The Kitchen Garden at The Edible Flower
photo credit: Kat Mervyn
The Edible Flower kitchen garden is modest – just 1/20th acre of organic vegetable beds plus two beautiful old greenhouses that Jo found and restored shortly after we moved in. We have ambitious plans to expand our growing into two neighbouring fields when we can, but for now, our 6 large vegetable beds supply many of the seasonal vegetables, almost all the salad leaves, herbs and edible flowers that we use for our supper clubs and catering jobs.
The connection between garden and kitchen at The Edible Flower is strong. Erin runs the kitchen and Jo runs the garden. It’s great. Eating seasonally and locally is easy. We can grow organic vegetables and varieties that we would struggle to get hold of. We can be sure that our veg is as fresh as it can be, and entirely free of pesticides or herbicides. And we can quickly identify the varieties that taste the best and grow more the following year.
The approach in the garden is organic and “no-dig”, with a 6-year crop rotation. Jo was massively inspired by David Love Cameron’s Walled Garden at Helen’s Bay, who in turn was inspired by Jean-Martin Fortier, who in turn was inspired by Eliot Coleman. In addition to these three organic gardening heroes, Jo has also been inspired and hugely informed by the part-time Organic Fruit and Veg and RHS Level 2 Horticulture Classes she attended at SERC Holywood,
Stand back and watch the magic
Jo says gardening isn’t so different to brewing. You spend time and effort putting together the ingredients, controlling the environment and then stand back and watch the magic happen. Whether it’s the joy of a billion yeast cells turning sticky wort into beer, the delight of crumbly rich compost from piles of garden waste or a tiny seed germinating and transforming into the raw ingredients for your dinner, it’s all magic.
(And a lot of hardwork!)