I wandered down to the beach with Hugo and looked over to the southwest point, glancing at The Hanois lighthouse and then over to cliffs. Leaving your camping pitch here at WildGuernsey, you can amble down the sunken path, touch the quiet lane for a minute and then sink your toes into the sand and not reach tarmac again until you get to St Peter Port- via the beach and cliff path. This is something I wanted to share with you after reflecting on a cycle ride on our reclaimed bikes venturing only as far as the fairy ring, as you might be thinking of The Channel Island way walking guide http://www.thebestof.co.uk/local/guernsey/blog/walk-the-channel-island-way/article037999.htm, or be looking for somewhere to stay where the car is not king and there is more sand or green than concrete (they paved paridise and put up a parking lot). The approach to our site is via feet, wheelbarrow, bike or donkey (if you have one), so as to keep the area peace-full. I like to journey somewhere, taking time and observing nature. It is something we teach on the WildFood workshops, for you to get to know the plants by Seeing The Whole and noting changes. People talk of not knowing where their food comes from, seasonality and feeling a dis-connection with what they eat. Gathering greens and taking them from hedge to your plate can be something you could do whilst walking the cliffs or lanes around Guernsey. Our roll top bath -prehaps with some seaweed added to help ease the aches and pains (best bet to use bladderwrack) will always soothe your body (or simply a seaweed soak for your feet), back at the land, before warming around an open fire!
We featured again for a new place for 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2011/jun/13/uk-whats-new-holidays-accommodation?INTCMP=SRCH mentioning Eco-friendly activities including sea foraging, beach-craft and herbal balm making. And you can even hire your own chicken coop. Clucktastic!
We got a mention in The Independent today in their midweek travel section. Quite a big step forward for us as we quietly evolve during June to accept people to stay Wildcamping http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/uk/a-perfect-pitch-for-campers-2291372.html. Let’s hope it can attract folk to the ever increasing community of like-minded people on the Island. We have had a number of journalists up to the land to have a chat about foraging and Wildcamping. Today, Ursula visited from Radio Osterreich (http://oe1.orf.at) with a camera man, covering sustainable options in Guernsey. She loved the views and felt herself, a consiousness of living lightly with the earth.
We wanted to creat a place to spend a Saturday night with views of the southwest seascape, overlooking Fort Grey, a space to connect with the land and your self, to embrace nature, to unwind and return to that quiet place within. So we have joined with Emma from www.inspiredby.co.uk on 16th juy.
The elements of this haven are: yoga in a Tipi/outside, meditation under the umbrella of an Oak tree, a dip in the sea with the falling sun, shared food around a fire, sleep under canvas of a Tipi, wake with yoga before breakfast and the optional extra (option 2 only) of a posh breakfast basket, treatment (reiki/massage/reflexology) and a WildFood wander with brunch.
Please email me or have a look at Emmas website.
Last night, after feeding the woodburner old greenhouse wood, cleared to make way for our new Eco-campsite pitches, I sat down to watch the BBC Countryfile programme to find my hedgerow basket under the arm of James Wong. The feature was on Hedge Veg stalls and trading surplus produce with fellow people in your community and my basket was the vessel which was being taken around and filled with asparagus, lemons and local produce. Friends of ours Marcus and Blaze Barnes traded their mayan lemons (the same species that we have in our greenhouse that we traded off Marcus 4 years ago) and eggs for lobster and crab with his brothers. He did say that he got the better end of the deal! The idea of sharing surplus with others and hedge veg stalls are two things I get quite excited about. We give a map to people staying at our eco-campsite so that they can forage the hedge stalls for themselves. Also as part of ‘friends of WildGuernsey’ we have set up a trading of surplus produce scheme. It has always been the way of people in Guernsey and a close community and something we’d like to be part of WildGuernsey.
From Countryfile: Guernsey’s Hedge Veg
With its warm waters and sunny climate the island of Guernsey in the English Channel has always been a good place to grow food and collect seafood. James Wong discovers how islanders grow their own fruit, vegetables and flowers and then sell them from small wooden stalls outside their homes. Buyers leave money in home made ‘honesty boxes’ – a tradition that goes back many years. James gathers the fruit and vegetables he needs for a beautiful meal and is then shown the secrets of how to collect shellfish from the ocean floor.
See this link for a project that young people are doing in Guernsey for their business idea ‘Young Enterprise help to keep a tradition alive’ http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/guernsey/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_9198000/9198777.stm
Finally I grabbed time today to get my lipbalms made. I have been gathering my Calendula on dry days as the heads open fully. However, at last a wet day, not only for the parched soil, but for staying in and stirring a pot of infused oils and local beeswax.
D’Arcy showed a visiting french friend Seabeet which is growing wild around the land, the seeds blown in from the coast. He took his first taste of Guernsey Foraging. Sea beet being a great staple available throughout Guernsey where the land meets the sea and a fantastic first wildfood plant.