Tag Archives: farming

Making family traditions – celebrating Christmastime together – A French Christmas

Ulula is based at Rush Farm, a biodynamic farm in Worcestershire.sheep

Between March and October, Rush Farm is supported by a wonderful group of volunteers who find us through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms Organisation – a movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and gfrozen-leavesrowers.

The volunteers are fondly known at the beginning of their stay at WWOOFers, but by the time we are all hugging goodbye, they have become one of the family. This means that we are now very much an international family on the Farm, as is Ulula with all its wonderful worldwide customers.

We may not be ‘together’ on the farm across the winter months (a time of ‘rest’ for the farm so no volunteers are needed), but sharing our winter traditions and memories is very special.

sunset-over-frozen-sceneOur winter family and community traditions are instilled in us when we are little, and these memories and feelings stay with us as we grow up, and we bring them into our world anew when our own little ones arrive. For us, we always decorate the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve – our German roots!

These traditions are unique to each family, region, country and each generation, and we carry them with us, whether we stay in the country of our birth, or find ourselves somewhere different. ‘Different’ brings opportunities – for both enjoying, and learning other families’ traditions. We blend them into our very own happy ever afters. Just as it should be x

My French Christmas

joyeuz-noel1st December

When I was a child, it was time to buy an advent calendar an write my letter to the Santa Claus. Now it the time to think about the gifts to offer at my close family…

 

24 December

After 5 hours drive, we arrive a little tired at my paternal grandmother. But tomorrow, all the family will be here. So I gather my strengths for the essential thing : the decoration of the Christmas treedecorating-tree… baubles, garlands…

Lucky me to have an organized sister to share this moment with me! Don’t forget the garland of lights and the star at decorated-treethe top ! – or the tradition is broken.

Some gifts will be open tonight, but we will wait for our younger cousins joy to offer the best surprises. (But sshhh! all is Father Christmas !)

25 December

Latest preparations. Ready to eat all the day ! Oysters, snails, tartines of foie gras and of salmon… oystersA lot of dead animals scroll in front of me!  

I eat some toasts – I’m vegetarian but I’m greedy too ! I really like everything but I can’t eat snails – since I learned how long we need to wait before they die – and oysters – eaten with some lemon while they are always alive…

Anyway now we are ready ! It’s the veal roast – with potatoes and beans. Children be patient – the gifts come with the dessert.

So is it now ? I have finished my plate…cheese

No, keep your plate and test the amazing « roquefort » ! Sensitive noses, outside. My father is running, he hate cheese!

But not too far, because now… Yes, I’m just waiting for this. Now it’s time to the dessert : « La bûche de Noël » ! french-pudding

Unfortunately, my grandfather, a former baker, is not with us to cook it. But we can count on the neighbour and the dessert is excellent. We open the gifts ; everybody is smiling.

This was not a vegetarian day, but I’m happy because we had interesting discussions and I played a lot with my cousins. This was a joyful day!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sophie from France, who took this wonderful photo across Rush Farm this summer… happy memories indeed x

 

Making family traditions – celebrating Christmastime together – the Christmas Tree

Ulula is based at Rush Farm, a biodynamic farm in Worcestershire.

frozen-scrapeBetween March and October, Rush Farm is supported by a wonderful group of volunteers who find us through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms Organisation – a movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers.

The volunteers are fondly known at the beginning of their stay at WWOOFers, but by the time we are all hugging goodbye, they have become one of the family. This means that we are now very much an international family on the Farm, as is Ulula with all its wonderful worldwide customers.

We may not be ‘together’ on the farm across the winter months (a time of ‘rest’ for the farm so no volunteers are needed), but sharing our winter traditions and memories is very special.

frozen-walk-boots-and-flashOur winter family and community traditions are instilled in us when we are little, and these memories and feelings stay with us as we grow up, and we bring them into our world anew when our own little ones arrive.

