Monday, 28 December 2015


Vidda Publishing 1st NEW release of 2016 is titled
'Natural WILD WINES' by M. Plummer & J. Hodges.
Everything you need to know to learn the process and the kit needed for making delicious Wild Wine. Also included are 20 fantastic recipes to make the most of the Wild foods right on you doorstep. Making your own wine couldn't be simpler. Below is an extract from the book demonstrating the step by step process of making 1 Gallon of fruit wine.


How to Make One Gallon of Fruit Wine:
This recipe is adapted from a simple guide from my local homebrew shop whose advice has been invaluable.
8-10Kg of fruit
250-300ml of grape juice
750g-1Kg of sugar (caster or granulated)
Campden Tablets
Red wine yeast and yeast nutrient
Finings / Pectinase or pectolase enzyme / Potassium sorbate

Step one

· Wash the fermenting bucket and lid in a solution of hot water and a crushed campden tablet.
· If necessary soak in hot soapy water for an hour or two and then treat with the tablet.
· Put the fruit into the now sterilised fermenting bucket.
· If the fruit is frozen defrost completely BEFORE adding the campden tablet
· If the fruit is fresh you can remove any stones but this is not essential.
· Stir thoroughly and seal the fermenting bucket with the lid.
· If one is present gaffer tape the air hole.
· Soak the fruit for at least 24 hours in two pints of COLD water (or enough to just cover it) and one crushed campden tablet.

Step two

· Add the grape juice and stir thoroughly.
· Place the bucket on a heat mat – the enzyme will need its optimum temperature of 15- 20°C.
· Leave for about an hour or until the water feels tepid.
· As per the manufacturer’s instructions add the pectinase enzyme – as a rough guide about 2 level teaspoons per kg of fruit is needed.
· Dissolve the sugar in about a pint of HOT water – do NOT use boiling water.
· Pour into the bucket and stir.
· Add FOUR pints of COLD water and stir.
· As per the manufacturer’s instructions add the yeast nutrient, about one teaspoon will be sufficient.
· Then add a COMPLETE sachet of yeast and stir.
· Take and note the SPECIFIC GRAVITY (SG) with a HYDROMETER. The SG should be about 1075-1090 depending on the amount of sugar
· Cover with lid and store for the PRIMARY fermentation.

Step Three (primary fermentation)

· This should take between 5 and 7 days and will ferment about 75% of the available sugars.
· If needed place the bucket and must on a heat mat and wrap in a towel (or equivalent) this will keep the must at its optimum fermenting temperature (15-25°C).
· Stir every day as this will agitate the yeast and the enzyme.
· After a maximum of seven days the wine is ready for the second stage of fermentation.

Step Four (Second Fermentation)

· This takes about a 3 weeks to a month to complete but can take a several more weeks.
· The objective is to ferment out the majority of the remaining sugars.
· Take a second SG reading with the hydrometer. You should notice a significant drop down to about 1040 in the SG.
· Transfer the must to a thoroughly sterilised demijohn and seal absolutely air tight with an air lock.
· The must should be poured through a sieve and muslin through a funnel into the demi-john.
· Much of the suspended particles you will see are in fact lees which contain the majority of the remaining live yeast cells.
· Discard any fruit pulp.
· Once sealed you should see a steady stream of bubbles passing through the wine, this will gradually taper off until you see about one bubble every 30 seconds.
· The demijohn should be wrapped in a towel and stored out of any direct natural light.
· The towel acts as a shield but also traps heat from the fermentation (an exothermic reaction) helping to maintain the optimum temperature.
· After a few days to a week you may need to put the demijohn on a heat mat.

Optional step

· After about a week you may notice a layer of sediment in the bottom of the demi-john.
· If the fermentation is still bubbling DO NOT interrupt it.
· The sediment can be removed by syphoning and NOT decanting back into the fermenting bucket.
· You will still see plenty of suspended lees in the wine.
· There will be some discrepancy in the volume which you syphon back into the demijohn.
· This can be made up with a mixture of crushed fruit (defrosted or fresh), sugared water and grape juice.
· Removing the sediment reduces the risk of microbial infection and puts less strain on the finings.

