I'm very proud this evening to be attending a party thrown by my dear friends Gabriella and Molly to celebrate the 1st birthday of their vegan food start-up - Planted.
Planted was launched in 2016 when, after both adopting a vegan diet around the same time, Gabriella and Molly struggled to find vegan versions of their favourite dishes. The desire to recreate popular foods with non-animal ingredients soon evolved into a business idea and Planted was born.
As well as supplying baked goods to cafes in and around Brighton, Molly and Gabriella also run a pop-up every month, where a different location plays host to an elaborate 5-course meal made only of plant-based ingredients.
Describing themselves as ‘two home cooks with a shared love of all things food’, the Planted ethos is all about naturally healthy, seasonal, plant based ingredients.Their cooking has gained a huge fanbase already, and last year (in their first year of business!) they were even shortlisted in the YBF Foodie awards. This involved them cooking their whole Puglian pop-up dinner for a host of celebrity chefs at Claridge's in London!
To celebrate their first birthday, Molly and Gabriella are putting on an evening of vegan cocktails and canapés, with all proceeds from ticket sales going to charity. Both members of team Planted lost their mothers at a young age to cancer and diabetes respectively and their 1st birthday event will recognise this. Funds raised will be split between Diabetes UK and The Forever Friends appeal – a charity set up by Molly’s family in memory of her mother.
Rosemary plays a big part in the branding of Planted - a herb used to represent remembrance, Molly and Gabriella use it to garnish and flavour their creations (such as the amazing chocolate cakes below which taste as good as they look), to decorate their communal table at pop-up events as well as forming a part of their beautiful logo.
So when they asked What You Sow to contribute a gift to the party goody bags, rosemary was the natural choice. Party guests this evening will receive a sprig of rosemary picked fresh from What You Sow HQ along with a selection of other plant-based goodies.
If you are the lucky recipient of one of these goody bags - here's a reminder of how to grow your rosemary... Do tag us on instagram with #whatyousowing to let us know how you get on.
As soon as possible, pop your sprig into a very small pot of gritty compost, water it and place the plastic bag over the top to create a mini greenhouse environment.
Keep in a sheltered, shaded area, not too hot or cold. Water your plant every now and then to keep the soil moist and after a few weeks the roots will start to develop. Pot them on to a larger pot each time the roots fill the pot and they should be ready to plant out next Spring!
Since 2012, What You Sow has been involved in the Greenhouse project at homeless charity Emmaus Brighton. The project is made up of a garden shop selling donated goods plus a community allotment.
For those of you who’ve never come across Emmaus before… There are more than 300 Emmaus communities worldwide, which help people move on from homelessness, providing work & a home in a supportive, family environment. The Emmaus Brighton community is home to 47 people, offering them companionship and a place to live and work as an alternative to homelessness. Each individual contributes by working to the best of their ability in one of the social enterprises or in another role within the community.
Emmaus Brighton is made up of a number of social enterprises: Café Revive, The second hand superstore, the bedroom store, the vintage emporium, Emmaus by the sea and the greenhouse. Each enterprise helps create an income for the community to support the people living there.
The What You Sow team loves helping out in the Greenhouse garden shop – making things and merchandising the shop displays as well donating our end of season stock for them to resell to the public.
The Greenhouse shop can be found in the conservatory at the back of the second hand superstore and is absolutely jam-packed full of plants, plant pots, gardening books, tools and bric-a-brac as well as a huge selection of artificial flowers all at bargain prices. Do come along and visit, perhaps for the Emmaus Spring Fair on 8th April, and see what treasures you can find for your own garden. The project also accepts donations, including any unwanted houseplants which need a new home.
Here are a few snaps showing the shop and you can find dozens more greenhouse images on pinterest…
Emmaus is open Monday – Saturday 10-5
Spring Fair - Saturday April 8th
Emmaus Brighton & Hove
01273 426 470
The Pantone colour of the year for 2017 has recently been announced, and who was more delighted than team What You Sow to find out that the colour is "greenery". As the people at Pantone put it, Greenery is a refreshing and revitalizing shade, symbolic of new beginnings.
