The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘pesticides’

broad bean, spring onion and oregano soup

With Spring now in full sway down on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden, I had (quite literally) a growing number of ingredients from which to choose when creating this recipe to mark National Vegetarian Week. What started as a mere trickle of plants just a few weeks ago – the initial, tentative shoots of asparagus, the first stirrings into life of mint, chives and other herbs – has started […]

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pea and chickpea cakes with curry oil

A scandal has been taking place in India, largely unreported in the West, where over the course of the past decade an average of over 1,000 farmers per month have been committing suicide. One of the root causes of this astonishing statistic lies in the consequences of a deal struck between the Indian government and the International Monetary Fund in the early 1990s. In exchange for international loans, the Indian […]

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celeriac and cumin oven fries

Since the inception of the UK government position of Secretary of State for the Environment in 1970 there have been twenty one holders of the post. Some have been very good, and a few not so good, but of them all, the current incumbent, Owen Paterson, is surely the least suitable for the role. Mr Paterson certainly doesn’t seem to believe that acting as advocate for the environment is part […]

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Thai pumpkin and coconut soup

Pesticides have been developed specifically to help prevent our crops being attacked, so are they necessarily a bad thing? Well, yes they are. Pesticides are designed with one purpose in mind: to kill. They are poisonous. That is why there are legally prescribed “safe” levels for their human consumption. The use of pesticides in agriculture is a recent one, in relative terms, which means that, despite a growing body of […]

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golden beetroot, saffron and fennel soup

There is a very simple philosophy underpinning the organic approach to gardening – feed the soil. Plants need soil, along with sunlight and water, to synthesize the amino acids on which all we humans ultimately depend. Take away any one of these three elements and that process cannot take place. Organic growers use sources such as compost and rotted horse manure to replace nutrients and enrich the soil in which […]

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scallopini soup with garlic and mint

There’s been some good news recently for those of us concerned about the prospect of genetically modified (GM) crops entering our food chain. The global chemical giant and leading GM proponent Monsanto has announced that it is withdrawing several applications to grow genetically modified crops in the EU. These relate to genetically modified soya beans, corn and sugar beet. This decision may not necessarily be a victory for anti GM […]

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calabrese pakora

Before we start cooking I’d like to draw your attention to a recent, apparently minor, item of news that in all likelihood escaped your attention. A leading British researcher, Dr Helen Thompson has just quit her post with the government’s Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) in order to take up a post with the global giant chemical company Syngenta. Why is this significant? Well, in a previous blog I […]

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summer fruits creme brulee

Growing and cooking in harmony with the seasons, as I am trying to do, is based upon the fundamental recognition that no crop has a year-long life cycle. Of course, a wander up and down the fruit and vegetable aisles in our local supermarkets would suggest completely the opposite. There, fruit such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries appear to be in magical, perpetual supply, despite the reality of their relatively […]

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hazelnut meringue gateau with raspberries and cream

If you are fortunate enough to grow your own raspberries then you’ll no doubt be harvesting plenty of them right now. I have brought back several punnets of them from my allotment plot, the Circus Garden, over the past week or so and it seems that with each return visit there are just as many more waiting to be picked. Raspberries are one of the easiest and most trouble free […]

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