Step 6

· After about a month there should be no bubbles coming through the air lock.
· If you are still seeing bubbles leave to continue and if you have a heat mat you can “push” the fermentation along.
· Ideally the wine should ferment until dry (until all the sucrose and most of the fructose has been converted) to ethanol.
· If bubbles are present this has not happened.
· When the wine is fully fermented by checking with the hydrometer it can be syphoned back into the fermenting bucket.
· The hydrometer should show an SG of about 1000.
· Once satisfied add about half a teaspoon of potassium sorbate and an additional crushed campden tablet.
· The sorbate stops the yeast reproducing and stops the fermentation.
· Stir steadily for two minutes and leave for two days in a cool dark place and wrapped in the towel.

Step 7 (Settling ad bottling)

· As per the manufacturer’s instructions add the finings.
· Leave for at least three weeks. Then……..
· If necessary sweeten with a little extra grape juice. Do NOT stir it in, pour in a little (about 50-100ml) and leave for another day or two.
· You are now ready to transfer to wine bottles. You will need about 6 750ml bottle per gallon.
· Check for sweetness; if the wine needs more grape juice add about a capful to each bottle.
· Syphon the wine into the bottles and leave to stand for an additional three weeks.
· Check for sweetness if necessary add about HALF a capful of grape juice and leave for another few days.

Step 8 (drinking)

· Assuming there have been no mishaps, believe me you will know by now, pour into glass.
· Say cheers or equivalent and enjoy.
· Repeat the whole process as often as you can, you know it makes sense!

VIDDA Publishing

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Pre-Christmas Cinnamon Bomb Smoothie

Only sixteen days to go until Christmas Day so I've started to get in the mood in my own special way. Forget the dodgy christmas music, wrapping the house in enough sparky lights to melt the national grid, oh no, Christmas start in our house with a Cinnamon Bomb Smoothie.

I made this four pinter at 07:30 and it's just turned 14:00 and the four pints are gone. All the nutritionAL baseS are cover with this beast, I'm full of energy so the dog is going to get another loooong walk this afternoon.

The mixture of Cold Pressed Coconut Oil, Cinnamon, Persimmon, Grapes and Ginger make the mix really smooth, sweet and spicy. You wouldn't even know the green leafy veggies were in there, if you drank it with your eyes closed.


Photography Has a New Way

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


John Hodges here from
One of the most common questions I get asked about my smoothie lifestyle is 'what blender do I recommend?'

If been making Green Smoothies everyday since 2009, it's transformed my mental and physical health beyond measure. 
I've gone threw at least six blenders in this time, simply just wearing them out. The blades go dull or the motor burns out.

I always got my monies worth because I was only spending approx £30 at a time on a model from Argos. I know what some of you are think, it's not very environmentally friendly and you'd be correct. The problem is when you have a limited budget, beggars can't be choosers.
The year had only just begun and my latest blender gave up the ghost. It had worked hard for almost a year so I forgave it. The smoothies we're on the rough, fibrous side but they did the job so who was I to complain.
I'd been hearing for a while about the amazing Vitamix blender but it was 100's of dollars and though I was having dreams about owning one I couldn't financially justify it.
I spent a day reading crappy reviews of over 20 different brands and models and the same name kept popping up with excellent reviews. People were saying that the Magimix blenders were as good as the Vitamix but for a faction of the cost.
As a family we decided it was time to make the leap and invest in a Magimix 11619 via Amazon. It arrived the very next day and we mixed our maiden green smoothie.
WOW what a difference.
As everyone who knows me can verify I don't mess about with smoothies. Lots of greens loaded with fibre. I often add wild greens into the mix and these unless really smooth are beyond most people. My Magimix obliterated them in 60 seconds. Smooth, creamy smoothies at last.

