Trees, bread and walks

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

I’ve heard this Chinese proverb a few times lately and it’s made Charlotte and I feel eager to plant some trees – particularly with our ever-increasing interests in agroforestry. Yet it’s not so easy to instantly satisfy this desire without land and jobs that keep us firmly behind desks.

With a search on the internet, Charlotte recently found Trees for Dorset, a local charity that brings people together to plant and conserve trees. Bingo! On Saturday morning, we headed to a village 20 minutes away called Winterborne Kingston. Around 30 people were gathered, planting trees on the corner of the village playing fields. Unfortunately, half the trees hadn’t been delivered and the tree planting was pretty much complete. Despite this, it was good to meet the group and hopefully next time we’ll be more successful. 

We then decided to head down to West Lulworth for a walk. Rather than taking the coastal path west towards Durdle Door, we decided to explore the path east. This took us around the beautiful pebble-lined beach of Lulworth Cove and onwards, past Fossil Forest to a point called Flowers Barrow. A dramatic coastline, marked by steeply tilting layers of rock and sea-stacks. Much of the walk was across MOD land that consisted of rough grazing land, scattered with metal shells, bunkers and old tanks.

We embraced a beautiful Sunday morning with high energy, going for a run over Canford Cliffs and along the promenade towards Bournemouth. Many happy walkers are out enjoying the sunshine. It feels more like a Spring morning. I think of our bees and hope they aren’t getting too excited. Apparently, there’s a cold snap coming next week. Afterwards, we dive into the sea for a bracing refreshment. I feel alive.

Later, continuing the wholesome pursuits, I bake bread and was especially excited to use Population Wheat flour from Huxham’s Cross farm in Dartington. I wrote about this in my agroforestry blog and the video below gives more information about it. I had the chance to see Kimberly Bell, a baker that regularly uses this variety of wheat, speak at the Oxford Real Farming Conference this year. She is inspiring.

During the baking, I listened to disco. I was pleased to discover a digital (and vinyl) re-release had been made of an album called “Funky Disco Music” by a Cameroonian artist called Eko Roosevelt Louis. I had been searching for this the other year after hearing the up-tempo tune Ndolo Embe Mulema on a mixtape. Eko made funky disco/soul records in the mid-seventies and spent much time touring around France. He’s now returned to Cameroon to take on his grandfather’s tribal chieftaincy, but word has it that he’s still involved with the music scene too, which I can only imagine is good news.