Drink!

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Re: Drink!

Postby Boreades » 10:31 am

My local expert on all things to do with Mildenhall/Cunetio is Bryn Walters, Director of the Association for Roman Archaeology. It was his group that found the pre-Roman brewery-temple in the nearby Og valley. He reckons some of both the Og and Kennet was canalised at some time. Whether it was the Romans or the Brits who did that is uncertain, but one of the purposes was to make it easier and more productive to grow watercress in the purer chalk stream waters.
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Re: Drink!

Postby Mick Harper » 10:53 am

Watercress? Sounds a bit twee to me. What else grows best in canalised pure water?
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Re: Drink!

Postby TisILeclerc » 3:07 pm

'A bit twee...'?

Hippocrates was a fan of the stuff and is supposed to have put his hospital next to a supply of the stuff. That was in 400BC so who knows maybe he heard about it from traders coming back from the west country?

It's packed full of all sorts of vitamins and minerals and was nicknamed 'Poor Man's Bread' by the Victorians.

Perfect stuff to go with poached trout in between sticking sarsen stones up in the air I would say.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watercress

http://www.lavenderandlovage.com/2012/0 ... cnics.html
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Re: Drink!

Postby Mick Harper » 3:16 pm

Yes, I was thinking of the other sprinkly sort of cress. You're right this is reasonably hard-core. But all the same hardly worth ...
He reckons some of both the Og and Kennet was canalised at some time.

Which reminds me we never got to the bottom of the Foss Dyke either. The point is that these are major engineering works and just don't seem to be ballpark worth building for all the normal reasons. Come on, the Og?
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Re: Drink!

Postby Boreades » 3:59 pm

Those barrels of beer (from the malted barley + spring water) would get a much better ride being floated down stream on a barge than being thumped about being carried over the stoney/bumpy "roman" roads.

Which would make the water works dual purpose.

Or perhaps it was tri-purpose. Those vineyards on the hillsides would need plenty of fresh water too.
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Re: Drink!

Postby Boreades » 4:15 pm

Here's a vineyard just a bit further east along The Ridgeway.

Hendred Vineyard is on the sloping ground to the west of the village of East Hendred, one of the spring line villages that sit just below the Downs in the Vale of the White Horse, Oxfordshire, England.

Originally planted in 1972 and now covers two acres consisting of Pinot Noir and Seyval Blanc varieties. Award winning still and sparkling wines have been produced from grapes grown at Hendred Vineyard. The vineyard was taken over by David and Eileen Bell in 2014. Their first rosé was produced in 2015 and a sparkling wine is anticipated to be ready in late 2016. The vineyard shop is expected to open in 2017.


http://www.hendredvineyard.co.uk/about-us
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Re: Drink!

Postby Mick Harper » 4:16 pm

These are all excellently ingenious rationales but, since they apply more or less everywhere, don't come close to explaining the distribution of (classical) chalk streams.
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Re: Drink!

Postby Boreades » 5:03 pm

Veni, vidi, viticulture.

research has identified the remains of seven Romano-British vineyards - four in Northamptonshire, one in Cambridgeshire, one in Lincolnshire and one in Buckinghamshire ... The identification of seven vineyards, before the search has even begun in earnest, suggests that up to 250 square miles of Roman Britain were involved in grape and wine production.

Mr Meadows said: "Our research may yet reveal that Britain was a major wine producer in ancient times.".


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/scien ... 38723.html

Coincidentally, these vineyard counties are all on or close to the main trout chalk streams.

Image

http://www.fishpal.com/England/ChalkStr ... sp?dom=Pal

Ah, grilled trout with a garnish of watercress, washed down with the local white wine. What's not to like?
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Re: Drink!

Postby Mick Harper » 5:11 pm

Not bad at all. On the other hand, aren't other cold grape areas eg Champagne and the Moselle Valley also chalky soils? On the other, other hand aren't these areas quite close to Belgium?
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Re: Drink!

Postby Boreades » 5:23 pm

Mick Harper wrote:These are all excellently ingenious rationales but, since they apply more or less everywhere, don't come close to explaining the distribution of (classical) chalk streams.


The geologist is in.

The answer is blindingly simple. It's just lazy terminology. Even in England, these aren't all chalk streams. But they are all limestone streams. Chalk is just one type of limestone. e.g. Portland in Dorset, with "chalk" streams. But as soon as we look at the rock, we don't call that chalk, we call it limestone.

See : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_t ... _limestone

Elsewhere and all over the world there are limestone streams and rivers which are described in very similar terms, and equally praised for the clarity and purity of the water, and the quality of the fish and fly fishing.

e.g.
In the eastern U.S. (particularly Pennsylvania) there is a lot of limestone -- entire big valleys lined with the stuff. Limestone is a bit porous, so it's often riddled with springs, which seep up and form streams. These streams erode streambeds in the limestone. Doesn't sound like anything special, and as you can see from the above answer, you can work this out with a dictionary and common sense. However, limestone streams in the U.S. are kinda special. First of all, because they are mostly springfed, their temperatures are not as extreme as streams fed only by snow and rain. So, they're slightly warmer in winter and slightly cooler in summer (compared to ordinary streams fed by runoff). This is good for fish -- fewer extremes means better habitat. Also, the water picks up alkaloids from the limestone and is therefore less acidic than the water in other streams. This results in better aquatic vegetation and better aquatic insects, which leads to... you guessed it: more, bigger trout. Limestone streams often have substrates that change little and remain stable over time, too, making them great for wading -- limestone streams are great habitat for trout and anglers, alike, you might say.


Next please.
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