Leanne’s Back!

I'M-BACKSo, it’s official. I’m back. My maternity leave has finished¬†(not that it ever really does) and I am back in the studio (not that I ever really left), waiting for the work to flood in!…

It has been great to have a bit of time out from my mac. It has allowed me some time to sit back and reflect on what I do creatively and think about how I want to move my work on over the next few years. I’m trying to make a shift to a more creative way of working, get off my mac more and do a few more personal projects. More illustration, photography and the like. Really try to develop my own style. I’ve even started painting! It’s all very exciting.

I’ve got a couple of collaborative projects lined up with could see me spreading my wings into very different ways of working, animation, interiors and more. It was time for a good shake up, so this all feels good.

Have a look at my new swish website, that sees the design side of me officially launched in its own right, rebranded as Studio Mayfly.

If you have a project that you need to add a creative sprinkle to, do get in touch.

 

Bread News

Back to a full bake this week, Wednesday to Saturday. I’m also happy to say bread will be available at the High Street Deli in Newtown Thursday to Saturday from around 9.30am.
Since my trip to Paris last month, I’ve been reading up on techniques to get the most flavour out of flour. I noticed this specifically in “baguettes a l’ancienne” – a technique used in some French bakeries to make dough. For the first 24 hours the flour is just mixed with ice cold water and left in the fridge. This brings out lots of flavour. Another tip, if you are in France and the baguette has little dots on the bottom, it has been mixed and made by a machine (not all French bread is good….). Also if the boulangerie says “artisan boulanger” it means the bread is made on the premises rather than baked off….

Anyway after reading about these ultra slow fermented baguettes, my trials have started to make hopefully the best baguette in mid-Wales!! ūüėȬ†Will report back and I may have a new baguette appearing soon!

This week there will be olive sourdough on Friday and brioche makes a return on Saturday!

Oh and you can now get an evening snack at the Old Mill on Wednesday to Saturday 5-9pm. Bread and Olives, Stew and soup. (all with my sourdough bread)

Have a good week
Andy

Maternity Leave

As of July 2015 Leanne has been on maternity leave following the arrival of our second daughter Lucy. She will officially be on maternity leave until March 2016, however do get in touch in the mean time if you have a project you would like to discuss.

lucy-birth-card

Bread News and Bring and Barter

Wow, it’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog, but we’ve got a few exciting announcements to make.

Firstly, after 3 years baking at home, Andy’s Bread is moving to central Llanidloes and is going to have a proper micro-bakery. The plan is to open around the end of August. There is going to be a launch event around that time – we’ll be back in touch nearer the time with more details!
A lot of you will already know Andy has been on the look out for people who might want to invest in Andy’s bread. This has been going amazingly well and he’s nearly reached his target. But he still has a little way to go, so if you have a few pounds jangling around your pocket ¬†that you might like to invest (anything from a tenner up!), have a look on his website at the different options and please get in touch y the end of this week. The Bank of Andy’s Bread is offering a very favourable rate of bread-interest for those wise investors!
Secondly,¬†BRING AND BARTER¬†is coming back! I’ve just checked our archives and can’t believe it’s over two years since the first Bring and Barter event. We got so much positive feedback from that we were determined to make it a regular event. (remember – the one where we watched a great, but pretty scary documentary from Nicole Foss, then all had fun swapping jam).
Well it seems it has taken us a little longer than planned, but it will indeed be back. Hurrah! Initial plans are for it to be held on the 5th October, giving you plenty of time to make jams, chutneys, hats or any other hand-made/home grown things of beauty to exchange. More on that nearer the time, but for now get the date in your diary and get making!
Our final big piece of news is that Llani Kitchens is in the final stages of setting up now, we have 4 kitchens confirmed that will be available to hire and we’re expecting to launch mid-September. More on that soon.
All in all we have been busy bunnies! Which is probably why we might have appeared to have been so quiet of late, but it seems we are now ready to come out of hiding and are back with lots of exciting things going on!

Sacred Economics

Recommending reading… Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics.

I’m only part way through this book, but so much of it is striking the same kind of “Yes that’s it!” notes as Lewis Hyde’s “The Gift”, the book that inspired a lot of the thinking behind creation ¬†of The Loop Project all that time ago…

Take this fantastic quote from Gesell, 1906 regarding ecology and the connected self,

We frequently hear the phrase: Man has a natural right to the earth. But that is absurd, for it would be just as correct to say that man has a right to his limbs. If we talk of rights in this connection we must also say that a pine-tree has the right to sink its roots in the earth. Can man spend his life in a balloon? The earth belongs to, and is an organic part of man. We cannot conceive man without the earth any more than without a head or a stomach. The earth is just as much a part, an organ, of man as his head. Where do the digestive organs of man begin and end? They have no beginning and no end, but form a closed system without beginning or end. The substances which man requires to maintain life are indigestible in their raw state and must go through a preparatory digestive process. And this preparatory work is not done by the mouth, but by the plant. It is the plant which collects and transmutes the substances so that they may become nutriment in their further progress through the digestive canal. Plants and the space they occupy are just as much a part of man as his mouth, his teeth or his stomach….

