The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘organic’

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, […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

vegan rhubarb crumble and custard ice cream

So much of our food supply is controlled by huge agribusinesses and multinational corporations. As they have tightened their grip over the food industry, so they have become increasingly rich, influential and powerful. Their domination of the various processes that bring food to our plates means we have a food supply heavily reliant on monoculture (where vast areas of land are devoted to growing a single crop), supported by agrochemicals. […]

Continue Reading →

vegan vegetable hotpot

Most informed scientific opinion now agrees that we are either heading for or already within the Sixth Age of Extinction. For us humans, as well as many other species, this could well mean terminal decline unless we dramatically change the way we live by embracing a balanced, sustainable existence. And of all the human activities that have brought us to the edge of this precipice, it is the way we […]

Continue Reading →

portobello steaks with salmoriglio sauce

The Gaia hypothesis, conceived by Professor James Lovelock, contends that the Earth is a self-regulating mechanism. According to Lovelock, this means that the planet as a whole is able to calibrate a highly complex set of interdependent relationships. These relationships are between living organisms (animals, plants, micro-organisms) and inorganic entities (air, water, soil). In fulfilling this regulatory role, the Earth’s ultimate objective is to achieve “steady state”, in other words […]

Continue Reading →

Greek-style tomato fritters

vegan tomato keftedes

I grow a modest amount of fruit and vegetables in my back garden. This year the list has included cherries, pears, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, raddichio, peas, beans, courgettes, red onion squash, cabbage, chickpeas, leeks, kale and chard. Aside from the sheer pleasure which gardening provides, I also know exactly how each plant has been grown: carefully and tenderly nurtured. Of course, I grow only a tiny proportion of the […]

Continue Reading →