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June 2014

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How Local Uncovered Began

by Sam Bertram

18 June 2014

Over the years my career aspirations have changed.  Like many little girls I wanted to be a pop star or an actress.  In my teens, living in Kenya, I wanted to be outside living free in the wilderness so a small aircraft pilot, taking people on safari, seemed an attractive option. At school I swayed between Sciences and Arts and after Uni, when the realities of life were dawning on me, I gravitated towards this internet thing everyone was talking about and the possibilities it presented for brands.  But one thing stayed with me always and that was an interest in travel.  Wherever I went (and I took lots of opportunities between study and jobs to do so!) I shunned organised travel and put on my backpack, hoping to discover all the unique hidden things that make destinations more interesting and rewarding. And wherever I lived – Africa, UK or South America I was always intrigued to find those little local products or experiences that make where you live all the more interesting.   It is this that has led me to set-up Local Uncovered.  I now have a wonderful husband and two young children and less time to explore so this helps me fulfil my dreams in a different way.  A website that helps residents of an area discover and buy local things making the place they live in even more enjoyable, and one that draws visitors to the area by showing unique things so their travels are more gratifying.  All the members are locally and independently owned. The idea is rooted in that fact that there are so many people working from home with great ideas that have resulted in an amazing product or service.  You hear about these people from time to time over a drink with friends or in discussions with business partners, but there isn’t really a platform that celebrates all these things local to you.      I haven’t lived in Wiltshire for long but through this process have discovered some fascinating businesses right on my doorstep.  In rainy January, while driving along the country lanes, I would feel invigorated in the knowledge that there were so many great organisations hidden between the hedgerows, rather than feel beaten down by the constant wet.  There is so much passion in these people for both what they do and the county they live in.  The top tips idea came from the fact that we are all individuals and everyone has their own opinion on what makes a place special, so let’s share that to inspire people and give them a fresh perspective on their surrounds.   This is just a starting point – a website has to launch at some point so I have chosen to launch it with the first 41 Wiltshire owned businesses.  I hope to continue to add new members and open up a new world of local things to both residents and visitors alike both in Wiltshire and beyond.  If you want to keep updated please sign-up to our newsletter.  Enjoy.

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Strawberry Picking

By Woodborough Garden Centre

18 June 2014

They have survived the floods, bugs and slugs and are almost ripe and ready for picking. Our strawberry season is nearly underway with masses of delicious fruits just about ready to be picked and enjoyed in true British tradition. The strawberry is a fascinating fruit, did you know it is a member of the rose family? It is also the only fruit with seeds on the outside, with an average of 200 seeds per berry! They are also very good for you, just over 100g of strawberries will provide you with 100% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C. We love this time of year at Woodborough Garden Centre, customers enjoying the nostalgic experience of picking strawberries, perhaps reliving a childhood memory with their own children or grandchildren and the sheer excitement in the little ones faces as they carry their tub of strawberries to us, red lipped and barely able to reach the counter top. Parents slightly embarrassed as we ask their little one if they enjoyed the strawberries and ask if we need to weigh them, as well as the punnet! Several varieties of strawberries are grown at Woodborough, including two of the oldest and most popular, Elsanta and its successor, Sonata. Elsanta is a very firm strawberry, the large, firm and conical fruit has a good flavour and a strong strawberry aroma that we are all familiar with. The shiny red fruit has a strong skin, making it more suitable for picking and eating fresh.  Its successor Sonata, has some similar properties to Elsanta, only you will notice the internal colour is pink opposed to white and they taste a little sweeter and juicer. Fortunately Sonata better withstands heavy downpours of rain, which has to be considered when growing strawberries in Britain! Sonata also noticeably retains its glossy red colour and has no tendency to darken after picking. It goes without saying that both varieties are delicious and can enjoyed on their own or used in your favourite summer recipe.  Woodborough Garden Centre has many other fruits that customers can enjoy picking including gooseberries, blackberries and the more unusual tayberry. The tayberry is a cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry is named after the river Tay in Scotland. The fruit is sweeter, much larger, and more aromatic than that of a loganberry. The tayberry can be eaten raw or cooked.  Are you now craving the sweet luscious taste of a freshly picked strawberry? Well grab your flip flops and sun cream and head down to the Pick Your Own fields at Woodborough Garden Centre and start reliving that memory from your childhood. And don’t worry, when the temptation gets too much, we won’t charge you for that strawberry you ate straight from the plant.

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