Scott Bridger and James Viles share their guide to growing and cooking their favourite seasonal produce
Growing your own seasonal produce is an easy and fun way to practice food sustainability at home. Knowing exactly where your vegetables have come from mean the ingredients you cook and nourish your body with, are fresh and often taste even more delicious than bought produce.
Electrolux ambassadors and chefs, James Viles and Scott Bridger, are passionate about growing their own food and using local ingredients in their cooking. The two Electrolux Ambassadors have shared their top tips to help people get started growing their own fresh produce.
1. Starting a compost system before you begin planting will ensure a healthy growing environment for your produce. A lot of people forget that when you’re growing your own vegetables, herbs or fruit, you’re also growing soil which in turn needs to be nourished with compost. The effort you put into your soil will be reflected in your garden. With sustainability at the core, not only are you ensuring the health and freshness of your produce but fighting food waste at the same time.
2. An important part of being a cook is having respect for what you’re cooking, and that comes from growing your own ingredients. From planting, to watching something grow and then being able to consume it is very rewarding and makes you appreciate the taste and dish more.
3. While herbs are a kitchen staple, some recipes require only a small amount which leads to wasting perfectly good produce. By growing your own herbs at home, you’re in control of portions and quantity and in turn reducing waste from overbuying and adding an element of freshness to your dish. Try growing chilies and brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts or cabbage. These are extremely easy for beginners and are guaranteed to take the flavour of your food to another level.
4. Sunlight is essential for growth so make sure your garden/vegetable patch is placed correctly. If you’re growing warm-season vegetables, 6-8 hours of direct sunlight is needed on average so make sure you consider this before you get planting.
5. Walking into your own garden and seeing things growing and flourishing is rewarding, it also means you can effectively plan for week’s meals using what’s ripe and ready to eat.