While driving back to the farm the other day in the driving rain, grumpily getting ready to don my waterproofs and face another morning’s picking in the wet, muddy and cold fields, I passed Angie serenely cycling past on her way to deliver bread to Neston Park Farm. Angie & Nathan are my lovely baker neighbours at The Oven, the wholesale bakery at Hartley Farm, baking the most delicious sourdough loaves, sticks, ciabattas and flatbreads, using organic flour, and often with my herbs and some veg involved on the flatbreads too. They deliver to local cafés, restaurants, shops and do Bath Farmers’ Market on a Saturday too – all by bicycle.
For those who live in the area, you’ll know that Bath and Winsley are somewhat hilly, and it’s therefore even more amazing that six days a week without fail these guys get up in the middle of the night and bake their loaves, before delivering them by bike in the morning, no matter what the weather or how steep the hills. These breads are therefore the most eco-friendly loaves I know of.
So whenever people tell me what good work I’m doing when I trudge around covered in mud, rainwater streaming from my hair into my eyes, smelling strongly of leeks and covered in various leafy debris, I think of guys at The Oven; and that if they can cycle around in the wind and rain in the dark, I can probably manage to pick a few more kilos of kale in the day.