I recently converted some of my Tesco Clubcard points into a Gardeners World magazine subscription and my first one arrived today, along with some free seeds – yay! Continue reading Every Little Helps…
Disclaimer – this is actually my boss’s garden and I’ve been dying to visit after seeing it in a recent press article. Handily, our recent tour around Scotland made it the perfect place to pitch camp so we got to have a good look around. Continue reading The Herbalist’s Garden in Angus
The past couple of months have been pretty hectic with Uni assignments but they’re behind me now and I’m just embarking on my dissertation – about people who grow their own food and then share these practices through blogs and social media – should be really interesting. I’m excited and terrified of undertaking such a huge piece of work at the same time.
In between my studies I’ve been busy planting seeds and planning this year’s edibles. Biodiversity and companion planting to deter pests or attract them elsewhere is also part of the grand plan. With almost 60 new edibles for this year, along with over 20 already in the garden and companion plants, it’s ambitious, to say the least. I’ve had to set up a spreadsheet to keep me right with varieties and planting schedules. I also received a lovely box of organic veggies from Rocket Gardens yesterday with about 20 more varieties.
Thankfully our gas tank has now been removed from the back garden and a new one buried under the front lawn so we’re just waiting on the timber and soil for a new bed to take its place – it’s going to be much needed this year, along with bags and containers.
There’s still a risk of frost here just now so the conservatory is bursting with plants and seedlings waiting to go outside. I can’t wait, especially as we’ve got some interesting new things this year like Painted Mountain sweet corn, Oca (New Zealand Yams), Jerusalem Artichokes, some interestingly coloured potatoes and tomatoes – no idea how some of these things will fare in our climate and short growing season but we’ll soon find out!
We’ve already had a fantastic rhubarb harvest and I made some rhubarb ice cream for a change, oh goodness, it’s delicious, the nicest ice cream I think I’ve ever tasted – will definitely be making more. Will probably post the recipe too.
Since starting my studies my eyes have opened to many things I hadn’t known much about and this year we’re using as many heirloom seeds as possible so that we can start practising seed saving and it’s organic all the way – I had no idea about the control of agrochemical and seed companies and the huge global loss of biodiversity – very much looking forward to trying out these organic feeds that were kindly sent to us by The Organic Gardening Catalogue (I have a feeling this could become a new favourite site).
This book was so inspirational that I had to share. It’s a really easy read and anyone with an interest in cooking, eating or growing food will find it a delight.
The author, Dan Barber, is a well known American chef with a restaurant on his farm and education centre in the hills outside New York. His thoughts on food and agriculture are widely shared and respected and he was been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009.
He’s also an incredibly engaging speaker and writer – I’d seen and thoroughly enjoyed a couple of his TED talks – How I fell in love with a fish and A surprising parable of foie gras – both stories are more fully explored in the book but they’re well worth a watch to give you a flavour.
In The Third Plate the author explores his vision for a new food system, one that is sustainable and an integration of vegetables, cereal and livestock management that produces truly delicious food. He challenges everything we think we know about food through his eloquent and entertaining tales of meeting people around the world who are working in harmony with the soil, land and sea.
It’s further inspired me to get more livestock and grow lots more food – I have an especial hankering to try some landrace wheat and make my own flour – the fact we don’t have the land, a mill or any knowledge for any of this is by-the-by 🙂
Not convinced – perhaps some of these reviews might tempt you…
‘Dan Barber’s tales are engaging, funny and delicious…I would call this The Omnivore’s Dilemma 2.0…a brilliant culinary manifesto with a message as obvious as it is overlooked. Promote, grow and eat a diet that’s in harmony with the earth and the earth will reward you for it’ Chicago Tribune
‘Compelling…The Third Plate is fun to read, a lively mix of food history, environmental philosophy and restaurant lore…an important and exciting addition to the sustainability discussion’ Wall Street Journal
‘In this compelling read Dan Barber asks questions that nobody else has raised about what it means to be a chef, the nature of taste. and what “sustainable” really means. He challenges everything you think you know about food; it will change the way you eat. If I could give every cook just one book, this would be the one’ Ruth Reichl (author of another favourite book of mine Garlic and Saphires)
I was sent a review copy of Crops In Pots – 50 cool containers planted with fruit, vegetables and herbs by Bob Purnell which is being published this month. It sounded right up my street as I’m currently planning my veggies for this year and it didn’t disappoint.
I’d never thought of combining edibles with flowers to create something visually beautiful as well as practical – there are some cracking ideas in here. Continue reading Crops in Pots – Book Review
After a long weekend away in Cornwall last week it was lovely to get the chance, and the weather, to get back in the garden!
It’s incredible the changes in just two weeks, especially after a healthy mix of both rain & sunshine, everything is looking lush, the veggies and salad are abundant, some are even enormous – check out the giant radish (sadly, so are the weeds!). Continue reading Giant Radishes, Rhubarb & Re-organisation!