How, then, can we suffer individual men to confiscate for themselves parts of the earth as their exclusive property, to erect barriers and with the help of watchdogs and trained slaves to keep us away from parts of the earth, from parts of ourselves-to tear, as it were, whole limbs from our bodies? Is not such a proceeding equivalent to self-mutilation?

As we’re only around a quarter of the way through we’ll have to wait to see what the alternative to “endless growth” and “separation” is that he proposes. WIll keep you posted! (or you could go off and buy a copy yourself… or, following the sacred economics philosophy, download it for free).

TLP 43 – Both Coed Rebel Rebel Pizza

Reports have been coming in of sightings of a young couple and their baby believed to be acting on behalf of The Rebel Food Alliance in Both Coed Woods, Llanidloes.

Witnesses claim they spotted the group frantically rolling and filling pizzas which were then cooked on the fire at the new Both Coed community woods site Open Day.

“I had no idea what was happening. One minute we were dancing around a fire, then the next I spotted a young man in the trees, wielding a rolling pin. I couldn’t help myself, I was drawn to him. I ate one of his sourdough pizzas. It was delicious. That’s all I know”

As yet it is still unclear what the aims of this newly emerging underground resistance group are. Members of the public are advised to remain vigilant. Approach with caution, their wares are known to be dangerously tasty.

 

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket…

…or garlic in one bed.

 This years garlic harvest.

So last year we grew garlic for the first time, we went for it, worked out we probably used around a bulb a week and would need around ten extra for cloves to plant for next years bulbs, so planted 60 garlic. All of them came up, and grew amazing well into big, healthy delicious garlic, which we plaited into beautiful strings and hung around the kitchen.

Very proud of ourselves we were. Full of enthusiasm I was planning rows and rows of garlic in my head. It’s a cert, I thought. So easy. Yeah. We will make our fortune in garlic. We could supply the whole of Llani.

This year? Well, what can I say. Hmph. Something went wrong. The lovely damp, dull weather we’ve been enjoying for most of the year probably was the cause. Rust suddenly appeared on all our garlic and rapidly spread. We picked infected leaves off hoping to halt the spread, but eventually, with nothing but sticks in the ground, we had to give up and pulled our tiny little handful of garlic.

Luckily we hadn’t gone for the full field scale mission. We’d only done a few rows, we were never going to make the year’s worth we’d managed before. But still, I was expecting to have our own for a decent part of the year. In contrast to last years harvest (which has only just run out) this year’s looks set to run out some time in the next month.

Boo hoo hoo.

A close lesson me thinks.

At the risk of making this the most depressing blog post ever I could go into our other garden failures – slug attacks reducing our 40 kale plants to stumps; beans which would normally be 6 ft tall and full of beautiful red flowers, if not handfuls of beans, are struggling to clear two foot from the ground; all our fennel chomped before they’d even left their module trays; leeks, fail; strawberries, gone – I saw nothing but one hollow shell. The slugs, as they say, have been having a field day.

Good job this is only practice.

One, Two, Miss a Few

OK, we admit it, we haven’t been keeping this thing up to date. Tut tut. Naughty us. But that is NOT because we haven’t been doing anything… quite the opposite. It is in fact because The Loop Project has been very busy. LOTS has been happening, and there’s lots more on the horizon.

Here’s a brief round up of a few select projects we have been particularly proud of, we’ll be putting up a bit more detail about these and future happenings over the next couple of weeks:

TLP 20Make a seed packet(July 2010)
TLP 21Out of the box Illustrations(July 2010)
TLP 22Cupcake Revolution logo(July 2010)
TLP 231st ever Wyeside brochure(August 2010)
TLP 24Low Carbon Llanidloes Leaflet(September 2010)
TLP 25LOAF tote bag(December 2010)
TLP 26TLP Presents – Food Inc(January 2011)
TLP 27Marmaduke Dando Website(February 2011)
TLP 28LAAG – Trees for All(February 2011)
TLP 29Seed Swap(March 2011)
TLP 30Geekowarriors – Stationery(March 2011)
TLP 31TLP Presents – Bring and Barter(March 2011)
TLP 32GOF Shop Refurb(May 2011)
TLP 33GOF Producer of the Month poster(May 2011)
TLP 34Ethical change Website(July 2011)
TLP 35Andy’s Bread NEW Price list(October 2011)
TLP 36Andy’s Bread Website(November 2011)
TLP 37Nantclyd – Website(November 2011)
TLP 38GOF Website(November 2011)
TLP 39Nantclyd – Egg Box(December 2011)
TLP 40GOF Veg News Column(January 2012)
TLP 41Llanidloes Seed Swap(March 2012)
TLP 42Odyssey – Poster for Willow Globe Theatre(June 2012)
TLP 43Both Coed Rebel Rebel Pizzas(July 2012)
TLP 44Spirit of Place – Poster for Willow Globe Theatre(July 2012)