We welcomed on board a new vendor last week who fits the bill for Designed in Dorset and we just have to tell you about him. Observing social distance at all times, of course, we took delivery of some Hazel Bean Poles from local man (he lives in Durweston) John, AKA The Jolly Forrester. What is a bean pole you ask? You order them in a pack of twelve and they support your bean and pea growing efforts.
When we went into Lockdown, one of the first things we did was to head down the garden to the vegetable patch and get sowing. Amongst the potatoes, courgettes and carrots was a fairly good smattering of broad beans and peas. We started by using the old bits of bamboo from last years crop and leftover wire. On a cruise, through Instagram I stumbled across the Jolly Forrester's account. A local forester (as the name suggests) John has built up a few products that are sourced from the nearby woods where he works. After a long chat on the phone, discussing all things Dorset, we started talking about vegetable patches and he mentioned his Bean Poles. They last longer than traditional bamboo poles and are ethically and environmentally sourced from just down the road using coppiced hazelwood. They also look pretty stunning when set up correctly and I even got a lesson in how to do so. With a bundle of 12 sticks for £10 you make an upside-down V with 5 on each side. Then place one in the slot at the top and another in a diagonal line across one side to stop it from side to side. Tie them together and you have a stunning looking vegetable patch that results in a contribution to the local forests. Because if you buy these from John the money goes back into looking after the forests.
You even get a special stick called a "Wibbler" for wobbling in a hole to make room for the larger poles. It is about 1ft long and has one sharp end for digging and a flat end for hammer it in. Perfect to make a hole deep and large enough for your bigger bean poles.
Another product of John's was something we had seen a couple of years ago at the Badger Brewery in Blandford, a "Pimp". Essentially the best looking and most natural firelighters you have ever seen, especially when bundled together. Each bundle of sticks is lashed together with twine and has enough tiny twigs and bigger branches in to get any fire going. The bonuses are of course environmental, just like the bean poles, these are locally sourced and contain no chemical agents like the traditional white blocks of firelighters. Traditionally when you bundle them together in a group of five it makes a pimp. The word comes from the old English for the number five. We then got shown the best looking wrought iron stand that holds a pimp and takes the name "pimpstand". Made at a local forge in Dorset this will look fantastic by your fireplace especially when full of firelighters. It would also make a great stand for traditional old wooden logs.
If you want to find out more about John, you can follow him on Instgram or go to his vendor page to see his products.