These traditions are unique to each family, region, country and each generation, and we carry them with us, whether we are stay in the country of our birth, or find ourselves somewhere different. ‘Different’ brings opportunities – for both enjoying, and learning other families’ traditions. We blend them into our very own happy ever afters. Just as it should be x

My Christmas is always full of childhood memories. Even I’m twenty three now, we celebrate Christmas every year in the same kind of way. I love that! nativity-under-tree

Christmas to me means time to calm down and to enjoy a special time of the year with my family, the people I love.

At the holy night my dad always prepares the food, which is very special because during the year he never does. And I have to admit he makes it really really good!

The biggest moment for me is the time we all together open the door to the room with the Christmas tree.

It’s liketree magic! The whole world seems to stop for this moment.

And before we start to eat the delicious meal between harmonious candlelight we all together sing the German Christmas song ‘Oh Tannenbaum’.o-tannenbaum

Wishing you all peaceful Christmas time and good future for Ulula,

Marisa, Germany

Making family traditions – celebrating Christmastime together – in the sunshine!

Ulula is based at Rush Farm, a biodynamic farm in Worcestershire.

cows-in-the-barnBetween March and October, Rush Farm is supported by a wonderful group of volunteers who find us through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms Organisation – a movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers.

The volunteers are fondly known at the beginning of their stay at WWOOFers, but by the time we are all hugging goodbye, they have become one of the family. This means that we are now very much an international family on the Farm, as is Ulula with all its wonderful worldwide customers.

rush-farm-2We may not be ‘together’ on the farm across the winter months (a time of ‘rest’ for the farm so no volunteers are needed), but sharing our winter traditions and memories is very special.

Our winter family and community traditions are instilled in us when we are little, and these memories and feelings stay with us as we grow up, and we bring them into our world anew when our own little ones arrive.

These traditions are unique to each family, region, country and each generation, and we carry them with us, whether we are stay in the country of our birth, or find ourselves somewhere different. ‘Different’ brings opportunities – for both enjoying, and learning other families’ traditions. We blend them into our very own happy ever afters. Just as it should be x

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere:-

chileVery briefly, during my childhood in the nineties, my family and I would dine on Christmas eve and go to sleep only waiting to get up and open our presents the next day.

 As years passed by, we adopted the new tradition of opening presents at midnight right after Christmas eve and then play with them inside the house or on my aunt´s very big backyard, where we meet for special events.

About two Christmas ago, right after opening our presents at midnight, some people decided to start pushing someone else into the swimming pool. Many of us got soaking wet all the way from our heads to our feet!chile-animation

Believe it or not it wasn’t bad, indeed it was very refreshing. Summer nights are so hot and swimming anytime between Christmas and torrid January is always welcome. That is the number one reason why Christmas in the southern hemisphere rocks 🙂

Joaquín

Making family traditions – celebrating Christmastime together – Presepe

Ulula is based at Rush Farm, a biodynamic farm in Worcestershire.rush-farm-1

Between March and October, Rush Farm is supported by a wonderful group of volunteers who find us through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms Organisation – a movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers.

The volunteers are fondly known at the beginning of their stay at WWOOFers, but by the time we are all hugging goodbye, they have become one of the family. This means that we are now very much an international family on the Farm, as is Ulula with all its wonderful worldwide customers.

We may not be ‘together’ on the farm across the winter months (a time of ‘rest’ for the farm so no volunteers are needed), but sharing our winter traditions and memories is very special.

farm-track-in-winterOur winter family and community traditions are instilled in us when we are little, and these memories and feelings stay with us as we grow up, and we bring them into our world anew when our own little ones arrive.

