The Real Deal About Making, Baking and Growing Your Own
|Carrots & courgettes from the garden|
I've also recently started baking my own bread, and have a sourdough starter on the go. In the last three years I've harvested pumpkins, mixed lettuce, corn on the cob, beetroot, carrots, kale, garlic, potatoes, rocket, courgettes, leeks, onions and cabbage from the three large veg boxes I have. I have two productive apple trees in the back.
|From front: kale, mixed lettuce, corn on the cob, rocket, broccoli. Summer 2015|
And here's why: It takes ALOT of space to grow all your own food. I never actually appreciated how privileged it is to walk into a grocery store and buy whatever food you want, no matter the season, until I started putting hard work in the garden. Seriously.
I was recently watching a repeat of Garrai Glas (which I really like) and had to choke back laughter when someone stated that veg grown in your own garden tastes better. Here's the thing. Mostly, it doesn't (excepting peas which are divine when garden fresh). I can tell you truthfully that carrots taste exactly the same as store bought ones. Also, lettuce tastes the same. Beetroot? The same. Tomatoes taste nicer-ish. Better than the mealy beef tomatoes that we all ate up until the Millennium. About the same as the vine tomatoes you can get at M&S, Tescos or Lidl. Corn on the cob tastes better but its very hit and miss getting it to grow outside in our climate. I wouldn't even bother in Seattle but Dublin receives so much more sun I had to give it a go.
So the whole general knowledge thing about growing your own tasting better is pants (with the possible exception that is the awesomeness of having fresh herbs on your doorstep/windowsill). That doesn't mean I don't support it. Personally, I love getting my hands dirty and growing various things, edible or not. But the pretension that goes along with organic & slow food these days is extremely crap. Its great supporting organic/GYO food because you think its healthier/better for the environment but I think alot of people get involved because it makes them feel superior. I know people like this. Its depressing.
|The *last* proof|
|Finally, a decent loaf of bread! April, 2016|
I'm also grateful that the organic & GYO / slow food movements have become so popular that they've forced large food producers to vary their produce (you can even buy organic veg in the larger Tescos) and encouraged us all to think about not just where our food comes from but how its grown. I just wish these food trends weren't also so associated with elitism. And by that I mean the people who brag about only using organic produce (see how intelligent and privileged I am!) are pretentious gits in the movement that we can do without. I also think its funny when people feel very smug about getting their groceries from the organic food producer but buy tomatoes in January. Tomatoes that come from Italy and burn fossil fuels getting here. But okay. Maybe we should just all be a bit more grateful and awestruck we can have tomatoes in January and leave the pretension out of it.
**Notice: while the author likes to cook with organic produce and support organic food producers, she has zero problem buying non-organic produce from Tescos or Lidl (which taste great) and while supporting the true cost of food would like to also see the organic movement opened up to all price brackets.