Metfield Bakery uses meat reared on owner Stuart Oetzmann’s own farm to make its lauded pork pies – with the pigs also performing the dual role of handy waste disposal unit, gobbling up the bakery’s leftover bread and vegetables. If mud, pig-like sanitary conditions and hungry, whiffy creatures are your thing too, you could join the 85,000 revellers at this summer’s Download rock festival, or the gargantuan 150,000-capacity Bestival festival on the Isle of White, who will be fed by Metfield’s new travelling bakery.The former wholesale-only bakery will be taking to the road this summer as it branches out into retailing, following successes with markets and online sales. The Dereham-based firm recently designed and commissioned a working mobile organic bakery – a big trailer with a three-deck Mono oven, a spiral mixer, mains pressure hot water and refrigeration – which will also be scooting around local events, horse trials and agricultural shows.The prospect of live bakery theatre has clearly sparked the imagination of event organisers, with Metfield signed up to 20 already. And the projected £100,000 extra sales should easily recoup the branded trailer’s £27,000 price tag within the year. “The fact that we’re probably one of the only people in the country that can pitch up with a mobile organic bakery unlocks plenty of doors for us,” says Oetzmann. “There’s good volume turnover in taking your business to 20,000-200,000 customers on a weekend.”It trialled the concept last year, transporting a generator and the bakery’s own oven to one event – at great cost. The main attraction is the sourdough bread, just three-to-four types of which are baked on the trailer. “Because we have long fermentation times we have more control; we can make it up on a Thursday night and bake it on the Saturday morning,” says Oetzmann.The Norfolk-born ex-chef has a track record of working with big names, including Anthony Worrall Thompson and the Roux Brothers, but is now a-self proclaimed baker. “I’ve converted to being a baker, for sure,” he says. “There are some really good pastry chefs who are passionate about using great ingredients – they’re now discovering bread and making their own personal journeys with it.”Oetzmann’s own journey began in the early 1990s after taking inspiration from 18th-century authors, including Eliza Acton, Hannah Glasse and Elizabeth David. Six years ago, he started his own business with the aim of reviving bygone British baking traditions. He now employs 23 people and turns over £1m.His sourdough starter – a barm, that’s seeded using brewers’ yeast, and fed with rye flour – is used to make 5,000 loaves a week. With sourdough, costs are low and margins high, he insists. “We don’t have to buy in much yeast and we don’t use additives or fats to achieve the kind of textures that bakers years ago would have achieved anyway.” Apart from bread, Metfield makes a series of traditional English tarts, cakes and puddings, including Eccles cakes and the hugely popular – if not entirely lardy – Lardy cake, made with 50% butter. n
Groundwater decreasingThe normal recharge season for groundwater is over. Sogroundwater levels are expected to keep dropping through summerinto fall.The state’s major reservoirs are in good shape. Levels will beginto drop, though, without adequate rainfall soon.Georgia is now under the normal odd-even outdoor water useschedule. Odd-numbered addresses may water only on Tuesdays,Thursdays and Sundays. Even-numbered and unnumbered addresses maywater only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. There are nohour limits. The normal odd-even schedule is used whenever the state isn’texperiencing a drought. While conditions are abnormally dry,Georgia is not in a drought. However, proper water use duringabnormally dry times can delay or even prevent the need for morestringent water use restrictions later.Local governments and water providers are authorized to implementmore stringent outdoor water use schedules within theirjurisdictions.Comprehensive updated information may be found at www.georgiadrought.org. Real-time weather conditions, includingsoil moisture balance, may be found at www.georgiaweather.net. Low soil moistureSoil moisture is lowest in the Chattahoochee and Savannah RiverValleys and along the fall line. Only extreme southeast Georgiahas near normal soil moisture for April.U.S. Geological Survey stream gauges are showing low flows acrossthe entire state. Many streams are between the 10th and 25thpercentile for the date. This means that at the 10th percentile,we expect thestream flow to be greaterthan the current value 90 years out of 100 for this date.At the 25th percentile, we expect the stream flow to be greater75 years out of 100.Based on USGS data, groundwater levels were showing good rechargein November and December 2005. However, with abnormal drynessduring February through mid-April, these levels are beginning todrop. By David Emory StooksburyUniversity of Georgia Athens, Ga. — The past six months have been abnormally dryacross the entire state of Georgia.Rainfall during the cool season, October through March, is neededto recharge soil moisture, groundwater, and reservoirs. Becauseof the dry cool season, the soil moisture hasn’t been adequatelyrecharged. As a result, the state has abnormally dry soils andlow stream flows for April.