These traditions are unique to each family, region, country and each generation, and we carry them with us, whether we are stay in the country of our birth, or find ourselves somewhere different. ‘Different’ brings opportunities – for both enjoying, and learning other families’ traditions. We blend them into our very own happy ever afters. Just as it should be x

“I think the best Christmas tradition in my country is the “PRESEPE”. It means we reproduce the nativity with some figurines in wood, plastic, clay… 2008107204045_adorazione-002

The origins of the Presepe are referred to S.Francesco d’Assisi who first represented the nativity with statues of the virgin, St.Joseph, Jesus, the ox and the donkey with the magi.presepe5

Then the traditions arrived in the Kingdom of Neaples and here the Neapolitan made the most beautiful presepe in the world. presepe2-002

There is a street in Neaples called S. Gregorio Armeno in which every year the artisans show their statues of all the types: from the classic to the political satire or religious satire. thmwvw1mv3-presThere are also statues of actors and politicians such as Merkel, Berlusconi, Renzi and so on. It’s a way to rant some events happened during the year!

For families, the tradition is that we can build our Presepe in our own homes after the 8th of December. Here are some photos of my own presepe:

presepe4

 

presepe1

 

presepe

In each family the tradition in the Christmas eve is the following: after having the dinner, the oldest member of the family (in many cases the grandmother), take the statues of Jesus and make a procession with the children following her and then the adults. She sings some traditional songs and is in this tradition that the children learn the Christmas songs.

Arriving near the Presepe the grandmother give the statue to the littlest member of the familypresepe2 and she or he has to put it in the presepe, then all together people pray and only after this moment we exchange gifts.

A very very very big hug to my English family.
Michaelangelo

 

Making family traditions – celebrating Christmastime together – Andrzejki

Ulula is based at Rush Farm, a biodynamic farm in Worcestershire.rush-farm-2

The farm has been a wonderful means of meeting and making new friends from across the world through the splendid WWOOFer volunteers (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), who have come from around the world to help us on the farm and soon become one of the family. This means that we now feel very much that we are an international family on the farm; as international as our Ulula family of wonderful worldwide customers 🙂

We may not be ‘together’ on the farm across the winter months (a time of rest for the farm so no volunteers are needed), but sharing our winter traditions and memories is very special.

rush-farmOur winter family and community traditions are instilled in us when we are little, and these memories and feelings stay with us as we grow up, and we bring them into our world anew when our own little ones arrive.

These traditions are unique to each family, region, country and each generation, and we carry them with us, whether we are stay in the country of our birth, or find ourselves somewhere different. ‘Different’ brings opportunities – for both enjoying, and learning other families’ traditions. We blend them into our very own happy ever afters. Just as it should be x

Over the next few weeks we will share some of our international farm family’s memories of the Advent and Christmas period:

Andrzejki – Poland (St. Andrew’s Day)

On the last night of November we are celebrating Andrzejki (Poland – St. Andrew’s Day). This year it’s celebrated on the night between 29 and 30 November. 

party-glitter-ballAndrzejki is the last party before advent, and like any other Polish celebration, there is a feast with loads of food and drink and more… because this is the last day before lent (Christmas Lent) so people eat and drink as much as they can! The next opportunity will be on 26th December! Andrzejki is quite an awesome party: you want to party hard, so you could survive nearly one month without any!

andrzejki-2013

A part of this celebration on Andrzejki is that this is the night of rituals and fortune foretold (mainly about our relationships). The most popular tradition is that you melt candle wax and put the melted wax through the eye of a key, then cool the wax in a bowl of water. The shape you get can tell you the future – you’re checking that shape using a light and watching the shadow on a wall – and based on that shape you are foretold something about your future partner.

wax

Happy Andrzejki to us all x

radek-and-asia

With love from Radek and Asia… our fortune telling worked beautifully x

 

 

Five Reasons to Choose Organic Baby Food

Organic baby food is good for your baby and planet; it is kind to our animals and wildlife and choosing organic baby food allows consumers to make a big difference – simply through the way you shop. With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why organic food delivers such good value for money.

Choosing Organic Baby Food is Better for the Planet

Amazingly, over 20% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions today come from food and farming. Nitrogen fertiliser manufacturing is the worst offender. To produce just one tonne takes one tonne of oil, seven tonnes of greenhouse gasses and one hundred tonnes of water. Organic farmers work with nature to feed the soil and control pests.