We'll never go back to our old, naive ways. This blender should last years. Even if it dies in another 12 months it's still been worth every penny
I can make four and a half pints of green, smooth goodness, enough for the three of us in the family. It's a doddle to clean, no hard to reach places that start to hum and move after a month. The motor has a range between 600rpm - 1500rpm. You could throw your sofa in there and still get a smoothie!
I can't recommend this blender enough and I can't believe we drank so many chunky smoothies, LOL
If anyone is interested in the blender or other juicers, gadgets, supplements and healthy, cruelty free products please go and have a look around our store. Hands up I do get a small affiliate commision from Amazon. But I only stock items that I've either tried or have been highly recommended by a college or a friend.
Maybe Santa will bring something nice on Christmas morning if you leave some links and hints around.
Hope everyone has a magnificent day. 
Regards John Hodges

Giving a Kindle eBook as a gift in UK

Have you ever thought of giving a Amazon Kindle Gift Card for Christmas or a birthday?
It couldn't be simpler.
You either go to KINDLE GIFT CARD
Or in the UK you can purchase gift cards at the following retailers:
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  • Martin McColls (MRG)
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  • Sainsbury's
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 Click Here

Friday, 13 November 2015

Friday's MANIAC Green Smoothie

Woke up after only 3hrs sleep so not really firing on all cylinders this morning. Fortunately I have a 100% sure fire remedy. My MANIAC Green Smoothie. This may look disgusting but actually it's delicious and gives me all the nutrition and disease prevention benefits that empowers me for the busy day ahead. If anyone would like any other ideas for smoothie recipes please feel free to contact us at VIDDA

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Curried Odds & Ends

Looking for something spicy for dinner this evening and with only a few odds and ends in the fridge I threw together a vegan curry dish, and damn good it was too.


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Setting the Scene on GMO’s

I'd like to introduce you all to Mr. Mark Plummer who I'm pleased to say has joined the VIDDA Publishing team. Mark's first book for VIDDA will be released via Amazon Kindle, November 14th 2015. 

This is the first in a five book series covering one the most important and controversial subjects in today's society, our food supplies and the proliferation of GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms). If you have questions about GMO's this series of books will supply the answers for you. 

Knowledge is power as the overused saying goes. But is anything more important than being able to make an informed choice when choosing exactly what food you and your family put on the dinner table? It sound simple but day by day that choice is being taken away from us. 

Conspiracy or fact? You owe to yourself to find out exactly what is happening in the biotech/food industry and what the possible consequences will mean to you.

Please read Mark's bio at the end of this blog.
We encourage your support and feedback, thank you.

