Back in June, we shared with you the beginnings of our humble allotment, created by handyman Bob and our wonderful team of groundskeepers. Fast forward a few months to August, and our in-house project has blossomed into a bespoke kitchen garden.
Having expanded from its modest beginnings, the garden is now being prepared for expansion by our visiting pigs. Solely for the purpose of cultivating the land, the pigs will be staying with us until late autumn. In line with our sustainable approach to living and our ongoing commitment to reduce our carbon footprint, pigs are a natural way for us to prepare the land to supply more food to the restaurant and market at Ballihoo. As with the allotment, the pigs are not open to visits from our residents and guests, although you might hear them while out on your adventures around the nature trails!
The specials board has already benefitted from the produce we are growing on site, thanks to the creativity of Head Chef, Paul Budd, whilst Ballihoo Market has stocked fresh posies of wildflowers.
In addition to the kitchen garden, handyman Bob has also been kept busy managing a crayfish infestation in our lakes, which Chef has been only too keen to include on the menu as a stunning crayfish salad!
Continuing our effort to reduce food waste on site, you may have noticed a parsnip dish on the menu that utilised the stunning greenery of the plant, as well as the vegetable itself. Going forwards, this is something that Paul and the team will be striving for across many of our dishes.
The kitchen garden is a great place for us to experiment and to introduce unusual and rare varieties of vegetables, not only as a unique offering or a challenge (sorry Bob), but also as a way to increase our biodiversity. Our carefully selected cut flower beds not only look beautiful, but they are great for pollinators supplying much needed nectar for bees and insects. Borlotti beans, Yin Yang beans and Tromboncino courgettes are just some of the more interesting items that have been added to the garden in recent months. There is also a patch of pumpkins that we hope will be ready in time for some spooky activities at Lower Mill Estate this Halloween.
What’s in the Plot?
Globe artichokes, parsnips, borlotti beans, squash, pumpkins, tromboncino courgettes, runner beans, golden beetroot, chioggia beetroot, yin yang beans, purple sprouts, brussel sprouts, rhubarb, dahlias, and wildflowers.