Mark Diacono talk at Bath Uni Garden Club

Went to a really inspiring talk by River Cottage head gardener, writer, and farmer Mark Diacono yesterday held by the University Gardening Club. 

There were a few really strong messages he wanted to convey to the audience:

GROW THINGS THAT TASTE EXTRAORDINARY!  There are many beautiful plants out there that also taste amazing.  Don’t just grow what everyone else does.

CHALLENGE YOUR TASTE BUDS.  Grow a couple things every year that you think you don’t like.  You may be surprised!

MAKE A WISH LIST OF THINGS YOU WANT TO EAT and grow them!  He pointed out that most people take up a lot of space growing things like potatoes, onions, & carrots that are really cheap in the shops, and then buy the more exotic, expensive things!?! Like sweetcorn, asparagus, globe artichokes, salsify, etc.  Grow them!

GROW LOTS OF CUT-AND-COME-AGAIN.  You will be able to eat salad for weeks longer.

GROW LOTS OF TRANSFORMERS.  Transformers are the things that make ordinary things taste extraordinary: herbs, garlic, chillies, edible flowers. Try lemon verbena!

He made us a delicious cocktail with cheap wine (fizzy & still), cheap strawberries, yacon syrup, lemon verbena, topped with a grinding of szechuan pepper.  Yum!

Some ideas of things to try: oca, yacon, Chilean guava, Japanese wineberries, mulberries, Egyptian walking onion, kai lan, and szechuan pepper

Have a look at the Otter Farm website for more ideas.