As winter draws in, it is a good time to start reflecting on the year and what we have achieved.

In this week’s food column Kathy Barton, a local food enthusiast, talks about her attempt at eating local seasonal produce, and the joys and challenges this brought. Perhaps you have similar experiences or have a favourite recipe to deal with fruit or vegetable gluts? Why not write about your experiences and send them to

For now though, its over to Kathy…

Cathy local food pledge

This year I ‘lived off the land’.  Well sort of.  One day a week I volunteered at an organic veg grower in Pilling, getting paid in veg. I also joined Claver Hill, the Community Urban Farm on the Ridge, where we take home what we grow.

In the Spring we had greens.  Spinach, chard, tops of broad beans, kale, rocket, and a variety of lettuces.  Soon beetroot and kohlrabi leaves were added.  I thought I might be turning green myself!

Summer was on its way and we started digging new potatoes. They were so fresh and delicious and yet I longed for rice and pasta instead of potatoes every day.  We had wedges, roasted, boiled, sliced on top of hot pot, and potato salad.

Then the glut of peas, beans, mange tout, courgettes, and beet root arrived.  Eating the peas straight from the pod as I picked them, was like taking candy from the sweet shop.

To make use of the seasonal glut I went online and searched the Sunday paper for recipes.  Friends passed me their favorites.  Here was one I had been wanting to try…

My son saw me pouring the cake batter in the pan and asked what kind of cake I was making.  “Chocolate” I answered.  “Hmmm it looks rather red” he replied.  “Does it have beetroot in it by any chance?”  I had to admit it did.  I suggested he just try it as “you know you can’t taste the carrot in carrot cake.”  While it was baking he was still dubious.  “What a shame,” he commented “that cake smells really good.”  Once it was iced, he plucked up courage and behold, it passed the taste test!

Some of my favorite new found meals were based on courgettes, but what happens when a courgette hides under its leaves and becomes a huge marrow?  “Never fear” a friend advised me, “make marrow rum.”

Now, I am partial to a drop of dark rum… I will let you know how it goes!


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