Made in Llandysul

Made in Llandysul

Today I read an article “Made in Ebbw Vale”, written after the announcement that the Welsh Government would not financially back the Circuit of Wales and the writer is saying that this decision is very bad for the Ebbw Vale economy so maybe Ebbw Vale should make artisan things for themselves.

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Cariad Glass, Llandysul

I like this idea and maybe we should be looking at this in Llandysul.  We already have some amazing artisan makers in our community for example artisan glass work, harps, waffles and cheese.

But the basic things such as clothes, shoes, tools, cooking pots, cutlery, they are made elsewhere, mostly the other side of the world.

I believe that it is unsustainable to ship the most basic thing such as a cooking pot from the other side of the planet.  We need to start manufacturing again, even on the most small, basic, local level so that at best we keep our current lifestyles and, at worst, we survive as climate changes and not in our favour.

we need to learn practical skills, how to make things and how to fix things

To do this, we need to learn practical skills, how to make things and how to fix things.  Not everyone is a practical person but some of us will be very good at making and fixing and they will be the ones who will become the manufacturers of our community and we need them.  As a community will need to be able to look after ourselves.  There will always be a need to buy in some goods but we should be able to manufacture the most basic of things.  It’s pathetic that we can’t and that we don’t try.

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Wild Garlic Pesto

It’s that time of year when I walk along my lane and smell the wild garlic and I think that I really should use it.  No one else is, and it is a good, free food source.

So off I went with my basket and collected a huge batch of leaves as I wanted to make pesto with the recipe on the Wild Pickings website: http://wildpickings.wordpress.com/recipes/

Picture show a Basket of wild garlic leaves on kitchen worktop.

Basket of wild garlic leaves.

The recipe lists the following ingredients: 100g wild garlic leaves; 50g walnuts; 100ml olive oil; 1tsp salt; 50g grated cheese (optional).

But I didn’t have any walnuts, so I used pine nuts which I used when I made pesto from basil leaves.

I used parmesan cheese.

 

Image show the ingredients to make wild garlic pesto.

All the ingredients together.

 

Image shows the ingredients in the blender, before whizzing.

All the ingredients in the blender.

It was quite difficult to blend the ingredients. Were my leaves too old, too tough? With a lot of prodding though, I got them to blend ok.

picture of Wild Garlic Pesto in jar

Wild Garlic Pesto, in a jar.

The final product in a jar, which I had sterilised.

I tried it mixed with mashed potatoes last night with roast pork. There is a lot of flavour but little residual garlic smell on your breath than with a garlic bulb. Also, I am intolerant to garlic and leeks and raw onions so I was a little worried about trying wild garlic. Yes, there was a little indigestion, but nothing major. I’ll try it again with pasta tonight and see how it is.

Big Events in Llandysul

Llandysul is not a big place, and there are very few big events which happen here. Lots of small things of course, club meetings, society meetings, football and cricket matches, arts courses… sorry I digress.

Let’s return to the subject of big events, as we’re about to have two of the biggest events of the year in Llandysul.

Image of Llandysul Food Festival

Next Saturday, the 30th June is the Llandysul Food Festival. This is the 13th year for the food festival and we are so lucky to have it. This is the best opportunity for the local community to taste and buy artisan food made in Wales on their door step. Much of this food is made locally, within the Teifi Valley itself, most of the rest come from Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. Interestingly not all of these food products are available in our local shops so it is a great opportunity to find new foods. There will be cooking demonstrations and lots of entertainment too. Fingers crossed the weather will be dry so that we can all enjoy it. Anyway it’s free to get in, and not many things are free these days.

The next day, Sunday 1 July there is a guided walk with Llandysul & Pont-Tyweli Walkers are Welcome, which meets at the Woodland Trust at Coedyfoel.
Sunday 1st July is also the first day of the Llandysul and Pont-Tyweli Carnival week, with events with the Llandysul Paddlers at the lake from 2pm. Every evening then for the week there are events and the full programme can be seen here. On Saturday 7th July, is the actual Carnival.

So, I think that there is something for everyone over the whole week. I hope everyone enjoys it and I congratulate and thank all of the volunteers who are running these events. It’s hard work but your community needs you!

It’s Tuesday and the Llandysul Food Festival is on Saturday!

Six months in the making, fist in mouth as we waited to see if the Welsh Assembly would kindly sponsor us (that is, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe Investing in Rural Areas), with True Taste and the Ceredigion Rural Events Programme and Llandysul Community Council.

There have been many meetings with the committee, the members give their time freely. We have a paid co-ordinator, who works part time for Llandysul & Pont Tyweli Ymlaen and so of course is working on many other projects at the same time. She has made countless phone calls and sent many letters to sponsors, marquee companies, entertainers etc. Stallholders have been booking their stalls since December, and even this week more bookings are coming in. We’ve been out in three counties distributing posters and flyers. Even yesterday, a volunteer went around Llandysul handing out balloons to shops.

