From aprons

Mother’s Garden olive oil comes to Cornwall

Fresh Mother’s Garden arbequina olive oil is now in Cornwall!

Our friends and colleagues Tamsin and Andy Glendinning – who have been helping on the farm this year – will be flying the Mother’s Garden flag at events throughout the summer, offering up some fresh oil for you to taste and buy, along with books, aprons, bags and olives.

It all starts in the next few days, so if you can get along and say hello that would be wonderful. Here are the events Tamsin and Andy have organised so far. There will be more.

Tuesday 7th June – Truro Country Market at Hall For Cornwall, Back Quay, Truro, TR1 2LL  9.00 – 4.00

Sunday 19th June – Helston Motor Show at Wendron Football Club visit Helston Motor Show Map for directions  10.30 – 5.30

Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June – Midsummer Food Festival, Duchy College, Stoke Climsland, Callington, PL17 8PB  10.00 – 4.00

Saturday 2nd July – South Kerrier Official Festival of Food at Helston Community College, Church Hill, Helston, TR13 8NR  9.30 – 2.30.

If you would like to order olive oil and can’t get to one of these events, please drop us a line. Click here, giving your full address and contact details.

Related Images:

New book and fresh olive oil tour + video

In wishing you all a cuddly, cherry-topped Happy New Year we offer the following – a parcel of ribbon-tied happy thoughts that may help to keep us all afloat in this year to come.
And in case you think I’m a bit late, we always think the bleak end of January is a good time to send smiles.
We send too you a link to the You Tube video Ella made of our recent new book and new harvest olive oil tour – click here.
We wish for everyone the fully-inflated rubber ring of humour, and in doing so remind ourselves how vital it has been here on the farm with all its hues, heavy burdens and common aches that are the consequence of the tap-dance of modern life.
As with the magnificent mirth-inducing musical raspberries that my 90-year-old father blows at anyone who has had their ready smile wiped from their hard-drive (or has had a common courtesy bypass operation) we have ways to dissolve the accumulatively seriousness of existence into a fit of the giggles.
Check out the new pictures on our gallery. The following stars of 2010 feature.
Wandering minstrels Michael Hatherly and son Jacob (they had just wandered up the track from the holiday cottage) tweaked the cord of merriment back in August with a guitar, tiny drum and precious little. Michael is my oldest friend. Jacob is my delightful godson. Their friendship is something to behold, unbelievably precious to share.
Then there was the sensation when Elvis rolled up to join the olive harvest. Words fail me.
With us for some almond bagging frivolity were Sophie and Steve from Brisbane Down Under, stopping off at Mother’s Garden for five weeks at the end of their European tour.
They have been rays of light, and stayed with our friend Annie to hold the fort, feed the ponies and keep the home fires burning while we whizzed around England during the first two weeks of December. As we trundled down the track 6ft tall Steve skipped alongside us adorning the hire truck with flower petals.
Yes, we ventured north during the bitterly cold, snowy first two weeks of December. Brrrrr.
We clocked 4999 kilometres and 10 book and olive oil events in 12 days – meeting hundreds of lovely people who ventured out to see us despite the deep bleakness of early winter.
Despite the onset of foul colds, snow storms coming in horizontally off the sea in -17 Scarborough and ice on the inside of our otherwise reliable Fiat truck, despite pulling my back lugging olive oil boxes hither and thither, we got round, signing a very significant number of books, delivering new harvest olive oil and, generally, giving the tree of life a damned good shake.
Maybe you heard me making a fool of myself on Radio York and Radio Norfolk. (I was breaking some teeth in for a friend). They allowed me to rattle on for an inordinately long time as we talked about this life, my new book Shaking The Tree and why people might want to dwell on the thought of moving abroad.
We had taken Ella and Joe Joe out of school because we wouldn’t dream of leaving them behind and, well, the trip would be an education (in meteorology as it turned out).  They also got to see Windsor Castle, Delia Smith, Stephen Fry and Norwich City lose 0-2 to Portsmouth.
Delia’s Canary Catering chefs have been using our olive oil for years now, and she’d invited us to visit Carrow Road to watch a game. So there I and the children sat, not sure at first if singing and shouting was acceptable behaviour in the directors’ box. But I let rip anyway after a few minutes, genuinely oblivious to the fact that Stephen Fry, seated directly in front of me, was filming some sort of documentary.
Poor chap. I forced a copy of my English novel Moon Daisy on him. It had been 35 years since we’d last spoken (our paths crossed as teenagers) and he was utterly charming, but I’m not entirely convinced he remembered me.
We have, needless to say, returned with more than we left with, not least heads and hearts brimming with happy memories of eyes-closed bear embraces, beaming faces and the certainty that the vast majority of people are utterly gorgeous.
Keep warm, keep well.
Sending all good thoughts from Mother’s Garden for the year we will all share. Be happy. And a present of raspberries to those who refuse…

