Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Home Farmer Magazine Reveiw

After buying a copy last month and mentioning in a blog post, I thought I would ask the friendly folk at Home Farmer Magazine if they would like me to review the magazine on my blog and  much to my surprise they said yes and  sent me a copy!
So here goes , this is what I think.

The magazine started a few years back and I was quite excited by it and subscribed ( and made a few small contributions) for about 3 years until I got fed up with all the articles being done by just two people who were also publishing books with exactly the same information in them. Since then those two people have left and the Magazine is much improved in the care of Ruth Tott and Paul Melnyczuk.

 I usually pick up a copy if I'm in the right place ( only WHS in this area) at the right time, however with a subscription now including  the book 'River Cottage Everyday Cookbook', I might be tempted to subscribe again ( or not!)

In my  opinion Home Farmer Magazine is unique as it touches on lots of subjects of interest to people who want to live a simpler, self sufficient type of lifestyle. There are a couple of Smallholding magazines on the market, dozens of cookery ones, loads of gardening magazines and even more crafting ones.But Home farmer is the only one that covers all these AND does it without hundreds of annoying adverts and without an overload of any one subject.

This is the October issue which appeared in the shops at the beginning of September ( I've never quite understood why magazines are often a month ahead of the rest of us , but there must be a reason).

This issue has a "Bold New Look" but comparing it to Septembers issue the only thing that seemed different is the Down to Earth tag line at the top of the cover has gone and they've added in a weird font which looks as if someone has dropped ink all over the top of each feature.

One of my favourite bits are the first few pages where they catch up on items of news connected with smallholding. I find this really useful because unless you listen to Farming Today at quarter to six a.m on BBC Radio 4 much of this news/legislation/information could be missed.

I enjoy reading about other peoples lifestyles so Dot Tyne's smallholding diary ( their website is Viable Self Sufficiency ) is   a good read. She always seems to have more hours in her day than we have! There is also a feature about a young couple who run a dairy selling unpasteurized (raw) and pasteurized but non-homogenized milk from their farm and on-line.Gazegill Organics. Apart from dairying the farm also sells edible herbs and flowers and organic meat and cheese.( Very Expensive, as you would expect)

There are several articles about fruit growing in this months issue.The quick guide to planting apple trees made me smile - "Bear in mind the size of the adult tree in five, ten and twenty years' time when allocating space" Mmmm  easier said than done methinks as all our trees are much too close!
You can also buy a Redcurrant and Blackcurrant bush ( worth 15.90) just for the cost of postage ( £5.65)

A regular monthly feature covers what to do in your poly-tunnel and this month there is even an opportunity to enter a competition to win an 8ft x 10ft tunnel from Ferryman Poly-tunnels. ( as we have 3 tunnels  already I don't think I will enter that!)

Crafty Gifts is a special guide for ideas for presents ( Christmas or otherwise).

Other pages cover geese, bees, hen rescue, Co-operative Land Share schemes and seed bombing        ( wild flowers in derelict areas).

Last but not least there are lots of recipes for autumn including Hugh F. H s' Squash recipes, a pumpkin pie and ideas for comfort cooking for chilly weather.

In next months issue ( available 2nd October) there are features on making your own Stilton Cheese ( who knew you could do that?) building a pond, vintage pickles, winter wildlife, building a brick oven, Buff Orpington chickens, foraging to make liqueurs and several pages of other  recipes too.

I suppose you could call this a sponsored blog post which is something I never thought I would do but it's been an  interesting experience ( and filled up a day while sitting around recovering from  pneumonia).
This sponsored post thing will NOT become a regular feature as I'm not keen on blogs that seem to be always advertising something. I hope all regular readers won't stop reading in a huff!

Don't forget if you want to enter my book giveaway you need to leave comment on 1st Septembers post before Thursday night.

Back to normal tomorrow when I really must do a proper diary post to catch up on what's happening here.

Thanks once again for all the comments and get well  wishes.

Sue