Spring into veg!

It looks like spring has finally arrived and so too has fantastic spring veg. We met with growers Sam and Judith of Tomnah’a Market Garden on the first harvest of the year to get their top tips for making the most of that lovely fresh spring produce.
Article Type
Love Food
Hate Waste
What To Do
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It feels more like winter on this chilly April morning when we visit Tomnah’a Market Garden at Comrie Croft just outside Crieff, but growers Sam Parry and Judith McGowan are spring ready. In a week or so they will start to pick the first salads, radishes and spinach of this year and their anticipation of the first harvest of the year is tangible.
‘We feel really strongly about providing the local community with good, fresh, seasonal produce. The quality of local food just can’t be beaten. You get so many varieties that you just won’t find in the supermarket. And then there is the taste; that first sun ripened tomato that we pick… it’s incredible.’
Community is at the centre of what they do at Tomnah’a. 80% of the produce grown is sold within a 10 mile radius. They know everyone they sell to and some customers have even ended up becoming volunteers on the farm, helping them to run a chemical-free, wildlife friendly farm, supported by the community.
According to Sam and Judith, food waste is ‘pretty devastating’ to farmers. And the fact that £150 million worth of fresh fruit and veg is binned from our homes each year in Scotland? ‘It’s bonkers. I wish we could all be more connected to where food comes from. We hope people think twice about binning food when they know how much work we put into growing it.’

 

Sam & Judith’s top tips for making the most of that lovely fresh spring produce

1. On the farm we minimise waste by growing only what we will sell. The same principle works at home: buy little and often and have an idea what you are going to make with it when you buy it.

2. Pay attention to storage advice – your veg will last much longer.

3. Preserve what you can’t eat! Fermenting is amazing. It’s easier than you think, you can ferment pretty much any vegetables and come winter it means you can have a taste of lovely local produce, even out of season! Don’t be afraid to be creative with what you put in your ferments and how you use your seasoning. Fermenting guru, Sandor Ellix Katz, has some great recipes and advice on how to get started.

 

Now check out our spring recipes for inspiration:

- Spring Risotto

- Asian Greens

- Carrot Soup

- Colcannon

- Rhubarb Compote

English