jo in a nutshell

Name:  Jo Knight.

Born:  More years ago than I care to tell (!!) in Bournemouth.

Education:  Clinton School; Abbey Hall (‘O’ Levels); Castle Hall VIth Form College (‘A’ Levels); University of Sheffield (2:1 BA Hons in Ancient History & Classical Archaeology). 

Languages:  colloquial Welsh, French, German & Greek; with a smattering of a few others…. 

Career:  Jobs whilst at college: cashier for Bejam, then sold wedding dresses for Rackhams.  RAF Logisitics Officer: until January 2007.  Gelatière Artigianale & Farmer: January 2007-present.

Circumstances:  Married (second time lucky); met husband Tony whilst building a snowman & married after a ‘whirlwind’ romance in 2003.  Moved from Cotswolds to South West Wales in October 2005.  No kids – unless you count the bunch down in the barn…!!

Religion:  Theravada Buddhist.

Passions:  organic farming; artisan gelato & cheesemaking; yoga; meditation; archaeology; Egyptology; medieval cookery; reading; writing fiction; blogging; walking; gardening.

Sports:  Saddleseat equitation; competition carriage driving; archery; swimming; smallbore competiton shooting; skiing; falconry; chasing my chickens from where they’re not supposed to be (very frequently!).

Music:  OMD; OneTwo; Medieval Babes; Thomas Dolby; Newton Faulkner; David Gray; Moby; Dido; Enya; + classical, traditional jazz, Celtic, New Age, Folk & Welsh Triple Harp music.

Book: ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte.

TV/Film:  TV – ‘River Cottage’, ‘Trigger Happy TV’, ‘Rome’. Comedy – ‘Wallace & Gromit’, ‘Shrek’, ‘Bend it like Beckham’; Other Films – ‘English Patient’, ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Chocolat’, ‘Shawshank Redemption’, ‘Bladerunner’, ‘The Queen’, ‘Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy.

Art:  Lydia Kiernan; Martin Cooper; Angela Connor; Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

Poem:  ‘Fern Hill’ by Dylan Thomas – poem highly evocative of my childhood.

Places:  Tuscany; Sri Lanka. But the best place of all has to be our Ffarm.

Achievements:  Representing Great Britain in the 1996 Saddleseat Equitation World Cup in Kentucky, USA.

Influences:  Reg Bostock – Kenilworth farmer of neighbouring Oaks Farm, who took me ‘under his wing’ during my childhood.

Most Amazing Experience:  Hmmm, I’ll have to get back to you on this one….

Favourite Maxim: “Live in the present – my gift to you”

Thanks for stopping by & feel free to stay awhile.-

5 Responses to jo in a nutshell

  1. Saddle seat equitation! Wow. I always wished I’d grown up on a farm and had a horse. Instead, I’m giving it all to myself in my adulthood. I am learning dressage with my ex-cowboy ranch horse, it’s a blast. We’ll never get to Kentucky mind you! That must have been amazing.

  2. glanbrydan says:

    Hi Jo
    We are living in Wales too, Carmarthenshire, near Llandeilo and make pasties ect which are starting to sell at farmers markets.
    Often wanted to make cheese though. The icecream flavours look very enticing.

  3. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Hi Sam –

    croeso i Llaethdy Ffarm Fach! Great to know there’s yet another fantastic artisan food producer out there, making a real ‘go’ of delicious, wholesome & honest Welsh local food. Do you have your own facilities at home, or do you currently utilise FCW’s excellent facilities?

    Admittedly I’m a bit fanatical about pasties: not just because of their mouthwatering pastry, tasty veg, tender meat & deliciously rich gravy but also owing to their equally rich history: my Mum spent many of her formative years (including WWII) near the tranquility of picturesque Cornwall’s St Just, not that far from Penzance.

    Indeed the Second World War proved an intensely traumatic time for a little girl (Mum)during which she & her siblings whilst out playing near Cape Cornwall were fired upon by a marauding Messerschmitt aircraft…so to escape they dived into a ditchful of brambles & scrub close to an old stone Cairn & were mercifully saved….

