Did you see the Three Hungry boys last night? For those that missed it here is the low down…
Cocksure Tim the blagger, Thom the builder, hunter and forager and Trevor the cook and bartering expert are back in Daisy their milk float and travelling around the lanes of Cornwall!
Two and a half weeks into their five week challenge to travel to Land End they boys decide to venture to the North coast to a Pagan carnival in St Agnes. With no money to buy beer at the festival they had to blag some before they got there otherwise the festival ain’t gonna be much fun huh? So Trev makes a call toTerry at Skinner’s Brewery who has some worked lined up for them. The boys work hard for the keg of ale in their sights, doing all sorts of jobs from cleaning out the barrels to digging out all the spent malted barley from the vats. After some pretty sweaty work and smelling like a brewery they head off to the Crab and Ale public house in Truro in the hope of getting some food and beer. After chatting to the landlord the boys hear its quiz night and that 1st prize is a food voucher for the pub; 2ndprize is sweets & chocolates and the booby prize is a load of chocolate! So if they are smart they could do really well or if they haven’t a clue they could win some chocolate. Well, three biology graduates did better than winning the booby prize but unfortunately not well enough to win 1st or 2nd prize so no dinner or chocolate. Still, it looked like a fun night out away from the milk float and they did a bit of glass collecting for a beer. Never mind chaps, maybe next time…
Next morning, the lads are back on the road and have a tweet from Woodland Valley Farm, a Cornish organic farm who were offering the lads some sausages in exhange for some work. Chris Jones who runs the organic pork and beef farm in Ladock welcomed the boys and offered them some work mulching the nut trees (hazel nuts and chestnut trees) in his nuttery. Basically, the mulching involves putting used cardboard around the trees to kill off any weeds and then as the cardboard rots it will provide nutrients for the trees. So after a mornings work Chris rewards the boys with some sausages and duck eggs. The boys are thinking with some flour and milk they can make some toad in the hole. Now, for the milk blagging they head off to a near by dairy farm for a few pints of the white stuff. So Tim gets to work on the milking of some cows in the hope of not geting a brown shower! Well, with a few near misses they get their milk and head off grinning from ear to ear. With 3 ingredients down they just need flour. A local bakery message them on Twitter to drop in to do some work and the boys secure the final ingredient. With the ingredients on board Daisy the lads head off to the St Agnes for the carnival and festival.
The festival at St Agnes has been run for over 70 years where the traders and fish wives have been selling their wares to the locals. the boys try to sell their food and drink they have worked for in payment for other goods to stock up their larder. Trev knocks up the toad in the hole whilst the parade is in full swing. The St Agnes Bolster Festival can be seen here. With toad in the hole prepared the boys set about trading and by the end of the night they are full of veg, cheese and food for their larder. The night with a great success and they managed to keep enough beer for themselves so a good night was had by all! If you are after a toad in the hole recipe or if you fancy trying it Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall style try it here.
Eventhough the excess of beer did slightly sway their idea of a good barter the boys hadnt done bad and they managed to swap a pineapple for their toad in the hole and beer trading so they certainly got some produce that’s not grown in Cornwall.
Next stop is music to my ears…
The Tregothnan Estate and home to Lord Falmouth (not to be confused with a Lord from Falmouth!) and the Boscawen family. I will touch on Tregothnan again in later posts but for now they are famous for being the only tea producers in Britain. The lads met Jonathan from Tregothnan who gave them some work to do, tea harvesting on the estate in exchange for somewhere to charge Daiseys battery and some fishing in the river Fal! Tregothnan has over 40 hectares and the Corinsh micro climate is the perfect aspect for growing a bit of tea! With several speciality teas on the estate the boys start harvesting the manuka bush (more famous for its honey) to make some tea from. Check out the Tregothnan website to see all the varieties of tea on offer. It makes a great present for the tea drinker in your life and not a chimpanzee in sight!
Next morning Thom the hunter decides to do a spot of fishing off the jetty at the bottom of the estate. After trying to catch some mullet by spinning (thats afsihing technique) he exchanges to float fishing without any luck. One spear gun later and he had three grey mullet in the bag. So, with some mullet and some manuka Trevor decides to smoke the fish with the Manuka flowers flavouring the fish. After a short time of smoking the fish within reach of the incoming time the smoking nothing short of a disater, still looking on the bright side it was nice to see the river Fal on the telly last night.
The boys are then asked to harvest some Kea plums from the bank of the Fal. With only 20 acres of Kea plums in the world with them all being around the Fal they are somethig quite special to eat, either on their own or as a jam or crumble. we had some given to us from a friend who has a tree in his back garden in Malpas, Mother made a crumble whist we were down and it didn’t stay in the fridge for long. Mmm..salivating just thinking about it…
The plums are worth about £30 per kilo so great when a friend gives you half a carrier bag full. The lads collected a fair few from the banks of the Fal before being given a couple of kilos for their efforts. Trev then makes some Kea plum jam to use as currency for the next part of thier trip. If you want to try some of this delicious jam you can buy it from the Tregothnan shop here.
So next the lads are in the milk flast ‘speeding’ along, racing for the King Harry Ferry to save driving around the Fal. The Ferry is a small chain ferry and goes back and forth accross the Fal all day long. If you are in the area its a great experience and it will save you time and probably a little money in going accross the Fal rather than driving around the Fal. More about the King Harry Ferry can be seen here. Their intentions of paying for the ferry crossing with a pot of Kea Jam was dashed when the ticket collector/man you give your money to told them he had a Kea plum tree in his garden so the last thing he wanted was a pot of jam. Expect his missus makes it all the time? Coincidentally it was his birthday too so he allowed them to cross the Fal for nothing if they sung Happy Birthday to him! Hmm… I wonder if that will work next time we are scratching around for a fiver to pay to cross the Fal?
Finally the boys go to Devoran Pilot Gig club whom I think have a new website and incidentally have a new book out called Up For Ten! The Official Devoran Gig Club Songbook. Send a text to Frannie, pay two squidders and you got yourself a copy (if you collect -postage extra!!) to get Frannie mobile number and a copy of the book click here. Back to the lads, they had a good go at racing the gig boats, a 2 mile circuits where all the teams were back on dry land with a pint in the hand whilst the boys were still bring up the rear. Gig rowing is a great spectacle and if you get the chance you must pop down to watch it in the evenings.
That’s it for tonight, Caroline Quentins Cornwall short appraisal coming up later in the week.