By putting less stress on the environment, organic is a more sustainable choice, especially as around 30% of the average consumer’s carbon ‘footprint’ comes from their food choices. By choosing organic baby food – you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Organic Baby Food is Better for Your Baby

Organic baby foods have  higher amounts of beneficial minerals, essential amino acids and vitamins than other baby foods. Organic baby food avoid pesticides and all controversial additives including aspartame, tartrazine, MSG and hydrogenated fats. Organic food contains higher levels of vitamin C and minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants and Omega 3.

International studies find that organic plant products contain more anti-oxidants such as phenols and salicylic acid, known to protect against cancer and heart disease. The same studies also show that organic animal products contain more polyunsaturated fatty acids, which also help to protect against heart disease.

Organic Baby Foods are Kind to Animals

Animal welfare is at the heart of organic food systems. Organic food standards for meat and animal products rigorously protect all aspects of animal wellbeing – from rearing, feeding and shelter, to transportation and slaughter. Organic animals are free to pursue natural behaviour because they have plenty of outside space to thrive and grow, and are not routinely drugged with antibiotics. Organic standards prohibit cruelty and guarantee truly free-range lives for farm animals.

Many shoppers don’t realise that organic meat and animal products are also free range. Where Ulula baby foods contain eggs and meat the organic certification symbol guarantees you that the animals  have been reared to the highest level of free-range standards. Birds are looked after in much smaller flocks, spend most of their lives roaming outside on fresh grass and have much more space in their houses.

Buying Organic Baby Food Encourages Wildlife

The UK Government’s own advisors found that plant, insect and bird life is up to 50% greater on organic farms. Organic farming relies on wildlife to help control natural pests, so wide field edges are left uncultivated for bugs, birds and bees to flourish. They are also not sprayed away by the fertilisers, chemicals and pesticides routinely used on non-organic farms.

Organic Baby Foods are Guaranteed GM Free

Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are banned under organic standards. Shoppers wanting to avoid GM products may be surprised to know that over a million tonnes of GM crops are imported each year to feed non-organic livestock, which in turn supply our supermarkets with pork, bacon, milk, cheese and other dairy products.

Is there really a better place to think about the environment than at the table where a mother feeds her baby? Every mouthful we feed to our babies is a vote for, or against, the planet and the survival of future generations. Let me know your thoughts and experiences.

How is Demeter Baby Food Different?

Demeter quality symbol

Demeter quality assurance symbol

Ulula only stocks baby foods and foods for growing children and their families that are certified organic. Without exception. The organic certification guarantees certain minimum levels of standards in food production, such as high animal welfare standards and not allowing ‘chemical nasties’ to be used.

Many of our baby foods also carry the Demeter label (much of the Holle organic baby food range does so, for example) which is an additional certification that guarantees even higher quality levels in growing and processing foods. Only products which meet the stringent and far reaching quality of certified biodynamic farming, can carry the Demeter label.

You Can’t Get More Organic Than Biodynamic/Demeter

Biodynamic agriculture is a comprehensive approach to farming established in the 1920s by Dr Rudolf Steiner. Demeter standards not only exclude the use of synthetic fertilisers and other chemicals in food production and artificial additives during processing, but also require very specific measures such as applying herbal preparations to the land to strengthen the life processes in soil and food.

The Demeter farmer makes allowances for the specific peculiarities and needs of individual plant types and animal species. Biodynamic agriculture views a farm as a living organism with its own natural cycle – a consequence of this is that each biodynamic farm will only raise the number of animals that the farm land can naturally support. There is no intensive farming in biodynamic agriculture and there is a high degree of traceability in biodynamic farming that cannot be equalled.

Couple this with gentle food processing methods that respect and work with the raw ingredients and the result is a baby food that not only has the best possible pedigree but tastes simply delicious. It is quite simply the best possible start for your baby.

Let us know what you think? Is buying Demeter/biodynamic baby food important to you, and if so why? Can you taste the difference?