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Green Fingers at New Yard Restaurant

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I had to laugh when I sat down to write this and noticed my last post was back in March… talking about how I was going to write more. Forgive me if you can – I’ve been working on creating magic in the kitchen and flexing my green fingers in the walled garden in our corner of sunny Cornwall.

Over the past year my kitchen team, the gardeners and I have been resurrecting the walled garden at Trelowarren, planting what seems like thousands of courgettes (lesson learned…fewer next year, it’s a courgette forest in there), salad leaves, squash, leafy greens, berries, beans, onions, garlic, tomatoes, herbs, and even hogweed (I won’t go into too much detail, that’s for another blog post, another time). We’ve even got some pigs in there called Jasmine and Jasmine, and soon we’ll have some chickens.

So why have I coaxed the kitchen team into the walled garden in their spare time? The reason is pretty simple – to guarantee the quality of our ingredients used in what is arguably becoming one of the top spots to eat in Cornwall, and to do our part to fight for planet earth.

We know the soil in that garden, the way the sun affects different areas, the patches where it’s wetter or drier, and that the only thing we’ve sprayed on the food is fresh Cornish water. We also kind of love that the food miles for this fresh produce is about 50 footsteps from the kitchen it will be cooked in, and restaurant it will be served in.

Any restaurant can use the words ‘sustainable’ and ‘locally sourced’, but these are becoming buzzwords that are taken for granted and misused. Sourcing from your local wholesaler doesn’t make it local. We’re extremely proud of what we’re doing at the New Yard Restaurant and really want to shout about it.

People have forgotten what food is supposed to taste like; sure, you can walk into a supermarket in midwinter and buy some polytunnel strawberries, but they’ll never be as good as the ones you can grow yourself and eat in the sunshine in June, when they’re at their best and naturally in season. Relying on mother nature and the seasons to give us food at the exact moment it’s meant to be eaten means everything on our plates has a reason and a place. It’s there because it’s at its best and we want to share that with our diners. We see it as a bit of education at the same time. No lectures though, just loads of great flavours.

Come and see for yourself what we’re doing in garden, kitchen and restaurant, and how we’re doing it – you can even walk around the kitchen garden and meet the pigs.

I’ll be back again soon – I’ve even written a list of things to talk about on this blog, but for now, I’ve got courgette cakes to make.

~ Jeff

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