has been erected not far from us at Whitmuir Organics at Lamancha. Nearby, on the other side of the hedge, are families of a dozen or so piglets and a couple of sows so big that you really would not want to get into an argument with them. The Whitmuir Organics sheepdog (Millie, so not exactly a dog) decided to round up all the piglets but was spotted by one of the mothers. Have you ever seen a pig chasing a dog? It’s a sight to behold, especially when the pig is faster… hard to believe, but true. The dog jumped the gate. The pig didn’t.