A day of two halves…

Well just over a week ago it was a cool spring day as I set off at a rather early hour of the morning for a breakfast networking event.

I am not a big fan of formal networking events as I feel they are all rather shallow and superficial and not really my scene. This one known as Breakfast Friends takes place once a month at a changing Kent venue for a breakfast along with a guest speaker.

One of the reasons I attended this meeting was because I had helped to introduce their guest speaker namely a professional food forager and local food celeb by the name of Fergus Drennan. I had suggested Fergus as he is in the middle of a fundraising campaign at the moment to help fund his desire to experiment for a whole year to support himself purely on foraged foods.

It seemed like an ideal opportunity to speak to a room full people that just might like the idea of supporting him with some sponsorship and to spread his message. It was also a bit of a new experience for him however his nerves really did not show as he in a very relaxed and informal way entertained the 50 plus attendees at the 7Hotel Diner at Halstead nr Sevenoaks.

There was a hushed silence as the room listened intently to his philosophy and take on foraged foods. It caused much mirth when he described “Road Kill” as “accidental meat” and he kept the gathering both entertained and enthralled and possibly could have gone on for longer than his allotted time of 10-15 minutes as he explained his plan to conduct this year long experiment.

Questions fired from the floor were answered with an assured manner and overall there seemed to be a real thirst for more knowledge from the gathering. He was slightly mobbed after the meeting broke up and one attendee went into a quiet huddle with him to discuss their favoured spots for morel mushroom gathering and others posed with him for their photos. It was an interesting format for a networking event and highly enjoyable.

It has whet my appetite for more and I am now in discussions with Fergus to perhaps have a fundraising dinner with some foraged foods (No Accidental Meat I promise) to highlight his project further.

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I then dashed back to Hari HQ to then spend the next couple of hours baking some of our Moodley’s Beer Bread to take up to Winterdale Shaw as they had their official launch for the dairy to now be totally “Carbon Neutral”!

Their award winning cheddar cheese is now totally “Green” Robin & Carla have been hard at work putting in systems to ensure the morning milk from their herd of Friesian cows is processed into their cheddar cheese using energy supplied by their recently installed solar powered heat pumps and then the cheese can now be delivered by their totally electric car also charged by self same power source making them totally carbon neutral a first for “Cheddar Cheese” producer!

They had also been visited by the local press featuring their achievements just the day before appearing on the local BBC news. Their “Electric Car” had also undergone a makeover with a bold shrink wrap advert for their dairy plus an endorsement from Electric Car enthusiast Robert Llewellyn, of “Red Dwarf” and and also “Scrapheap Challenge” fame was on hand as well.

As the invited guests were given a tour of the dairy and explanations of how the cheese is now made and a more formal ribbon cutting ceremony they then departed off to London in the electric car to deliver a cheese to Fortnum and Masons and then another to the Goring Hotel as they have just started to include it on their cheeseboard!

This had been a day of two halves but one that was certainly so memorable on many levels…