Why have I not posted in a while?

Sometimes there is far too much going on or you have too many interests. Quite simply there is not not enough time in the day. Some people would say that it’s due to bad time management. Work takes over, weekends merge into the week, summer colds force you back to bed and the weeds start taking over in the garden. Whatever the reasons I have been neglecting writing and posting, I will try and change that over the course of the next few weeks. It’s a rut that I’ve seen a lot of food bloggers and gardeners get into recently – maybe it’s all the weeds and preserving to be done!?

I’ve been to lots of really great events in my local area and abroad recently and it’s becoming a struggle to put down all my thoughts to paper in a clear and concise way without rambling, getting angry at certain people or just making a total pigs ear of where I want this blog to go. Because every man, his dog and his wife have a blog it seems silly for me to carry on and do something exactly the same as everybody else online. Yes some bloggers out there gain huge followings, go on to write books about cooking or gardening and become internet infamous; I’m not sure I have the writing to skills to do that. Luckily one of my friends has offered to help me proof read my posts to try and prevent anymore dyslexic mishaps or typos that have been present in previous posts.  If you notice any typos or errors then please feel free to tell me – I will not be offended.

Why is it so hard to maintain a good blog?

  • It’s hard to be disciplined enough to sit down every day and write, post, comment and follow up on articles
  • I believe a blog should be original to keep people interested otherwise you’re just recycling the same old rubbish that’s already online
  • Photos make a blog better and unless your snap happy everyday then it’s hard to find a good source of photos that help to illustrate your point. Thats where sites like morguefile.com come in useful. Free images for use in you’re creative work like blogs or commercial websites.

What makes a good blog?

  • Being unique
  • Not preaching
  • Discussion
  • Good design
  • Engaging blog content
  • Advertising and gaining a following

So what have I been doing to try and make this blog better?

I’ve been visiting plenty of gardens, food projects, festivals and restaurants to try and come up with a different angle to approach the blog. There are so many things that I want to tell you about but for some reason these events or articles have never made it online. It’s all about to change!

My first trip involving food and growing, started when we planned our visit to Amsterdam. We haven’t been on holiday for a while so when cheap flights appeared online it was hard to resist scooping them up. As soon as we booked it I enquired about restaurants in the area. I found the restaurant of my dreams and within minutes had rattled off an email to book the chefs table. We spent more money on the meal then we did on the flights over there. It was so worth it. We might have to make it a yearly or monthly trip!

The restaurant we went is called Restaurant De Kas. It’s inspirational for any gardener or food lover. Just look at it.

They grow their own food within the Greenhouse and source all their food locally as much as possible. Stay tuned for my review and my rebuttle of another blogger who did not enjoy his trip there.

While in Amsterdam I planned to have a look at an exhibition called “Farming The City” that has really excited me about the future of food growing. I’m still collating a bit more information of local food projects to see the differences between projects in the UK and in Amsterdam. After managing to get in touch with  the co-ordinator whilst I was there she made the effort to stick around and talk to me. She shared the issues that other community projects tend to have – lack of understanding from the council, bad planning management or people just not having enough time. All issues that I have seen recently in community farms and gardens in Nottingham.

 

My first impressions of Farming the City is that it is a lot like Landshare but it’s also different. It’s connecting people in a different way and it’s a great way of showcasing what local community projects are doing near you or even having a look at local food commerce projects. This in turn would encourage people to have a look at different ways of shopping for goods. It’s brilliantly simple but effective and with the rise of social media it’s a great way to browse these projects without spending a hell of a lot of time on Google. You can read more of my thoughts on why gardeners should use the internet to connect when I’ve actually got around to writing about it.

The Grow Your Own Show in Guildford, Surrey was another mini event that was well worth the visit, swiftly followed by a trip to Losely Park and RHS Wisely. Then there was lots of gardening to be done encouraged by getting involved with Sowing New Seeds and yet another trip to see Garden Hero at Gardeners World Live. If you can’t tell already I seem to spend most of my time wishing I was a gardener!  Then I realised that I am a part time garden lover. The rest of the time I hate gardens due to the sheer amount of time you have to spend weeding and almost every single British garden and vegetable plot looks the same, growing the same boring flowers and vegetables.  I love vegetables and flowers really. I love the look of Wisteria tumbling off the wall and the way fresh peas taste straight out of the pod but sometimes the way we grow them makes me frustrated. I’ll be delving into these frustrations in a few more blog posts. For now lets just say that I think the gardening world needs a shake up from the younger generation and there are a few people who are slowly trying to do just that.

As well as gardening we’ve been to a few local restaurant for food and I’ve been in touch with a few local food bloggers in the hope of getting some inspiration. There is one blog that I like to follow called isitworthwaitingfor.com written by Lou and Chris who have given themselves the challenge of not cooking the same meal twice for a whole year. This blog is great to follow for a number of reasons. Most of the time instead of posting the recipes they review the food and point out what works and what they did to change it. No point posting the recipe if it can be found elsewhere online! They’ve also reviewed a lot of restaurants in Nottingham that we have eaten in – our views differ but that’s not to say either of us are right or wrong!

We have a major problem with eating out at the moment. Our problem is not being fussy eaters, we just expect too much from a non chain restaurant. We’ve eaten out twice this week and both times were left more than disappointed. I’m not after gourmet food all the time. I’ll happily sit down and eat a sloppy burger and chips if that is what I’m expecting but when you go out and spend £15+ on a main meal you do not expect the salad not to be dressed, your rare steak to be over-cooked and the service to be poor. Ok these are first world problems and after reading that last sentence again I sound like a spoilt brat! But when reading other people’s reviews of local restaurants I sit here aghast at their blatant lies about the great food and atmosphere. Or did we just pick a bad night to eat there?

So this is why I don’t think blogging is all it’s cracked up to be. I see how other people can make it work and there are plenty of fascinating things to write about but my problem is that I disagree with so many people, dislike it when things aren’t quite right and being negative is not a good angle to be writing from.

So I’m holding off writing the bad reviews about restaurants and publishing the slating article I’ve written about Garden Organic. There’s no point slating a restaurant if it was just a one off bad night. There’s no point ranting about a Charity and their commercialisation if you don’t have an alternative means of funding for them. My Grandma recommends being cool and polite at all times whilst under the surface be paddling like crazy to try and get things changed.  So watch this space, it’s time to be hypercritical about food, it’s the only way we can encourage our local chefs to produce better food!

 

One Response to Why blogging isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

  1. Jessica says:

    I like your idea of hypercriticality. Seems there are too many blogs about that will happily sling off, under the guise of anonymity, whilst not realizing how daft they sound!

    It is wonderful to see someone so relatively young so passionate about gardening and all things food. I am also 23, and am only just getting into it now.

    Please keep posting!

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