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September in The Kitchen Garden

The Spring and Summer seem to have passed very quickly. We are already, once again, preparing the garden and tunnels for winter. We have had a very productive time with great harvests of purple asparagus, early strawberries, raspberries, currants and other soft fruits which were exceptional in both flavours and quantities. Various varieties of carrots, beetroots, turnips, exotic onions, beans, cucumbers and tomatoes have also been appreciated by our chefs. For the first time this year we grew peas in the pod, as well as yellow mange tout, which evoked a real taste of childhood summers.

This year we decided to concentrate on smaller tomato varieties, from currant up to cherry size, which allowed us to have a large supply of very tasty and colourful tomatoes from mid-June until the present rather than waiting for larger fruits to develop and ripen. Currently, our chefs have been applying their preserving skills with a range of chutneys, relish and jellies. Which we hope to develop further.

The apple harvest from the old orchard on the estate, which we regenerated, this year doubled its production of historic eaters, cookers and crab apples.

Our honey harvest was also much improved from last year. The taste of the honey was sublime due to the wide availability of different forage for the bees from the organic gardens and beyond. Well done ladies and Fergal the bee!

Currently we are harvesting, tomatoes, cucamelon, runner beans, dwarf French beans, baby leeks and onions, salad and oriental leaves, spinach, purple sprouting broccoli, a variety of cabbages, coloured carrots, beetroots, turnips and swedes and have coming soon, oca, crosnes, Jerusalem artichoke, scorzonera, salsify and flower sprouts for our chefs and clients to look forward too.

The outside area of the Kitchen Garden will be manured and covered with plastic over the winter to improve soil fertility and suppress weed development. Our tunnels are already planted for winter apart from a few late summer crops which we are still harvesting.

The constant seasonality of the garden transfers directly to the kitchen and allows our chefs to work with the freshest and widest variety of quality and unusual vegetable and fruit produce. It has been a pleasurable but hard working year where we have doubled our kitchen garden production.

 A vos fourchettes et bonne appetit!!

To your fork and enjoy!!

Paul and Alex

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