I was tempted to say 5 things I dig about Otter Farm, but I’m trying to give up dad puns. Otter Farm in Devon near Honiton is a place to dig though, as it’s all about the idea of ‘from plot to plate’ - from growing to eating and everything in between.
Mark Diacono, who’s quick as a whippet and enthusiastic as a puppy, planted the first tree at Otter Farm in 2006. Since then, an in-house team and crowd funding has made Otter Farm what it is today – a place to get involved with all things food. And I mean ‘all things’: they run courses for anyone who is serious about planting, excited about cooking, and fascinated by new and old ways to find, preserve or just look at food. The course descriptions are an education in itself!
I went to a food photography workshop. It was too good to miss – the opportunity to have the top notch photography skills of Patricia Niven (whose elegantly understated work you can see regularly on the Honey & Co recipe pages of the Financial Times at the weekend) alongside the holistic understanding of what makes food sing in a photo that Gill Meller, chef, author and food writer most known for his River Cottage work, brought to the table (was that a dad pun?).
And that’s what we got on top of the commentary from Mark, who had a plethora of examples and ideas as well as musical parallels that really made the day fly by. And I haven’t even mentioned Matt Williamson, who was owner of the well renowned old Flinty Red in Bristol and now has many interesting projects on the go including just returning from a week long photo shoot. Matt’s cooking was divine. He cooked kid goat to taste like melt in the mouth lamb. Delicious! This summer, BBQ, sizzling goat. That’s all I’m saying.
I’ll admit, the courses are not ‘cheap’ but I think they are value for money as I think hands-on tutored learning sticks. Also, some things you just can’t get from a book, a You Tube video or just doing it yourself. A bit like exercising. An exercise class costs, but you always feel the benefit. Equally, if food is not your thing, gift vouchers could be the gift that keeps giving (as long as you get the fruits of their labour).
So enjoy, the latest photo blog post about 5 things I like about Otter Farm. I hope they whet your appetite…
Otter Farm courses: https://www.otterfarm.co.uk/product-category/courses/
Patricia Niven http://www.patricianiven.com/
Gill Meller http://www.gillmeller.com/
Andrew Montgomery Photographer for ‘Gather’: https://www.andrewmontgomery.co.uk/
Matt Williamson & Claire Thomson