Bacheldre Watermill Braided Bread

Braided BreadA HoBBian lunchtime with Arugula Bread

“Having baked hundreds of loaves in the past, you’d think I’d be a confident bread baker by now – but I still feel insecure without instruction.

So, on to the computer I went, looking for that perfect recipe for a nice challah loaf. . . but page after page and I couldn’t find any that seemed quite right (too much of this, not enough of that, unappealing picture, vague descriptions)

So, in the end, I felt it must be the time to bake without a recipe.

Once I started, my hands seemed to remember what to do – which ingredients to combine first, when to add what, how long to wait. The dough kneaded smoothly, and I returned two hours later (after wandering nearby fields and talking to uninterested sheep) to find it had expanded like the throat of a giant bullfrog.

On with the punching, rolling, braiding, shaping, and into the hot oven…. not so bad in the end.

I have learned to trust my hands for the next time!”

Arugula from America
(*Wwoofer at the HoBB, Summer 2010)


The Art of Gardening

pleatchingTraditional skills Part 1: Pleatching


Most hedgerows survive a full pleatch – the bravest gardeners should come to HoBB Real to see the fantastic results, witness the problems with over-cutting and maybe have a go themselves. It’s a traditional skill but provides far more habitats for nesting birds than wire and post fencing!

Trees are very tolerant. After tracking done the “Tree Circus” on a Web site, my garden design skills took off in a new direction. Way beyond topiary, bonsai, training and pruning, plants can be created to fill ‘space’, balance views and even inter-fuse, making the garden into a Plant Circus for those Gardeners keen to be the new circus trainers.

If you are interested in working with plants and getting to grips with the real roots of gardening, then contact us and become a volunteer gardener at the HoBB Gardens.

Look around, the HoBB Virtual Web Site – join our ‘International Friendship Garden’ scheme, or attend a live weekend on plant design at ‘HoBB Real’.

Volunteering is always a useful way of getting experience if you are planning a career in gardening or just love to pick up tips for your own garden design. When C.A.T. was the ‘National Centre for Alternative Technology’ [N.C.A.T.] I spent many days working there as a volunteer when the gardens were nearly all slate. CAT is not far from here for those interested in including a visit to pick up loads of alternative gardening tips.

Bring a plan and some photographs of your own garden with you to HoBB Real, and we’ll do some design thinking and drawing around your personal lifestyle – after a full day in the gardens there’s always a moment around the log fire to chat about your plans and the latest gardening ideas.

~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ waves from Grant