Organic Food Awards 2011

This year I was a Soil Association Organic Food Awards judge, judging cheese (wonderful taste memories, quality outstanding).

So I was invited to the actual awards last Wednesday.

They were held this year at the launch of the 12-day Start festival to celebrate sustainable living.

And at Clarence House gardens, open to the public for the first time.

So I made an effort, bought a reclaimed frock for £25 at Dutty’s in Bristol, caught the coach (National Express not golden) to Victoria, and walked to the Mall.

                       

Me (in sister’s shoes) in front of earth house with grass roof and circular windows.

My first royal photo of Higher Hacknell Farm Organic Food Award winners, Jo and her husband Tim Budden, receiving rightful organic congratulations from HRH Prince Charles.

I had a touching royal moment myself exchanging greetings – I feel Prince Charles (and Soil Association patron) is an earth ally, and uses his position well. I award him the Winkler Seal of Approval.

It was an uplifting evening, meeting old friends and new, especially enlivening because it was held outdoors. Outdoors on a summer evening = good!

Here is a pic from the Bee keeping stall with Daylesford foundation

And a pic of the organic veg garden at Clarence House (could the bare earth do with more plants growing, permaculture-style?).

Here is a chest of drawers imaginatively filled with plants from Garden Organic

And an organic chicken

Pic of the Organic Food Awards certificates awaiting collection by their winners.

At the end of the evening, on my way to Green Park station, I saw the ubiquitous discarded Tesco plastic bag.

Funny. Because my day had begun by taking a Guardian photographer round Stokes Croft in Bristol for a feature by John Harris in next weekend’s Weekend Guardian on UK-wide campaigns against Tescos.

What does it mean?

PS Here is the pic that Guardian photographer, Jon Tonks, took of me outside Cafe Kino in my Dutty royal get-up.

6 responses to “Organic Food Awards 2011

  1. That you are on the right path, my friend, and gratitude to you for doing what you do in making the planet a better place to inhabit! Hope I get to see you soon and we will plot a concert to ban uranium mining around the world!! JC

  2. Curious to think of you meeting Charles, in your sister’s shoes and feeling such a connection to him and to the elements of the garden too, I’m guessing.

    Beneath your feet though – that “bare earth”! Very clever for gardeners to keep on top of annual weeds so well as to achieve bare soil (perhaps rather misdirectedly a ‘tidy-up’ for the royal visitors benefit?!). Or maybe there was some other thinking behind the ‘paths’ (?)- harvesting access to the rows of unidentifiable bushes?

    You’re right though and I’m pretty sure HRH knows too that bare earth hardly ever appears in nature. Plants pioneer empty space and, like a vacuum, it gets filled. In nature it starts with annual ‘weeds’ and usuallly progresses to brambles. As gardeners we can influence what fills the space.

    A healthy food-system incorporates a diverse range of edible plants, all cooperating in their own niches. A bit like a community of people, hopefully.

    Great piece and what a great life you have! I am slightly envious of the cheese-judging that preceded this visit.

  3. Geraldine Winkler

    I hate to caricature BUT what a contrast between the creative chest of drawers, chock block with life, and the dead empty plastic tesco bag…

    Eee, honoured my truly vintage shoes were there to support you!

    • Thanks, Geraldine.

      I had not realised until you said it about the contrast between the life-filled chest of drawers and the soulless plastic Tesco bag.

      And thanks for shoes!

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