The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘food security’

Jerusalem artichoke and roast garlic soup

jereusalem-artichoke-and-roast-garlic-soup

Traditionally, the onset of winter is the time when those who maintain gardens, allotments and smallholdings settle down with a handful of seed catalogues to decide what to grow next year. David Holmgren, one of the originators of the permaculture system of gardening, once described growing your own food as “a political act”. It is certainly true that those of us who do grow at least some of our own food are a […]

Continue Reading →

kale and butter bean fritters

kale-and-butter-bean-fritters

The UK now imports over 50% of the food that we eat, a proportion that has grown steadily over recent decades (in 1987, for example, it stood at 36%). One hidden consequence of this growing reliance on other countries for our food is that as we import more and more food from abroad we simultaneously export more and more of the environmental impact of growing that food. A recent study […]

Continue Reading →

portobello and wild mushroom and ale pie

portobello and wild mushroom and ale pie

It is something which is at once amazingly powerful and yet incredibly fragile. Without it we would not exist. Indeed, without it there would be no life on Earth. What is it? Soil. The living skin of planet Earth. This thin, fragile layer on the surface of our planet is literally teeming with life. Grab a small handful of soil and what you hold in your hand will contain more […]

Continue Reading →

noodle soup with pak choi and lemongrass

noodle soup with pak choi and lemongrass

A large proportion of the fruit and vegetables I grow on my allotment plot are so-called heritage varieties. In other words, I can save the seeds from the best of each year’s crop and sow them again the following year and expect to get pretty much the same plant again. Quite a few of the heritage varieties I grow are illegal to buy or sell, not because there is anything […]

Continue Reading →

damson ketchup

damson ketchup

In 1804, the total population of the human race on planet Earth finally reached one billion. It took a further 123 years for it to reach 2 billion. From there, to reach 3 billion took just a further 33 years. It hit 4 billion 14 years later, 5 billion after another 13, and 6 billion after another 12. That was at the turn of the 21st century, and now we […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan sausages

spinach and parmesan sausages

California, the state known as America’s breadbasket because it provides so much of the USA’s fresh food, is going through its worst drought in a generation. California is used to drought, and its fertile growing region has survived plenty of such droughts in the past. However, what is happening there to deal with this latest challenge is typical of the responses to water shortages in areas of intensive agriculture across […]

Continue Reading →

almond stuffed pears with chocolate sauce

almond stuffed pears with chocolate sauce

  My adopted home city, Worcester, has as its symbol a black pear. It appears on the city’s coat of arms, on its rugby and cricket club badges and features in numerous other associations with the city.         The Worcester Black Pear is in fact an ancient, local variety of pear, believed to be at least six hundred years old. No longer grown commercially, it can still […]

Continue Reading →

Borlotti bean, hazelnut and porcini pâté

borlotti bean pate

In 2012 the UK exported 320,000 tonnes of pork, 264 million eggs, 466 million litres of milk and 38,000 tonnes of butter. In the same year, the UK imported 696,000 tonnes of pork, 4,290 million eggs, 129 million litres of milk and 69,000 tonnes of butter. Does anything strike you about these statistics? That’s right. What the figures show (apart from the fact that the UK is importing far more […]

Continue Reading →

rhubarb and lemongrass granita

rhubarb and lemongrass granita

The UK produces less than two-thirds of the food that we eat in a year. Another way of absorbing that fact is this: if all the food produced in the UK was stored in one single giant cupboard and on New Years Day we had all started eating only from that cupboard, the cupboard would be completely bare by August 14th. The situation is getting worse. Our percentage of food […]

Continue Reading →