2021 was a very busy and challenging year for The Crafty Pickle but as we're already well into 2022 we've felt the need to reflect on how far we have come and how much has changed.
We welcomed our wee pickle Arran Jack into our lives and since he was released from hospital on 4th July (Independence Day, must have done it for his Dad!) he's gone from strength to strength. He is simply gorgeous as you can see from the photographs. Despite Madi being on "maternity leave" and Arthur trying to get as much "paternity leave" as possible, when you are running your own business there is often no choice but to take Arran along and do whatever needs to be done to push Crafty Pickle along. If you've seen us at farmer's markets you've probably met him yourself!
We started to attend to markets last summer and spent the last few months of 2021 working out which ones we're going to go back and become regulars at in 2022. Covid has changed a lot for markets all over the country but we love going to them to meet with you lovely lot and have a natter about all things fermented! So you should be able to see us at Chepstow, Thornbury or Belle Vue (Newport) markets or in Cardiff at either Pontcanna and Roath and occasionally others. You'll have to follow us on social media to see which ones we attend ad hoc (Facebook, Instagram).
We also started our fermentation workshops again which we LOVE holding and which have been so much fun. We're so grateful that there seem to be plenty of people who want to know more about the mysterious art of fermentation which we hope to demystify during the workshop. We have plenty of dates booked in up until the summer of 2022 and have just launched our latest workshop all about fermented drinks!
We've also manged to make some good changes to the way we run our online shop by carrying on the partnerships we had up in Aberdeen to make use of packaging materials which are already in circulation. We put out a plea to our neighbours to see if they'd let us have any packaging materials they are currently recycling which has drastically reduced how much virgin materials we have to use. So many of us are frequently receiving parcels from Amazon and other online stores and although we can recycle a lot of it, it's much better for the environment to reuse. If you've had a parcel from us recently you might have had some Christmas wrapping paper which we've been using as filler too. Christmas hangover much!
We've been trying to incorporate the essence of REUSE into our family life too. Arran's cousin Casper is only 6 months older than him and we've been so grateful to Madi's brother Ronnie and his wife Chelsea for all of the donations of clothes, furniture and baby items (who knew they needed so much?!). We're so lucky that we've been able to fully embrace second hand recycling and re-purposing and so far haven't bought our little on one new item of clothing! We'll see how long we can keep that up for!
We're always trying to do things better and to be more sustainable, because there's always more we could be doing. If you have any suggestions as to where you think we should focus our efforts to access food that would otherwise be wasted we're more than happy to hear from you. Similarly, if you know of a shop, cafe or restaurant who should be stocking us or using our products on their menu then let us (or more importantly, them!) know.
We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has wished us well with our business (and life!) relocation and everyone who's supported us up to this point. We can't believe it's been a full year since we left Aberdeen, it's crazy to think how much has changed in just that short time. It's been a tough couple of years for everyone so we want to extend our best wishes to those of you running small businesses or trying to make a difference or even just trying to muddle through!