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Wake up to organic food!

PUBLISHED: 15:29 10 October 2014 | UPDATED: 15:29 10 October 2014

Wake up to organic food!

Wake up to organic food!


Sybilla Hart is a freelance writer and mother of three, soon to be four. She recently moved to North Essex from Fulham and writes a monthly column for Essex Life. This month she talks organic food

In a bid to boost the quality of the cuisine in our household, my mother-in-law gave me one month’s supply of organic vegetables. It is safe to say that I am not a celeriac, fennel or curly cabbage regular. It soon became apparent that these boxes are typically delivered in the very early hours of the morning. 5am to be precise. Our seven-year-old son, upon hearing the sound of a van, jumped out of bed to wrongly inform us that Asda had arrived. My bedraggled husband scrambled to look out of the window and in the process tripped over a potty full to the brim in our daughter’s bedroom. ‘Owwwerhhh,’ came a yell of frustration from the bedroom.

Later that morning I had to ask myself if a box of organic vegetables, as pleasing as they are, was worth the wake up call, not to mention the unfortunate encounter with the potty. Probably better to stick to plain old peas and carrots from Mr Sainsbury’s, unadventurous though that is.

The husband has developed a strong enthusiasm for gardening and is even taking close up photos of plants these days. As said husband was gazing around our garden admiring various hollyhocks and petunias, he nearly jumped out of his skin. Behold, there was a green tropical bird perched on a plant. He couldn’t believe his eyes!

Before he started to marvel at the possible effects of global warming, he remembered a vital piece of information. Our friend who is currently staying in our cart lodge had recently asked permission to build an aviary for her collection of exotic birds. I fear the aviary escapee did not last too long in the valleys of Colne Engaine that are peppered with buzzards and other birds of prey. If you happen to find the said bird, perhaps you could kindly let me know.

I don’t know what it is about moving to the country that inspires people – us included – to accumulate more and more animals.

We now have five ducks (we started with ten, Mr Fox got five) and a dog. This chocolate Labrador puppy has had more names than most in his short life. He started out life as Pebble, which I thought was rather bland. We toyed briefly with Solly before finally settling on Seymour. Our son insisted on giving him a middle name, so he now bears the very noble name of Seymour Mercy Hart. I recall a friend from Fulham saying that a puppy is about half the work of a child. Really? Children, before they are potty trained at least have nappies to do their business in, usually don’t bite you and even though they may keep you up all night; they don’t chew all of your favourite clothes and furniture. A puppy’s teething damage is like the worst moth infestation imaginable.

The husband blithely commented the other day that he’d like another dog to add to the menagerie here, a Jack Russell to be precise. The reason behind this rationale is that unlike a cat, a Jack Russell will actually kill a rat, rather than just injure it (we have a barn which stores all our tat where the odd rat pays a visit). Something tells me, possibly my sensible side (I promise you I have one) that a seven year old, a four year old, a two year old, a newborn and two puppies might be pushing it a bit. The Jack Russell, useful rat catcher that he may be, will just have to wait.


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