Related Images:

Home again after 4999km

Mother’s Garden is strangely peaceful. Devoid of breeze and cloud, our first day home glides, no drifts, like a hot air balloon buoyed by relief that we achieved all that we set ourselves, safely and with such encouragement.
I am floating above tiredness. The night frosts coat the ground with sweet silver and I keep standing and staring.
Being motionless is a novelty.
In a tail-chasing fortnight from 10am, Wednesday December 1, we clocked 4999 kilometres, presented Shaking The Tree and fresh olive oil to hundreds of lovely people and endured a lesson in meteorology.
How naive of me to assume that early December would be placid. How nuts of me to set such a punishing agenda that would see us plough through the snow from Kent to Oxfordshire, north to Scarborough and York, then down to Norfolk, before trundling once again on to a Dover ferry.
The enormity of France is well-documented and it shouldn’t be rushed. Yet I keep doing it.
I will not bore you with the teeth-chattering consequences, but just want to thank all those who ventured into the ice air to see us. It was so humbling, and despite the inevitable impact of such an early onset of winter, we feel the trip was of immeasurable worth and an unforgettable pleasure.
Almost every drop of fresh olive oil has been sold – so already we are looking to January. If you would like to order oil in advance (perhaps with a copy of the book and/or an embroidered apron), please get in touch.
I will post photographs too, if I can find my camera …..
Keep well and warm.

Come to book launch & fresh olive oil tastings

With just a few days to go we breathlessly sample fresh olive oil, label bottles, pack boxes and try and slot into place the final pieces of the book and olive tour in England, when we will be bringing embroidered aprons and farm almonds too. (Visit our online shop for a picture of the kitchen aprons).

Here are the dates. If you are not in the UK but would still like to read the book, please try Amazon through this site or your local bookshop. By using Amazon through this site it helps us a little. Many thanks. Tell your friends and by all means get in touch with us direct. We are so grateful of the support we receive from around the world.


Chipping Norton: Saturday, 4 December, noon onwards. Book presentation and signing, Jaffe&Neale bookshop.


York:  Monday, 6 December, 6.30pm. Book presentation and signing, Blake Head Bookshop and Vegetarian Cafe, 104 Micklegate.


Sheringham: Wednesday, 8 December, 11am-12.30pm. Book signing, Bertram A Watts, 10 Church Street.

Bawdeswell: Thursday, 9 December, 11am-12.30pm. Oil tasting and book signing, The Park Charity Cafe and Deli, Dereham Road.

Norwich: Thursday, 9 December, 6.30pm-8.30pm.  Book presentation, signing and olive oil tasting. Jarrolds, Exchange Street. This will be a ticket event – call 01603 660661.

Letheringsett: Friday, 10 December, 12 noon – 2pm. Olive oil tasting. Back To The Garden farm shop.

Holt: Friday, 10 December, 6.30pm-8pm. Book presentation and signing. Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard. This will be a ticket event – call 01263 715858.

Swaffham: Saturday, 11 December, 11am onwards. Book presentation, and signing, olive oil tasting, Christmas food and gifts day. Strattons Hotel, Ash Close.

The good news is we are almost on track. What worries us is that because we live half way up a mountain a thousand miles away from our publishers we will not see a book until a day before the first event. The weather could be a challenge too, with snow predicted here there and everywhere.
One chestnut has been which vehicle we should hire for such a grand excursion. I have literally spent days trawling through online websites, balancing costs with load space, economy, performance and comfort, and we have finally opted to put our faith in Fiat. The Iveco Daily Rent company makes sense given their Europe-wide network, and we will be putting 4500 kilometres on the clock of a Scudo Multijet.
If that all sounds a bit technical, my apologies, but in a dim and distant past life I was a motoring journalist, and I have half a mind to write detailed road test report if any journal is interested. Our tour will certainly have a motoring flavour because in Shaking The Tree I have a mild tilt at Jeremy Clarkson. Well, he has been rude about Norfolk and about people who live in Spain.
We may even get to discuss such trivia face to face. He auctioned a copy of the book for charity in his home town of Chipping Norton last month, and should be up to speed by now as proofs were handed to him after the event.  Maybe he will pop along when I show up to sign copies in his local bookshop on December 4.