We’re bang in the middle of summer, and Christmas should be the last thing on our minds… unless you’re a gardener! In late July and early August there’s still time to put a few veg in the ground, ready to reap the rewards of a homegrown dinner come Christmas.
Grow your own
Tomatoes are a fantastic ingredient to grow yourself, and you can get great results in small spaces, or indoors. Nothing beats the smell of toms ripening on the vine, and the difference in flavour between a homegrown tomato and a standard shop-bought one is out of this world!
Depending on where in the UK you live, the elderflower season runs from late May to early July. The parent plant, elder, or ‘Sambucus nigra’ is common everywhere except the far north of Scotland, frequenting hedgerows, waste ground and woodland fringes.
Fresh herbs have the ability to elevate a dish to the next level, livening it up with a hit of freshness before serving, or adding a delicious depth of flavour throughout cooking.
In this feature, Daniel Nowland explains why soil is so important to the food system we all rely on, and the threats that it faces in present times.
Rhubarb has an amazing flavour spectrum – it’s sour and acidic, but when balanced with sweetness, it’s tart and refreshing all at once.
I’m writing this on 29 February, that strange extra day that’s shoehorned into every fourth year to make the calendar year and the earth’s celestial year align with one another.
February often gets a bad rap, but unfairly so, in my opinion. Yes, it’s still winter and yes, it can sometimes be dreary, but prolonged periods of cold are so rare these days that the season is seldom actually as bad as we expect.
The Western world wastes three times the amount of food needed to feed the planet’s hungriest people. From our farms to our supermarkets, tonnes of perfectly edible food ends up in landfill, while statistics suggest that the average family in the UK throws away £700 worth of food a year – that’s £12 billion nationwide.
There’s always a lot to do in December, but not much time in which to do it before the Christmas holidays begin. Short days and grotty weather don’t help matters. Ideally, I’ll have finished weeding the vegetable beds by then, so that in January I can concentrate on mulching them.