Filed under agriculture

St Kilda’s Diet

St Kilda’s Diet

St Kilda is one of the most isolated places in the British Isles, an archipelago in the Outer Hebrides whose final human inhabitants left in 1930. It is now home to 600,000 nesting birds each year. This is from the i paper of 29 December: A 250-year-old census has revealed that islanders on St Kilda… … Continue reading

Unearthing Medieval Trellech

Unearthing Medieval Trellech

This is from Wednesday’s i paper and is a fantastic example of the value of so-called amateurs, and how much can be achieved by local communities. It was a medieval mystery that baffled experts for decades. Now a history fan has finally unearthed the priceless remains of a lost city- thanks to a colony of … Continue reading

Grass versus Fracking

I like this idea as it offers an alternative to the horrors of fracking rather than just objecting to it. We need new sources of energy. This is from Friday’s i and fits with my growing belief that tough times are inspiring people to get innovative. A renewable energy firm has submitted planning applications for schemes … Continue reading

Barnacle Geese

This is from Thomas Platter’s Travels in England 1599. I’ve heard this story before, but he’s the first I know of to send samples home.  Claikgeese [barnacles] of which I sent a jug full of shells to Basel from Langue d’Oc, are to be found in England, more especially in Scotland. And these shells grow … Continue reading

Fresh Fish in Elizabeth’s London

This is an oddity on food from Thomas Platter’s Travels in England 1599. This suggests ways of supplying fresh fish when the fleet were unable to sail, especially in bad weather.  At the fishmarket, in a long street, I saw a quantity of pike up for sale; they are very fond of this, and call … Continue reading

Law Abiding in Yorkshire, 1766

This is from the Newcastle Chronicle of July 1766. It is noteworthy as soon after this, the south and west of England erupted in food riots. This region remained calm as they ate mostly potatoes instead of suffering speculation in wheat which caused bread to skyrocket in price. York, July 22 Last Friday the assizes … Continue reading

Battle of Fairs

There were many problems caused by the urbanisation of Britain; houses had to be build fast, and were often overcrowded and substandard. Before railways allowed mass movement of food, fairs and markets were crucial in ensuring food supplies, especially to the ‘great wen’ of London. Markets and fairs were conducted by licence, often of long … Continue reading

Market Fraudsters

Sale of goods in open markets was seen as a means of ensuring fair trading – the goods were in clear sight, they could be investigated, but there were many scams to cheat this system. I have read of butter being sold that had a core of lard with only a surface of butter around … Continue reading

An Unhappy Tenant

This is a wonderfully wry ad from a London paper dated October 1815: WANTED IMMEDIATELY to enable me to leave the house which I have for these last five years inhabited, in the same plight and condition in which I found it, 500 LIVE RATS for which I will gladly pay the sum of £5 … Continue reading