Winter Tales from the Kitchen Garden at THE PIG-in the South Downs

JKE 3335

Winter Tales from the Kitchen Garden at THE PIG-in the South Downs

Winter Tales from the Kitchen Garden at THE PIG-in the South Downs

Head Kitchen Gardener Alex Coutts gives us a sneak peek into the Kitchen Garden at our newest PIG in the litter to see what they are harvesting. 

 “With preparation underway for the new year ahead, we are still spoilt with winter produce to harvest from our Polytunnels, Greenhouses and Mushroom Houses. Here are three of my favourite crops we are harvesting before spring rolls in…

Kaffir Lime, Makrut lime:  (Botanically known as Citrus Hystrix)

Kaffir lime or Makrut limes is an evergreen that is kept inside our greenhouse through winter than can be then brought outside in the warmer summer months. They are a deep green fruit with wrinkles skin and grows as a double leaf, so we can harvest the top half and keep leaves on the tree.

They are used by the pastry section of the Kitchen at THE PIG-in the South Downs to make one of our most popular desserts on the menu, Kaffir Lime Posset.

Kalettes – (Originally flower sprouts)

Kalettes are a fairly new vegetable, which are a hybrid of kale and brussels sprouts. Think more of a crunchy kale with the nuttiness of a sprout but without the bitterness. This blend means you get the best characteristics of each vegetable! Kalettes are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C and K and omega 3. They are very versatile in terms of being cooked they can be steamed, roasted, braised, boiled, fried or you can sauté them.

They grow the same way brussels sprouts do, so you end up with long stalks full of kalettes. We can cut these stalks down to the ground carry them straight to the Kitchen, or if there is still more time needed for some to develop, we can leave them in the ground and harvest what is ready and needed by the Kitchen. We grow an early, mid and late variety so we can be harvesting kalettes from November to February. If you fancy trying them, they are currently on the menu at our West Sussex PIG as a garden side!

Oyster mushrooms

We don’t know about you, but we love a mushroom at THE PIG! Oyster mushrooms are a shell shaped fungi grown in tiers or clusters. Grown commercially all around the world. Fresh oyster mushrooms have been commercially cultivated since the 1940s, although they have been enjoyed and appreciated in Asian cultures for thousands of years. Oyster mushrooms are rich in nutrients, loaded with fibre, vitamins, and minerals. If you fancy trying them on the menu this season, you’ll find them under the garden, greenhouse and polytunnel section on SØDT Donker Rye & Garden Rocket.

Because we grow these in our custom-made mushroom house, we are able to harvest these all-year round. We like to grow our mushrooms by layering up sterilised straw and putting the oyster mushroom mycelium in bags and supplied to us by Grocycle.