From seed to service – the Potager Garden diary

By 1st August 2019 No Comments

August 2019

Isn’t this sunny weather delicious? It’s around this time when everyone constantly reminds me how lucky I am to work outside rather than in a sweaty office.

I cannot deny I prefer the sunshine to the heavy, dreary and dark days of winter – but come mid-afternoon on a hot and cloudless day, I am sapped of energy.

Ironic then that the sun is what gives the plants in our potager garden the energy they need to produce their plentiful spoils.

It’s just biology at work – the more sun on the leaves, the faster the rate of photosynthesis, the more glucose produced and the more energy pumped around the plant.

Photosynthesis also needs water, and, getting very scientific, carbon dioxide (which is naturally present in the atmosphere) to release the plant’s full potential.

Turning sunlight into energy takes place via the plant’s chlorophyll – and, get this, chlorophyll absorbs the red and blue wavelengths of the light spectrum, but it does not absorb green.

Instead, it reflects the green wavelength, making the plant appear green….

Interesting eh? No. Fair enough.

But when you spend hours alone among the plants, you learn how they tick.

Anyway, science lesson over.

The Potager Garden has really been producing the goods for both the hotel kitchen and the Cider House Kitchen pizzeria.

Our runner beans, courgettes and mange-tout have really been flourishing – although you live and learn. You may remember I used branches plunged into the soil as supports for the mange-tout.

Well, they’ve done so well they’ve out-grown the branches, so next year, larger and more sturdy branches are needed.

From the polytunnel and greenhouse, we’re inundated with tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, peppers and chillis.

What has been nice as well is the continued use of herbs, including mint, basil, thyme, dill and oregano.

The chefs in both restaurants are really buying into the home-grown ethos, amazed at the amount of produce coming through the kitchen door.

In fact, everyone who comes down to the potager garden has been amazed by what we’re doing – so feel free to come down and you may even get a free pose of sweet peas

However, if you find me deep in conversation with a pepper plant about photosynthesis and who will win the Premier League next season, remember, it’s completely normal.