Liz McElroy describes what our Growing Ability groups have been up to this autumn:
‘We have been observing, harvesting and feasting on the spectacular abundance of seasonal foods this month during our Growing Ability and Growing Health sessions. This year has been perfect for our autumn display, from a wet start in spring, to a dry hot summer through to a calm and mild autumn, avoiding gusts and wet weather widening the window of colour for us this autumn.
All of the Growing Ability groups have harvested, cooked and tasted the flavours of autumn. We had an amazing crop of butternut squash which have been made into risottos and soups, most of the dishes have been accompanied by a serving of kale. Cauliflower has been used in mash served with ratatouille, using the last of the courgettes and tomatoes. We have gathered nettles to make soup, which surprised the group that tasted it.
We have discussed the importance of eating a seasonal diet, making the most of the flavours and the nutrients required at this time of year. It makes sense that we should be designing our menus around the food that is available now; keeping in tune with our body’s needs. We naturally crave the earthier, warming root foods of autumn and winter just as in the summer we need more cooling, hydrating foods such as berries and fruit. It has made economic sense to use the foods we have grown; using our imagination, thinking up different menus, using many of the same ingredients each week but producing different meals. Taking a walk, observing our surroundings and wetting our appetites with what is around us can only keep us healthier.’