The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

radicchio, carrot and blood orange salad

raddicchio, carrot and blood orange salad

The human race first began growing crops around twelve thousand years ago and has been farming ever since. For the last 70 years – a mere 0.005% of the overall timespan – our farmers have been using manufactured pesticides. During this latter time period we have also witnessed a perilous decline in our bee population. This is not a coincidence. The European Union is currently half way through a three-year […]

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swede and carrot soup with smoked paprika

smoky swede and carrot soup

Many of the processes that are vital for life to flourish on this planet are dependent on interactions between living things, such as plants and micro organisms, and inorganic entities, such as the air, the oceans and the soil. Collectively, these interactions regulate the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere as well as its temperature, the fertility of its soil and even the salt levels in its oceans. The Gaia Hypothesis, […]

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rhubarb tart with star anise ice cream

rhubarb tart with star anise ice cream

An unavoidable challenge for any gardener is the problem of what to do about weeds, by which I mean plants which grow persistently in places you don’t want them. For me, weeding is a pretty routine task on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden, but for one of the other plot holders on my site it is something of a special occasion. On the days he tackles his weeds he […]

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broccoli tempura with soy and ginger dipping sauce

broccoli tempura

For many decades, cigarette manufacturers refused to accept a growing body of scientific evidence which suggested a clear association between their products and diseases such as cancer. With the benefit of hindsight, it now seems extraordinary that anyone should have ever regarded smoking as anything other than an unwise and unhealthy activity. Ultimately, though, it was through decisive governmental action – restrictions on sales, enforced labelling, high taxation, restricted advertising, […]

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spinach, walnut and rosemary pesto

spinach, walnut and rosemary pesto

The worldwide fishing industry is in crisis. Fish stocks are in steep decline, and are not being replenished anywhere near as quickly as we are plundering them. Rather than respond to the crisis by drastically reducing the overall amount it catches, the industry has instead responded by employing more and more extreme techniques to maximise its haul of the dwindling fish stocks that remain. What is more, it has been […]

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roast savoy cabbage with miso and sesame

roast cabbage with miso and sesame

Those of us who grow our own food usually spend this time of year leafing through seed catalogues and planning what we are going to grow in the season ahead. Many of us will also have saved at least some of our own seeds from last year’s crops for sowing this year (I, for example, will be sowing pea, chickpea, tomato, pumpkin, butternut squash, Japanese onion squash, dwarf French bean, […]

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leek tart with hazelnut crust

leek tart with hazelnut crust

Many years ago a friend of mine used to wear a tee-shirt emblazoned with a native American proverb. It said, “when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money”. There are some things – food, water, air – that we literally cannot live without, but our lives have become so sophisticated that it […]

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winter salad: red cabbage, apple and cranberry

winter salad - red cabbage, apple and cranberry

I am indebted to Nell, who blogs about gluten-free cooking as DeliciouslyNell, for nominating me recently for a “Very Inspiring Blogger” award. Nell’s nomination was a total, but delightful, surprise!     The rules of the “Very Inspiring Blogger” award are as follows: 1. As the recipient you should thank the person who nominated you by linking to his/her blog and displaying the award logo; 2. Nominate up to 15 […]

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pumpkin seed, cranberry and nut tartlets

pumpkin seed, cranberry and nut tartlets

For decades official nutritional guidelines have warned us that saturated fats cause heart disease. This guidance was based upon the findings of a single, biased research project carried out in the 1950s, but it has taken the best part of sixty years to overturn those findings. Earlier this year Cambridge University became the latest respected institution to publish research which concluded that saturated fats are not, and never have been, […]

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parsnip crisps with smoked salt and thyme

parsnip crisps

Rickets is a disease associated with poverty. It was once common in Britain, during the Victorian era, caused by a combination of poor diet and a lack of access to sunlight. Rickets predominantly affects children, and its elimination in the UK decades ago was rightly regarded as a sign of a civilised, caring society. But now rickets is making a comeback, along with scurvy and other conditions historically associated with […]

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