The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘organic’

turmeric rice and peas

A healthy biodiversity – the assortment of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms that comprise the natural world around us – is vital to humankind’s continued existence on this planet. These various life forms work interactively, in ways we do not yet fully comprehend, to form an ecosystem that supports life whilst also maintaining equilibrium between living species. Biodiversity also provides all the fundamental conditions for human existence – oxygen, food, […]

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chocolate, hazelnut and Guinness ice cream

A quarter of the Earth’s living creatures live within the thin layer of topsoil that sits like a skin on the surface of our planet. That topsoil also stores carbon – at least as much as the trees and other plants above ground – which is critical in tackling the climate emergency. And, of course, we rely upon that fragile layer of topsoil to grow virtually all the food we […]

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parsnips with polenta and sage

Long term readers of this blog will know that although I am strongly opposed to the unfolding disaster that is Brexit, I have also been a consistent critic of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Through its complex and costly system of grants the CAP has effectively subsidised intensive farming, exacerbated global food inequality, and favoured large agri-businesses and landowners over small scale and organic farmers. It has also […]

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green minestrone

The Covid-19 pandemic almost stopped modern civilisation in its tracks, and it is not yet over. For many of us, enforced lockdown was a time of reflection on the way we live our lives, the way we interact with our local community, the way we work and even the way we eat. In a survey carried out by YouGov, 85% of respondents said they wanted to see some of these […]

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balsamic roasted strawberries

The glorious British strawberry season is upon us. If, like me, you grow your own strawberries you’ll be starting to enjoy harvesting these lovely summer fruits. I grow seven different varieties, most of them in hanging baskets, to maximise growing space in my garden for other fruit and vegetables (growing them this way also helps keep slugs at bay). If you choose to buy some of these juicy seasonal fruits, […]

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smoked tofu and mushroom Bolognese

Happy new year! More people than ever have chosen to give Veganuary a try this year. Others, who perhaps aren’t quite ready to take that step, will at least have resolved to reduce their meat intake. It’s encouraging to see so many people willing to challenge and change their food consumption habits, whether it be for health, environmental or ethical reasons, or all three. Sadly, world governments continue to show […]

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courgette and red onion pakora

We have become complacent. The seemingly limitless process of replenishing supermarket shelves has detached us from the precarious reality of how that replenishment is actually achieved. The UK’s dependence on long, complex food chains has grown as we have become less and less self-sufficient. Today we produce only 60% of the food we consume. For the rest, we rely on imports, of which 79% come from the European Union. In […]

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broad bean hummus with za’atar and sesame crackers

This recipe for broad bean hummus with za’atar and sesame crackers is the latest in a monthly series of recipes I have created in association with Suma Wholefoods. In these recipes, I use products from Suma’s extensive range of organic and ethically sourced products, and the recipes appear both here on my blog and on the Suma website. “Hummus” is Arabic for “chickpeas”, but fresh broad beans (known as fava […]

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asparagus, ricotta and basil tart

Regular readers of this blog will know that I work as a volunteer on Saturday mornings at the Old North Stables Community Teaching and Display Gardens in Worcester. It was there that I first came across the principles behind “no dig” gardening, a growing technique pioneered by Charles Dowding. When Transition Worcester first acquired the land at the old stable block on the side of Worcester racecourse, it was heavily […]

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rocket, crispy shallot and Parmesan salad

The underpinning principle of organic gardening and farming is that if you feed the soil by adding organic matter to it, usually in the form of compost, it will provide the best growing environment for healthy plants. By contrast, in non-organic farming the soil is simply used as a medium for tethering plants. Nutrients in the soil are gradually depleted and the loss is never made good. Manufactured chemical fertiliser […]

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