Setting the Scene on GMO’s
Mark Plummer BSc /PGCE

          About 12 years ago I was enjoying that rarest of beasts, a paid job that I actually enjoyed and that made a difference. I am now enjoying a second incarnation of that eventuality and I recommend that everyone of strives for the same. As the debacle of the Afghan invasion literally bled into its equally catastrophic bedfellow we know as the Iraq War I was employed as a fundraiser. Clearly, each of us had to obtain a minimum number of daily sign ups but our remit included raising awareness about Genetically Modified (GM) crops. In the early spring of 2003 the prospect of such plants being grown in the UK on a commercial basis was becoming distinctly likely. Unfortunately the same holds true in 2015. As I write the EU has effectively given the green light for GM crops to be grown on an ad-hoc basis. In conjunction with this reality the UK general election of May 2015 saw 11 million people vote for a government headed by a man who by his own admission wants to put “rocket boosters under TTIP” (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). After the 2015 election David Cameron re-affirmed his personal support and therefore that of the conservative party to a trade deal that could well destroy what is left of democracy in Europe. All discussion pertaining to both wholly undemocratic policies (TTIP and GMO’s) is occurring behind closed doors. We only know about them because you cannot keep something this big under wraps for ever. Secondly, in the UK at least a flurry of FOI requests have brought both policies into the public domain. I’ll put it bluntly GMO’s and TTIP/TPP are inextricably linked and resisting one augments resistance to the other. The development and growing of GM crops is merely one area that David Cameron and the wider British establishment wish to fast track. If GM crops are not stopped then I predict that by 2020 we in the EU will be eating a diet laden, (if not completely contaminated) with GMO’s. If such an eventuality occurs there will be dire consequences for all of us. 
            As the Shirley Bassey song imparts, history is in fact repeating itself. When the New Labour government headed by Tony Blair was dragging the UK into the catastrophic debacle that we know as the inter-related Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the whole discourse on GM foods was relegated to the back seat. Without doubt the British establishment saw an opportunity to pull a fast one and proceed with the commercial growing of genetically engineered crops. Thankfully, it never happened, my tiny contribution to this defeat (and it was for the government and supporters of GM foods) was the fundraising and communications role mentioned above. Unfortunately, the same battle is going to be fought over the next few years, whether you like it or not GM foods is raising its ugly head once more.  Polls undertaken in the UK appear to indicate that opposition to genetic engineering in food has softened. Therefore it seems pertinent to ask the questions:
·         What are GMO’s?
·         What is Genetic engineering?
·         Do we need it?
·         Does it work?
In my view the answers to these and other questions are a mechanism by which to remind ourselves of the very real dangers intrinsic to plant genetic engineering. The eBook “introducing GMO’s” provides a solid foundation for answering the first two questions and sets the scene for the resounding “No” to the other two. The remaining eBooks will provide the reader with concrete real evidence which back up my absolute “anti” position. It must be realised that a huge part of your point of view on GM foods (and other issues) depends on your perception and the level of acceptance you have concerning the state of the world we live in. Speaking personally I view the state of the world today and sea a ball of conflict, destruction, madness, confusion and dysfunction. All of it completely unnecessary and fuelled literally as well as figuratively by the venal desires of a selfish, lying, thieving warmongering, plutocratic elite that cares only for profit. If such a perspective (based on evidence) encapsulates your view of the mandarins of global power, then you are going to have questions.  If on the other hand you are thinking that somehow everything is OK and / or acceptable then you are probably not going have any issues with developments such as GM foods. In addition you are unlikely to have questions concerning “how things are done in this world”.  If you are of this latter persuasion I would argue that you need to wake up both for your own sake and for that of your children. If after some thought you still think that things are “going well”, then I would argue in the strongest possible terms that you have major perception problem. Overall I believe GM foods to be a product of the commercialisation of science and along with the obscene amounts of resources diverted toward military and weapons research represents an abuse of the whole scientific endeavour and its achievements.
            The actual science conducted in plant (and animal) genetic engineering laboratories may well technically brilliant and of an impeccable standard. I am not suggesting or arguing otherwise, in any case this is not the point. I am inculcating that the product does not work and alternatives exist and as such GM foods are wholly unnecessary. Genetic engineering of food crops is at the very least a prime candidate for what is known as the precautionary principle. As the phrase implies, if an activity has the potential (however remote) to harm the environment or human health then precautionary measures ought to be taken. Precautionary measures should be instilled even in the absence of any science that suggests they are necessary. Additionally, I would add that if we need to bring in protective measures for any technology then its necessity and utility, must by definition be open to question. It is interesting that the attitudes towards the science behind climate change and that displayed toward GMO’s are the antithesis of each other. On the one hand the response of the capitalist classes in the industrialised world toward climate change has been inadequate to the point of criminality. The intransigence displayed by the elite toward systemic climate change occurs in the teeth of the urgency displayed by both the global community of climatologists and the peoples of the planet. Conversely, the global establishment appears to have embraced GMO’s wholesale despite the subjective and downright spurious science and objections on the part of millions of people all over the world. If this reality does not represent a systemic contradiction (if not dysfunction) as well as a threat to global democracy then I don’t know what does.
            With climate change and GM foods there is no reverse switch. Once a genetically modified organism (GMO) has been released into the environment accidentally or otherwise there is no rescind option. The same is true of the greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere, once they are there, no viable extraction or storage technique exists for storing them. With both of these huge issues the answer is very simple, for GMO’s we don’t need them and they don’t work in the real world. For climate change the energy we use has to be derived from renewable technologies at least until we can bring hydrogen and/or fusion on stream. The one course of action not open to us is to say “oops, that didn’t work” and expect no consequence.  To see what happens when “things go wrong” the reader need only look at the litany of environmental disasters caused by invasive species across the world. Furthermore, the example of the transport of African bees to South America in the 1950’s is a classic example of what happens when nature bites us in the proverbial private parts. Thankfully communities in the affected areas have adapted and by and large dealt with this problem, but the point is they shouldn’t have had to. I argue that GMO’s fall well and truly into the precautionary category and have a real potential to cause severe irreversible damage to both human health and the environment. Despite the industries protestations to the contrary GM foods come with an inherent risk to people and planet. Additionally, intensive agriculture in general has undermined, compromised and destroyed many of the relationships that characterise sustainable agriculture.  GM foods are a product of “big agriculture” and hence cannot be seen as a solution to a problem of its own making. This is cognitive dissonance on a global scale which if allowed to continue will most definitely end in tears, streams of them from hundreds of millions of people.
            The GM food industry has absolutely circumvented the edicts of what constitutes good science and aside from generating profits for the industry serves absolutely no purpose. In addition it represents a technology that has been foisted upon us all based on a pack of lies. The lies themselves are promulgated by the proponents of the technology and an establishment which is in bed with industry. All of this has occurred for the benefit of the agribusiness oligarch which is attempting to gain even more control of the global food supply. Finally, GM crops will only exacerbate the very real systemic problems of the current food distribution system. The consequences of unfettered GM foods (which thankfully we do not to date have) could well bring about a global catastrophe that could in all seriousness compromise to the point of collapse our place on the Earth. My belief is that by the time you have finished reading these eBooks arriving at a different conclusion places a person up that famous river in Egypt and the planet up its equally famous tributary without a paddle.



