I’m Lou and I love baking…
… and lots more.
First of course come family, close friends and our pony Terex who I spend way too much time with.
Farming, nature & sustainable rural land management, responsible animal care & training, current affairs & music, gardening, chinwagging (lots) and pretty much all food (lots)!
Prior to becoming a home baker I trained dogs and horses, became a BSc in Countryside Management at the wonderful Wye College, and was kept busy at our family smallholding & farm shop. Then I spent a few eye opening years rising to equine/assistant manager at a big animal rescue centre and then manager of Tunbridge Wells Farmers’ Market. During that time I was lucky enough to visit the farms and businesses of the producers attending the market and it gave me real insight into a much wider range of farming and food processing practices.
Supporting British Farming
I am strongly committed to supporting British farming, so use UK flour, sugar, oil and butter and local free range eggs. If I had my way, I would buy properly small scale really free range eggs from small flocks owned by people I know. The Environmental Health Officer, however, insists that all chickens must be salmonella tested…so I do the right thing!
British farming standards are the highest in the world, however, we still do have some unethical practices such as caged chickens, cramped pigs, lame and short lived dairy cows, and a big bug bear of mine…live export of animals for slaughter. Any animal facing the chop should be humanely slaughtered in a UK abattoir. It’s the least we owe them.
Check out the animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming. They campaign and lobby to improve the welfare of all farm animals including horses.
My other passion is pet welfare. Animal rescue centres have been bursting at the seams for years, having to turn pets away to their deadly fate every day. The UK really is in the grip of an unwanted pet epidemic. Local Authorities, rescue centres and vet surgeries are putting down thousands of unwanted pets every year. Often they are bought on a whim and not properly trained and socialised so get chucked out at the unruly teenager stage. Through no fault of their own they are already difficult to re-home and cope badly in care.
In the meantime thousands more pets are constantly being bred by unscrupulous owners and breeding farms here and abroad to smuggle in, just wanting to make a quick buck on selling puppies, kittens, rabbits etc to inexperienced owners. So the cycle continues.
A very home-bred epidemic is one of overpopulation of horses. Across the country you will see unkempt, unloved, semi-feral ponies. These are often tethered in weedy, overgrazed fields with tipped over empty water buckets on the edge of towns and cities. This is known as fly grazing. These ponies are kept illegally and owned ‘on the cheap’, and suffer as a consequence. They are also left to breed together, exacerbating the problem as carelessly bred horses have little value unless they are trained. As a consequence these unkempt little fluffies sadly end up sold at the market for a few quid, bundled in a lorry with loads of others beginning their long last journey through Europe to the far away slaughter house.
Farm animals, horses and companion pets are not commodities or status symbols.
They feed us and keep us company and they deserve our respect.
Anyway, that is most definitely enough about me!
Terex, our Sendmecakes Pony
Lou does the donkey work at Sendmecakes but the rest of the family are always being enlisted! This year we are hoping to sell enough cakes to run our own Sendmecakes horsebox so we can get out & about to more public events with our rescue pony Terex. He collects selfies and strokes by being adorable, while I chat away answering questions and raising awareness of responsible animal ownership & ethical food choices. When attending events we also run a free prize draw to win one of our best selling Ultimate Bake Boxes.
Anyone local to Ashford might see Terex keeping fit by pulling his chariot along our lovely lanes. If you do see us, give us a wave! Also follow our Facebook page to keep track of events we will be attending.
How you can help
There are lots of ways to help all animals from pets to livestock, horses and wildlife – whether they are looking for homes, hoping for a better farm life, or just wanting to be left alone in the wild. Rescue pets range from rabbits, birds & reptiles to donkeys and even friendly pigs! Local and national rescue centres rely on volunteers holding fund raising events and helping out in shelters and charity shops. It’s easy to help farm animals by eating meat, fish and dairy less often, and choosing UK free range or organic options, and MSC certified fish. Using fewer animal products also helps wildlife across the planet, as natural habitats are ploughed to feed factory farmed livestock.
For more info on farming and the environment check out Compassion in World Farming @ www.ciwf.co.uk.
Do email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact page if you have any queries.