    But to this day, we can still trace that near-fateful riddle of bullet holes which would’ve cost my Mum along with her brothers & sisters, their very lives; had they not collectively possessed the fortitude, bravery & instinct to act as they did in the heat of the moment….saving ALL, of their seven little lives.

    And I do hope that sadly misguided, horrifically-indoctrinated Messerschmitt pilot, felt so very proud of the day when he indiscriminiately fired live bullets upon seven terrified innocent British children….may he, at least, Rest In Peace with the knowledge that he was a Very Poor Shot & Missed, Each & Every One of Them.

    And for that deserted tin mine chimney beneath whose brambled, nettled ditches those terrified children hid, we give thanks: every time I visit Cape Cornwall & see the bullet holes riddling that stone chimney I shudder; one other moment in time, one glancing bullet & my Mum – well….

    Thus family tradition taught me that this sumptuous staple is as near-as-dammit a complete delicious, nutritious meal; & was a mainstay of many tasty family lunches & suppers as I grew up.

    I presume yours are colloquially known as ‘Oggies’ though, being here in Wales…? And do you ever make any of the ‘auld recipe’ ploughmans’/tin miners’ type, which had savoury (i.e. meat & veg) in one end, & sweet (i.e. apple pie) in t’other…? Cor, I haven’t had one of those in *ouchie* donkey’s years – but it brings halcyon memories of family picnics lazing on sun-soaked, deserted beaches….that only my Mum knew how to find, from her childhood forays by the slow-swinging summer seas of that stunning jewel in the Cornish coastline.

    That said, I’ve found the exquisitely beautiful beaches & secret secluded coves of this treasured corner of Wales equally stunning – wonderful, magical places which I feel privileged to be able to explore….always so special, whether the weather is good, bad or even downright ugly. I simply love living here; I cherish each precious moment & am eternally thankful to my Welsh husband for bringing me home.

    And although (when the elements seem to be angrily beating down our very doors) I fondly recall my dream of simply making warm, comforting cheese on a full-time professional basis; I do now find that crafting true, high-quality artisan gelato using only the purest (& where possible, local) ingredients….the finest free-range eggs; plump, ripe, fresh seasonable fruits; carefully-selected aromatic herbs; pungently exotic spices & many other special, natural ingredients (based on the ultimate foundation of our own lovely, creamy-fresh goats’ milk!) is a mouthwatering challenge, with the development of every new flavour such a delicious opportunity – it’s passion & pleasure, all rolled into one gloriously indulgent, healthy whole.

    And whilst you might think sampling all this luxury ice cream wouldn’t be doing our waistlines any good….ironically as our gelato is only around 7% fat (as opposed to the mainstream ‘premium’ or ‘super-premium’ ice creams on the market, which are between 18-35% fat) it’s actually far healthier, too. So no ‘guilt trips’ here….plus less fat equals better, more intense flavour – so winners all round.

    I would therefore beg the question, “why doesn’t everyone produce ice cream &/or gelato/sorbet this way…?” The unfortunate answer is, too many manufacturers are more interested in profit over cost…but we ‘Hobbit-sized’ artisans are purely passionate about producing the very finest gelato as we can. It’s not about profit – it’s about our – & indeed Wales’ – passion, for Fine Food.

    Anyway we wish you a hearty welcome here at the Ffarm & hope to meet up with you at one of Wales’ wonderful, vibrant, Farmers’ Markets – soon.

    Best wishes,

    Jo, Tony & menagerie.

  4. Adrian Watson says:

    Jo I really love your website.
    I’m so please everything is going so well for you.
    Philip now 8 and Catherine 30weeks pregnant – past the danger period.

    Lots of Love Adrian

    • LittleFfarm Dairy says:

      “Oh wow – CONGRATULATIONS!!! What fantastic news – you must be thrilled. Goodness, I remember when Catherine was expecting Philip – doens’t time fly?

      Anyway – please do send an email soon, & catch me up on all the gossip!

      Loads of love & wam hugs – Jo xxx”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s