I trained and taught science in Spain until a confluence of austerity, divorce and new love brought me back to the UK. I have worked on behalf most major UK charity, environmental and NGO you can think of. I was a fundraiser, data in-putter, administrator and every role in between and back again. Aside from that I have paid my dues on the chalk face of terrible temporary and agency jobs. Bitter experience has taught me, don’t let it grind you down, remember you have rights, join a union and you can say NO! Today I divide my time between writing, campaigning and teaching. My leisure time involves music, film, literature and the kitchen as well as spending quality time (what other time is there?) with friends and family.

Image: Taken outside Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope about an hour before the first time I saw Hawkwind live in the summer of 2013. 

Monday, 9 November 2015

On Saturday 14th November 2015 VIDDA Publishing are having a 1 DAY SALE for three of our newly released BOX SETS.

The MEDICINE on your PLATE - Understanding Disease, Prevention and the Importance of Plant Based Nutrition & Diet
5 book Kindle BOX SET

GREEN up your LIFE - Your Introductory Guide to Natural & Eco-Friendly Living
5 book Kindle BOX SET

DOG TALES - 60 TRUE Doggy Stories (this is a real winner for Dog lovers) 
5 book Kindle BOX SET
each set only $1.99 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Photo Archive update

For all my new additions to my photo archive please click on the image below and have a look around. This week I'll be adding photos from our time in Vietnam and Cambodia including the magnificent Angkor Wat.


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Critically Endangered Fiordland Crested Penguin

This a account from our travels around the islands of New Zealand in 2008. On this very special day we had a extraordinary encounter with the critically endangered Fiordland Crested Penguin.

