Ages ago, my friend Jo and I concocted a plan. A project. We called it Sage & Thrift. It was all about wanting to build a community around living slowly and seasonally. We wanted to share, rather than buy things. To gather people together to eat, talk, create and celebrate.
For a variety of reasons, some because of other pressures, some of which are the same ones as I wrote about here, the project came to an end and we never managed to live out some of our most passionately dreamt ideas. Although, I do still hold the twitter account and web domain name so one day it might come to life in another form…
But this week, we had supper on the allotment and it all came flooding back.
We’ve been working on our new plot for less than a year, and it’s been a challenge to fit it in amongst work, parenting and the busy-ness of everyday life, but we’ve stuck it out and we’re finally starting to reap the rewards. Jo has just taken on a plot next to ours and is beginning to work her way through a tangle of weeds and making the most of the over-grown raspberry canes that are fruiting like crazy.
What I’ve always wanted was the opportunity to gather people together. To be generous with our food and be grateful for a feeling of abundance. With Jo newly working the plot next to us, it’s becoming the perfect way to simply bring that dream to life. No project, no great plan. Just a quick “shall we cook on the allotment?” was all it took. We brought crockery from the kitchen (we use enamelware and Opinel knives for everyday, which means we can happily chuck them into a basket) and Jo brought her pan and stove.
Digging up potatoes from our plot and giving them a quick wash, we sliced and sautéd them in a frying pan with red onions. Salad gifted from another allotment holder, salmon from our new sustainable fishmongers and herbs from Jo’s garden all came together. Anointed with the world’s best garlic mayonnaise (from The Garlic Farm, also my favourite place for garlic bulbs for growing) it was the perfect meal with the perfect company.
And so it struck me. This is what Sage & Thrift was all about. This is what we wanted to make happen. And how simple it can be, when you’re not really looking for it. Thursday nights will hopefully be allotment supper nights now. It’s brought the plot to life in a way that was missing before. And, like every character in an Enid Blyton book seems to have said at some point, food tastes so much better when it’s eaten outdoors…