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.