I’ve still to write a speech to introduce Dewi Pws who opens the Festival (at 11am). But, I’ll have to also thank the volunteers and tell people about the highlights of the festival. I’m already quite scared and will be terrified by Saturday. I’m not good at public speaking, that’s why I’ve got to get it down on paper – plus it will have to be bilingual. Most of the people I know well around here, are going away on Saturday; Austria, Spain, France even Aberystwyth! Luckily, I don’t know that many people, so the chances are that there still will be a good amount of visitors. Fingers crossed.

So, as you can see, I’m in a bit of a panic mode, made worse by looking at the weather forecast just now. It’s predicting rain for Thursday and Friday but sun for Saturday. Although, I’m not sure if I should take any notice of BBC weather, right now it says it’s pouring down with rain, and yet the reality is, the sun in shining. Long may it do so, at least until next week.

Llandysul Food Festival is on Saturday 27th June at 11am in Llandysul Park: see http://www.llandysulfood.co.uk for details.

Gwyl Fwyd Llandysul Food Festival

Sori, mae’r blog yn Saesneg. Mae llawer i’w dweud a does gen i ddim llawer o amser I dweud o.

Everything is coming together for the Llandysul Food Festival, which in on Saturday 27th June in the park. We had a meeting on Monday afternoon and everyone seems happy with arrangements. There a little things, such as the skip and portaloos need to be ordered but Ann has everything organised.

I was hoping that we would have some small farm animals on the field this year, like a Farm Corner. It seemed a good idea and something different and interesting for the children. Unfortunately, DEFRA rules and regs are far too complicated for us to do this – and I understand, it’s for the well being of the animals and farmers. We have a plan B, so I’m hoping that we’ll have some news about that at the end of the week.

Loads of traders have already booked their stalls, including a company which sells Goats’ Milk ice cream. Something that I’m looking forward to tasting. Take a look at http://www.llandysulfood.co.uk for the list of traders to date.

Rhodri Edwards from Ultra Comida in Aberystwyth is our chef of the day, not sure what he’ll be cooking yet, but, I’m sure that it will be great. He’s also going to cook with our two volunteers Rev. Eric Roberts and Rev. Kevin Davies. I hope that Rhodri knows what he’s letting himself in for because they can be quite a handful in the kitchen!

Finally, our President of the day is Dewi Pws. (Do we know what we’re letting ourselves in for!) He will open the Festival and he is also playing with his band Sesh Bach (Dewi Pws a Radwm) in the evening in the marquee. That’s going to be great fun. Tickets will be on sale soon at £5, call 01559 362403 for details.

We’re designing the posters this week, but we’re waiting on the logo from the Food, Fish and Market Development Division, Welsh Assembly Government. Hurry up Rhys! I’ll get the poster on the blog as soon as it’s ready maybe even before it’s in the hands of Gwasg Gomer to print!

Wythnos prysur iawn / A very busy week.

Dw i’n cael wythnos prysur iawn.  Prynhawn dydd Llun roeddwn i yn y cyfarfod Gwyl Fwyd.  Mae Dewi Pws y dod i agor y Gwyl ac mae Rhodri Edwards, Ultra Comida, Aberystwyth yn coginio amdanom ni. Mae Dewi Pws hefyd am wneud cyngerdd yn y pabell gyda’r nos.  Mae dal llawer o bethau i’w wneud, fel y ‘flyers’ a gwerthu tocynnau am y cyngerdd, a bydd yr amser yn mynd heibio yn gyflym iawn.  Mae’r Gwyl ar dydd Sadwrn, 27 mis Mehefin.

Mae cyfarfod arall nos Iau, yn y Porth gyda i gyd o’r gyrwyr o Dolen Teifi, y bws cymunedol.  Bydd hi’n noson o ‘pat on the back’ ac hefyd ‘catch up’ am y prosiect.

Ar nos Gwener wrth cwrs bydd osciwn yn y Porth i godi arian at yr Apel yr Urdd.  Dw i meddwl am trio cynnig am y boteli o win coch Ffrengig.  Dw i erioed wedi bod i ocsiwn felly mae hi’n cyfle da o gael profiad newydd.

Quite a busy community week for me.  Monday afternoon we had a Food Festival meeting.  Everything is running smoothly so far and Rhodri Edwards, Ultra Comida, Aberystwyth is confirmed to cook for us.  Dewi Pws will open the event and in the evening he’s going to do a concert too.  That’s quite exciting and I hope a lot of people will come.  Lots of things to do still, getting our flyers and advertising sorted, selling tickets for Dewi’s concert.  The festival is free, but we raise a small charge for parking.  Lots to do before the event in June(27th).

Thursday night, we’re having a Dolen Teifi meeting just for the drivers. It’s a bit of a pat on the back and a catch up with the project plus some food and chat.

Friday night I’m in the Porth again for the Auction to raise money for the Urdd Appeal.  I’ve never been to an auction before and I’m even hoping to bid on a case of French wine.  We’ll see.