“I wish this damn rain would stop, it's just typical” groaned Pilar, my Spanish girlfriend.
I understood her sentiment exactly.

We'd driven our camper for six hours up the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand, to arrive a couple of hours before sunset at Monroe Beach in the hope of seeing a very rare and charismatic Fiordland Crested Penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus).

“Hang in there” I said, “I'm sure this rain shower will pass” as I looked out of the van window secretly doubting my own optimism.

We sat for an hour silently listening to the rain rap out its own hypnotising rhythm on the roof of the van. Then as suddenly as the downpour had started it ceased and a welcoming sun appeared out of the clouds. Instantly the sand flies started to swarm around the van. We love everything about the South Island of New Zealand except these little, black, blood thirsty muggers with wings, enough said.

Undaunted we set off on the half hour hike through the coastal woodland. Slightly sweaty and out of breath we emerged from the dark, dense forest onto Monroe Beach, bathed in warm light from the slowly setting sun. As we took our first steps onto the soft sand we saw our first penguin coming out of the surf two hundred metres away down the east end of the beach. Approximately 40 cm in height with distinctive white sulphur-yellow feathery eyebrow tufts, deep crimson eyes and an orange bill that reminded me of the extinct Great Auk.

Our hearts were in our mouths, what a privilege to be here and our timing couldn't be more perfect; photographing wildlife doesn't usually pan out this easy.

In typical penguin style the bird waddled up the beach stopping briefly to shake the water from his aquatic tuxedo. She had spent a hard day feeding at sea, whilst the male guarded the next generation in the coastal forest site nest.

 As the sun sinks in the west the females head back to the beach to relieve their hungry partners. The males are then allowed to feed during the night returning just before sunrise with a full belly of fish and squid to let the females venture back to the stormy Tasman Sea.

You get an hour of action at sunrise and dusk, that’s it. Conditions couldn't have been better. The sun was setting behind us so that the penguins were blinded to our cautious approach.

In a little over an hour we saw a dozen of these shy and endangered birds, belly surfing onto the shore by riding violent breaking waves. None the worse for wear they marched up the beach and then after a cautious look around preen and oil their wet suit of feathers.

I managed to get within thirty metres without spooking them, careful to take cover behind available rocks. The birds were completely unaware of us and the late evening light was turning the wet rock face into a shimmering gold leafed back drop. The adrenalin kicked in, my camera a part of me capturing once in a lifetime images. Pilar, whilst filming, cursed under her breath a Spanish expletive as she disappeared into a cloud of sand flies.

The sun now sinking into the ocean, scattered silver fingers of light across the crest of the waves and onto the wet sand; it was time to go.

As we were leaving we saw two birds riding the breakers waiting to come ashore. No sooner had we broken cover, the penguins saw us and were hesitant about coming onto the beach.
Two photographers who had also been hidden in the rocks appeared and scrambled down the beach to get closer shots. This reckless behaviour really raised my hackles, it’s crossing the line. The pictures are not important if you have to stress the animal subjects to obtain them. I waved them back and reminded them of the importance of non interference especially if you want to photograph natural behaviour. They agreed with me sheepishly; I suggested politely we leave the beach to let the penguins do their penguin stuff.

Happy with another new wildlife experience we headed off to the nearest camp-site at Lake Paringa, yet another breathtaking mountain lake with a mirror smooth surface.

Arriving just as the darkness fell, Pilar made hot chocolate while I downloaded my precious photos.

“I wonder what we'll encounter tomorrow” pondered Pilar.
“We might see a Moa as we're in the right neck of the woods” my poor joke fell on deaf ears.
“Up at dawn and porridge, I suppose” sighed Pilar, I knew she didn't really mind, we we're both living our dream.