What a wonderful choice of colour. You can have a look on their website to see some dream colour pairings and read more about Greenery.
It hasn't gone unnoticed at What You Sow HQ, that since we launched in 2012 with our logo designed by Debbie Hill in shades of green and mauve, this theme has carried throughout Pantone's recent colour of the year choices - Emerald in 2013, Radiant orchid in 2014, Marsala in 2015 and a combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity in 2016.
Looking to the other What You Sow colours, if Pantone choose a kind of tawny copper clay shade or a dark lead onyx as per the seeds in our logo, we'll know where they are getting their inspiration from.
What You Sow was delighted last month to support the work of owner Lyndsey Haskell, who exhibited a series of photos taken at the Emmaus Brighton community as part of the Brighton Photo Fringe 2016.
If you didn't manage to see the "My Emmaus" exhibition during the festival, the entire collection is now available to view on Lyndsey's website.
We're so happy to have some amazing news to share with you all!
Team What You Sow are delighted to have been shortlisted in the retail category of the Country Homes and Interiors magazine My Country Business Awards in association with Not on the High Street.
Now in their seventh year, the awards aim to celebrate existing country businesses, as well as helping to empower a new generation of country-based, creative entrepreneurs.
We're absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted alongside a bunch of other fantastic small businesses. Here is the full shortlist for the Retail category and you can find all the other categories on the CH&I website:
• Midgley Green
• Denys & Fielding
• The Country Brocante
• Little Farming Folk
• What You Sow
The judging takes place on Tuesday 28th June and the winners will be announced in early July. Wish us luck!
Update: We didn't win, the fabulous Midgley Green did! A massive well done to them and thanks again to the judges for shortlisting us!
My current favourite cocktail, named by my friend Anita, may I present ... The Sloe and Steady:
- 50ml sloe rum ( as foraged with Gabriella of Mangia Bene blog last autumn)
- 1 tbsp rhubarb syrup
- 50ml cranberry juice
- 100ml ginger beer to top up
- Squeeze and a slice of lime
Put 2 big cubes of ice into a glass, add the above ingredients in the order as listed above.
Drink on a Saturday night with a fun paper straw. These are the new Liberty print straw from the ace Papermash.
Recipes for the rum and syrup if you're planning to make them yourself:
1l white rum
Freeze the sloes overnight then put everything into a big kilner jar to steep for at least 6 months. Give it a shake every now and then.
When it's ready strain through a coffee filter to seprate. Use your sloe rum in cocktails and use the leftover sloes as a replacement for cherries to make chocolate and cakes!
100g white sugar
Place everything into a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for approx 20 min until the rhubarb is soft. Strain through a tea strainer to get your syrup. The colour is gorgeous! Save the leftover rhubarb as jam to put on toast. P.S. The gorgeous stickers below are also from Papermash. They're matte so perfect for writing pretty labels.
I've been seeing these all over pinterest lately so thought I'd give it a go myself. Best thing I've ever done. Super easy to make, tasty and pretty healthy.
To make one small pot put the following into a blender:
50ml oat milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp nut butter (I used cashew)
Blend until smooth. Then pour into a little pot. Decorate with various nuts and seeds ( I used dessicated coconut, toasted flaked almonds, lingonberry powder and sunflower seeds.
Put into the fridge for at least 2 hours to solidify then scoff the lot!
Just a little update on the worms as I haven't posted on I Got Worms for ages.
They're doing great, we've been using the worm tea that comes out of the tap to feed the fruit trees. It's very easy, just dilute 1 part worm tea to 10 parts water and use as a liquid fertiliser. The worms have made one and a half layers of compost already and are chomping their way through loads more food leftovers and coffee grinds. They're the best.
Here is a snap that my friend took of me gazing at them fondly. I love these dudes so much.
Anyway, some other important news that I wanted to share with you is that if you live in Brighton & Hove you can order a discounted worm farm via the council as they're trying to encourage residents to reduce waste. It's the can-o-worms which is my favourite type as it's so easy to use and you can show other people really easily how it's working.
You. Are. Welcome.
See more from I Got Worms.