The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘organic’

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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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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crispy aubergine with a hot, sweet and sour sauce

Today marks Earth Overshoot Day, the day in the calendar when humankind has used up the equivalent of a whole year’s worth of the Earth’s natural resources. When I began writing this blog five years ago, Earth Overshoot day fell on 20 August. Each year since then it has moved to an earlier date in the calendar, marking our continued failure to live a sustainable existence on this planet. The […]

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parpadelle with pea, pistachio and mint pesto

In April this year the European Union (EU) finally decided to introduce a permanent ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, following years of compelling evidence of the serious damage they cause to bee populations. A partial ban had already been in place, but the trigger for the EU’s decision was a report from its own organisation, the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa). The Efsa report confirmed that neonicotinoid pesticides affect not only […]

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vegan peanut butter and chocolate tart with roast banana ice cream

I recently read an article about a small group of Canadian beekeepers who were refusing to loan out their bee colonies to blueberry farmers in British Columbia. The reason, they explained, was that they were concerned about the impact on the health of their bees of pollinating only one single crop. This news article struck me on two fronts. Firstly, the very fact that bees need to be transported to […]

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beetroot, avocado and pink grapefruit salad

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver attracted criticism recently over his claim that poor people “eat crap” because they “think in a different gear” to the middle classes. His remarks were made in the context of figures revealing that poor children are twice as likely to become obese as rich children, and were themselves taken out of context. He had gone on to say, “what you see is parents who aren’t even […]

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