The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire interviews Cottage Smallholder

pear on treeSara Varey, a broadcast journalist for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, invited me to do an interview for their Good Food fortnight.

I was really chuffed. I emailed her to find out what she wanted to talk about specifically. The topics she wanted to cover included the blog and why I had started it as well as my smallholding. My blood ran dim. We might be called The Cottage Smallholder but we are not proper welly wearing, sheep shearing rural folk. An email flew instantly back, informing her that we only have a third of an acre, keep chickens and bees, make wine and grow veg. The response was positive.

Sara arrived on Monday and when she stepped through the front door I realised that the interview was going to be fun. The Min Pins liked her. They only yapped for a few ear piercing minutes. All was well until I was filling the teapot and she produced various components from her bag that snapped together to make up a large microphone. Suddenly I began to feel a bit nervous.

We briefly sipped tea and then, leaving the microphone on the table, ranged into the garden to rehearse. Clearly an expert at making people relax, Sara, worked out a trail through the garden. She focussed on two things, what we would talk about and the sound effects. She explained that the latter were vital to set the scene. It was fun working out the extraneous sounds; the clangy lid on the grain bin, clicking open the gate to the kitchen garden and the enthusiastic cries of the keets when deluxe parrot food and swiss chard scraps were scattered in the run. As it was breezy, we talked with the background noise of the wind in the trees.

When we started recording at the kitchen table I felt a bit tongue tied but when we stepped out of the back door and focussed on the garden it was instantly fun again.

This six minute interview is being broadcast Thursday, September 27th on Sue Dugan in the Afternoon at round 3.30 pm . You can listen live to BBC Radio Cambridgesire from all over the UK through their website. If you missed it you can listen to the interview here.

I am also appearing on “Britain’s Best Dish”, ITV1 on Tuesday, October 2nd, 5pm, cooking my pot roast pheasant (gypsy style) . You may get a glimpse of Danny too as he was holding my story boards on the audition!


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17 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi One-Ten,

    Glad that you tuned in! The recipe is easy and delicious if you like pheasant!

    My watercress is still going strong.

  2. One-Ten

    Fun to actually see you doing the recipe! I wanted you to win, too. Though actually maybe they should just give you your own show!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pat,

    The other dish was wonderful and deserved to win.

    For the first time ever my pheasant was tough. My heart sank as I lifted it out of the casserole.

    But it was fun taking part and a really interesting experience.

    Yes it was Danny holding up the photos!

  4. Ohhh I was hoping you would have won!!! Your dish looked yummy!!!!! Was that Danny holding up the photos??? So cool to put a face with a name! Well done!!!!

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Celia,

    Hope that you had a good break.

    I’ve enjoyed the few Britain’s best Dish programmes that I’ve seen. 5pm is an awkward time of day for me.

    Hi Jane,

    Infamous more like!

    The radio interview was fun to do and Britain’s Best Dish was much more stressful, particularly the audition!

  6. Can’t believe I missed this! Go away for a couple of days and you go all famous! Put it up on the site, do, so we can hear your dulcet tones – congratulations, glad you enjoyed doing it: hope it wasn’t too nerve-wracking.

  7. Hey Fiona – I’ve just got back from a few days “up North” and you’ve turned into a media celeb!!! We’ve been watching “Britain’s Best Dish” while we’ve been away – it coincided with with us returning back to the Hotel/B&B after a bracing day out exploring SE Yorkshire.

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