February 2020

Recent updates

1.

A. Good Things Brewing got back in touch, so we’ll have some of their beer on for the Set Menu in March, as well as using some of their flour in that menu as well. Their setup is compelling and it’s really exciting to see their sustainability structure and think about how we could work with them in the future. They use spent grain from the brewing process to make flour, rehydrating it and milling it into a flour that’s purportedly high in protein and perfect for pizza.

B. The question that arises in finding another source of sustainable flour is, How Much Good Can You Do? Should we find a perfect mix of flours to make our dough so that we’re spreading demand evenly across multiple ‘good causes’? Or is it bad to solidify a practice because it doesn’t realistically reflect the variety involved in agriculture year on year?

2. This morning I sat on the sofa and idly scrolled through a document about angling on the river Wandle. These are the headlines:


A. There used to be a mill on the Wandle at the end of Trewint St- would this make it easier or harder to get permission to build another one? The general consensus was that mills were a bad influence on the vitality of the river. The idea to build a mill there was one of the crowning abstract moments of our sustainability journey in 2019.


B. The Wandle used to be an ace chalk stream- good for trout fishing.


C. Maybe we could fish trout and serve those?? I digress.


D. A sustainability chain of logic concerning crayfish:

Signal crayfish are an invasive, non-native species which are wiping out indigenous crayfish and damaging riverbanks. They need to be got rid of – therefore it is not only a good idea to eat them, but it is actively sustainable to do so – the obvious cool idea would be to fish them out of the river Wandle, directly benefitting our local ecosystem – crayfish catching devices are available on eBay for around £15, made in Sweden (implicitly good as I think the Swedes make good crayfish sandwiches) and Crayfish fishing [entry level tongue-twister] permits are free from the Environment Agency – we could then serve our own take on the Cajun pizza, which was my favourite option on the Pizza Express menu during the late 90s – the shells could be used for bisques and other tasty options.


E. Problems with this plan:

According to the angling article, things from the Wandle might not be healthy to eat due to residual heavy metals in the silt that collects near the various weirs.

The article didn’t actually say there are any crayfish in the Wandle anyway.

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