That night in our van we dreamt of our little penguin friends.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Natural World Through My Eyes & DOG TALES

To anyone who doesn't know me my greatest passions in life are Health & Nutrition and Natural History. Ever since I was a toddler the Natural World has held me spellbound. If it swims, crawls, flies or photosynthesises I'm in wonder of it and have to know everything I can about it. 

My passion has shaped my life our travels around the World, leading us to to places remote and off the map. My camera is always attached to my monopod and resting on my shoulder ready for any and every opportunities to capture in a frozen moment the wonders before my eyes. 

I don't claim to be the greatest photographer or naturalist but my passion for the subject grows unrestrained. Every hedgerow, tree or building is unconsciously scanned for life. My poor partner Pilar has become accustomed to me driving and scanning the horizon for birds and butterflies (I haven't crashed yet!!) 

I'm often asked "what's your favourite animal" my answer is always simple. Whatever I'm paying attention to at any given moment, especially if it's new to my eyes and camera lens, that's my favourite. I do admit though I have a weak spot for birds and butterflies. I still get the same rush of adrenaline pulsing through my veins, quickening my heart that I first experienced as a schoolboy when I heard and saw my first woodpecker.

I feel very fortunate to have this connection with nature hard wired into my genes. My parents always encouraged my sister and I and taught us that all life has value and should be respected and observed. Every life form we known have one thing in common, we all share this fleck of dust, drifting through the cosmos. That makes us all related. As far as we know as of the 2015 we could be the only life there is, although I really don't believe that for a second. I believe science very shortly will peel back the curtains to a cosmological jungle far greater than we ever dared to imagine. I just hope I live long enough to have this realisation confirmed. I keep doing the green smoothies to stack the odd in my favour.

If you'd like to view some of my photos please checkout my photo page by clicking on the link below. This website is showcasing work from various photographers from around the World, amatuer and proffesional so after you perroused through my collection which I will be adding to on a weekly basis, you might want to look around at the other fantastic work on show. The Natural World Through My Eyes

In the near future through our company I will be issuing books telling some of our stories and adventures from around the World on a quest to seek out those magic moments in the animal kingdom. We also intend to release some photo journals and books relating to human relationships with animals. 

In the next month we have a collection of books being prepared for release called 
'DOG TALES' Stories of Loyalty, Heroism & Devotion vol 1-5 which will be a collection of stories from around the world telling accounts of human relationships with man's best friend. 

Here are the book covers so please keep your eyes out for them. The stories are accessible for all ages but I warn you to have a box of tissues available for some of the stories. The five books will be available on Amazon Kindle for download or as a digital box set of all 5 volumes in one purchase at a discount. We will also be issuing it through Amazon Createspace for the people who prefer a printed book to read and keep on the shelf. This would make a great Christmas present.

Thanks for reading this post and I wish you all good health and happiness.
John Hodges

Friday, 4 September 2015

VIDDA Publishing BOOK SHELF & VIDDA Health Store

Here's the recent updates to our bookshelf at VIDDA Publishing plus our new VIDDA Health Store that's packed with supplements, nutrients, equipment, books, cosmetics (all cruelty free), men & women's health care and even non-GMO seeds. 

We also have a free documentry video page to help you get informed about you and your families health. Obviously it's vitally important to follow a diet rich in the correct nutrients, but equally important is the knowledge of what to avoid. The greatest freedom you can have is control of your own health and what goes into your body. I hope we can help a little in this with the information we are publishing.

In the next week we'll also have a couple of great new titles added to our book shelf. If you're a blogger or a dog lover subscribe and you'll receive updates and release info.
Thanks for your time, John & Pilar

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Autumn Bounty for our Smoothie

I feel the end of summer and autumn is breathing it's cold breath across the landscape, the nights are closing in and the chill in the air is noticeable in the evening, I just love this time of year. Apparently summer showed it's face briefly, stamped its feet and then stormed off to the pub, got in a fight and stayed indoors with a fat lip and a chronic hangover!!