Matthew Wolff joined elite company with his first PGA Tour win at the 3M Open on Sunday.The 20-year-old golfer became just the third player to win the individual title at the NCAA Championship and a PGA Tour crown in the same year. Wolff — whose unusual swing has drawn plenty of attention — joined 15-time major champion Tiger Woods and two-time major winner Ben Crenshaw in that club, according to the PGA Tour. He became the ninth youngest winner in PGA Tour history and the youngest since Jordan Spieth’s success at the John Deere Classic in 2013.Wolff joins Ben Crenshaw and Tiger Woods as the only players to win the individual title at the NCAA Championships and a PGA TOUR title in the same year.— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) July 7, 2019Wolff fired a six-under 65 in the final round at the 3M Open, winning by one stroke from Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa.He made a 26-foot eagle putt at the final hole to secure his victory.AMAZING! @Matthew_Wolff5 makes EAGLE to win! It’s the 20-year-old’s first PGA TOUR victory.#LiveUnderPar pic.twitter.com/LYMXFIduPI— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 7, 2019
By John Burton |HIGHLANDS — For Caitlin O’Neil, Aug. 31 seemed like an appropriate time to share the story of her late boyfriend – and to spread the word about the dangers of addiction and overdoses.“I wanted to bring this to Highlands,” O’Neil said last Thursday, “because there’s a lot going on here.”O’Neil and others gathered at the Robert D. Wilson Community Center, 22 Snug Harbor, last Thursday for a program and candlelight vigil recognizing the loss many families and communities have faced due to the terrible heroin and opioid epidemic that is plaguing Monmouth County and the rest of the nation.Daniel Silvestri, O’Neil’s 30-year-old boyfriend and the father of their 10-month-old daughter, Selina, and soon-to-be-born son (expected in the next week), died in May from a heroin/fentanyl overdose. O’Neil wanted to help raise public awareness, especially given that last Thursday was International Overdose Awareness Day.O’Neil helped organize the program that featured personal reflections of addressing addiction, as well as observations from professionals working in the field. “I know this is something that he would have wanted for others,” O’Neil said of Silvestri.Silvestri, who grew up in Leonardo, loved his daughter and was joyously awaiting the birth of his son, O’Neil said. But he continued to fall prey to the draw of heroin and the influence of those in that orbit. “He really wanted to get clean. He hated that he kept going back to using,” she said. Silvestri had been in and out of rehab a number of times, O’Neil said, remembering a letter he wrote to her on one of those occasions. He didn’t want to live the life of an addict, O’Neil said. “He didn’t want to do this to his kids,” she said.Heather DiBlasi, coordinator of the Highlands/Atlantic Highlands Municipal Alliance for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, offers information for a Aug. 31 gathering at the Highlands Community Center discussing the opioid crisis impacting communities throughout the county and state.O’Neil hinted that this is a prevalent issue for the waterfront community. Heather DiBlassi, who is coordinator for the Highlands/Atlantic Highlands Municipal Alliance for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, said drug use, especially heroin and other opioid abuse, isn’t necessarily any more widespread there than in other communities—all of which are having to address its impact. The size of the small, tightknit community, about a mile square, means everyone knows each other, which can make things seem more widespread than is the case, DiBlassi said.Which is not to downplay the impact drugs are having here and everywhere, she added. Heroin has become so accessible, so potent and so cheap it is overwhelming communities, she explained. “You can buy heroin for three to five dollars,” she observed. “You can’t buy a hot meal for that.”“Now the focus is, we acknowledge we have a heroin epidemic,” she added.“Really, what this is about is prevention and knowledge,” explained Karen Van Natten, who chairs the Highlands/Atlantic Highlands alliance.This event had a three-pronged benefit, Van Natten explained, to find out what’s going on in the community; to remember the many who have been lost; and to dispense information about programs available to help addicts.Another important component is to bring the matter into the light of day and do away with shame, said Renee Muscenti, a Leonardo resident and coordinator for Fed Up! Coalition, a national public awareness collection of organizations combating the opioid crisis. “The children, the loved ones who are suffering don’t be embarrassed by them,” Muscenti said.Chrissy, 22 and a Middletown resident, who didn’t give her last name, told the audience of about 30 members, “The truth is I’m always going to be a heroin addict.” The difference now, though, she continued, is “I’m a heroin addict in recovery.”She’s been sober for 1 ½ years. She began using drugs as a 16-year-old and “fell in love” with heroin, beginning her decline into the dark and terrible world of addiction.“I’ve done things I’m not proud of,” she said, including stealing from family members, wrecking her car, and spending about a month homeless. “I’ve seen a lot of things someone my age shouldn’t see,” said Chrissy.Her mother became frustrated and distraught, as all the measures her family attempted failed to reach Chrissy, she acknowledged. So much so, that Chrissy was thrown out of her family home. She wound up sleeping under a house, sometimes passing out with a syringe in her arm, she remembered. She was eventually arrested by Middletown Police, living in an area transient motel, and realized, “I don’t want to do this anymore but I didn’t know what to do.”Chrissy found a program and fellowship that reached her, helping her on the 12-step road to recovery. Now, “I love my life,” she said, noting she is healthy, has a job where she’s in line for promotion, and is in a positive relationship.Chrissy’s brother is addressing addiction issues but she believes there is always hope. “I’m very happy to be standing here, trying to spread the word,” she said.Small kindness stones, offering messages of encouragement, wereavailable at last week’sprogram in Highlands in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day.Members of the gathering were asked to take what have become known as kindness rocks—fist-size stones, in this case painted purple (the color designating overdose prevention awareness), etched with short positive messages; they were asked to place the rocks around the community. And then the group lit candles and walked the length of beach area in the rear of the community center, in a display of unity.“It would be great if we could do something like this every month,” Van Natten suggested, to get the word out about addiction.The Highlands/Atlantic Highlands will be conducting a program on Oct. 11 on how to use Narcan/Naloxone, an effective opioid overdose treatment. The program will take place at 6 p.m. at the Atlantic Highlands First Aid and Safety Squad building, 10 East Highland Ave.In recognition of the day, Gov. Chris Christie signed an official proclamation, designating the day as Overdose Awareness Day in the state. Christie has made addiction and recovery issues a centerpiece for his administration’s efforts especially in the last couple of years. After signing the proclamation, Christie said, “Today, communities around the world remember individuals who were lost to drug overdoses and those who’ve been saved from the depths of an overdose and given a second chance at life.”This article was first published in the Sept. 7-14, 2017 print edition of the Two River Times.