We've just returned from Southern Spain and a few important weeks with the family. The transition from 40C in Spain to a damp 15C back in the UK has took a few days to get used too. My golden tan is already the colour of two week old leftover noodles.

It would easy to feel a little down but I was excited to return home because I knew our fine countries hedgerows and woodlands would be full of wild, free and massively nutritious food. 

This year I've left a large portion of our veggie garden go fallow to rest he soil. Apart from a few runner beans and the stragglers of last seasons Kale the garden has been taken over with chickweed and dandelions. This is a bonus because I class them as superfood and instead of my cultivated greens these two beauties go into our green smoothies. The more I crop them the quicker they grow back, I couldn't be happier with the situation, although it'll take some serious digging to get it back to the veggie garden we normally have. I'm a traditional gardener's nightmare but I know next year we will have a revitalised soil and our crops will be improved. Another plus is that we have even more wildlife in our garden. Everywhere I step froglets bounce away from my size 10 feet. Our Slow Worms and thriving, they've taken over our three compost bins for the last 15 years but they're welcome to them, they're a star addition to our little ecosystem.

We also have all our berries coming ripe, Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries at their sweetest. We don't have massive crops but everyday we have a good handful to have either in our smoothie of with some dairy free yogurt. Add a few raisins, a sliced banana and some sliced apple topped with a spoonful of orange blossom honey that I bring back from Spain for the ultimate late summer dessert.

Upon our return from Spain we called in to see some good friends Vicki and Mel and plunder their huge garden and especially their crop of wild plums that are perfectly ripe and a great addition to our morning smoothies. After a fifteen minutes tree shaking session and collecting of the fallen fruit we had a least 10-15lb of fruit. None will go to waste in the next few days. I know my mother will make her legendary jam which will see us through the winter with a great topping for our morning toast and porridge. We had a great evening catching up with 'old' friends, Vicki, Mel, Slim, PA and Ian. We sampled Mel's amazing homemade wine stocks and shared stories, we all have a lot of colourful history together. Mel's a talented man, I'll have to start making my own vino with some help and guidance from my buddy. Thanks guys we had a great evening, much appreciated.

Nutritionally plums are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium and high in Fiber, Vitamin A, K and a great source of Vitamin C. You also have a good dose of Calcium, Phosphorus and Potassium and even Omega 6 fatty acids. All you have to do is get out there and collect them and maybe shake a few trees.

The UK countryside this year is producing a bumper crop of apples, pears, damsons. The blackberries are also just becoming ripe and so are my seasonal favourite the fantastic Elderberry. Watch this space as I'll be out and about harvesting. For the last few days this is the makeup of our morning green smoothie.

25-30 wild plums
Handful of Blueberries from our garden
A few Raspberries and Strawberries from the garden
30-40 Dandelion leaves from garden
Handful of Chickweed for the garden
Half a bag of Spinach
1 stick of celery from garden
1 Banana
1 unwaxed Lemon with skin
1 chunk of Ginger with skin
1/4 Cantaloupe Melon
1tbsp Wheatgrass powder
1tbsp Spirulina
1tbsp Bee Pollen
1tbsp Flaxseed

It's a great time of the year, don't be put off by the changing weather get out there and get your free nutrition harvest that will feed you through the winter if you're smart. Any excess just store in the freezer. Obviously you need a little prepping, de-stoning plums, washing and removing any bugs that have come along for the ride. When you need some fresh fruits for your smoothies just chip off a lump and away you go.

One last but very important thought. If you do go and take advantage to the wild bounty in your local countryside, please don't be greedy. Only take what you know you'll use. The wildlife at this time of year need this harvest to fatten up for the long winter. In fact I always make sure my garden has a supply of windfall apples and pears for the migrating thrushes and blackbirds. Below is a a photo of one of the beautiful migrant Fieldfares they visit us from Scandinavia every year when the winter really bites. We always makes sure they have a fresh food supply and well as unfrozen water at Cafe Hodges.