Over the last three months, we have been running the #StayHomeEatVeg initiative at Global Gardens.
#StayHomeEatVeg was one of 6 projects working around Cardiff supporting people to grow veg and cook healthy food during life under lockdown under the #CardiffGrowingTogether banner - including Green Squirrel, Cardiff Salad Garden and Grow Cardiff, supported by Food For Life Get Togethers Wales and Food Cardiff.
The idea of #StayHomeEatVeg was to feature one crop growing at Global Gardens each fortnight and invite people to share a favourite recipe using the featured crop. In exchange, we would drop a portion of the crop to those who shared recipes, with an extra portion for them to share with friends or neighbour, if wanted.
Amidst life under lockdown, the aim of the initiative was to support connections around seasonal produce, seasonal cooking in Cardiff, in a physically distanced, Covid-19 safe way.
Over the 12 weeks of the initiative, we harvested a total of 26kg veg - including 2kg Spinach, 3kg Cardoons, 3kg Chard, 7kg Broadbeans, 10kg Potatoes, 1kg Kale. We also distributed around 36 packets of seed and 12 plants.
Photo: the six crops featured: spinach, cardoon, broad beans, chard, potatoes and kale.
The crop harvested was shared to around 60 homes across Cardiff, with a focus on Roath, Heath, Gabalfa, Cathays, Splott and Adamsdown - areas closest to the garden. Each home received the produce in an organic Global Gardens canvas print bag, printed by The Printhaus.
Photo: Barbora, Vaida and Poppy harvesting for the crop-share
Over the course of the the project, we invited 7 Cardiff-based chefs to work with one of the featured crops to create a recipe. This led to the creation of 13 amazing recipes...
Lia @Lia's Kitchen worked with broad beans and created three broad bean recipes, including crisp mint broad bean crostinis, creamed broad beans with yoghurt and roasted hazelnuts and broad bean pod fried with Korean Gochugang dipping sauce.
Photos: Vaida's butter beans, Simon's miso cardoons and Lia's broad bean crostini
Kuldeep of Cegin Cardiff worked with chard to create three chard based recipes one for breakfast (Chard, green beans folded omelette), one for lunch (Chard, coriander and carrot soup), and one for supper (Chard, aubergine, carrot and green bean sambhar).
Photos: Kuldeep's three dishes
Local chef, Manuel, returned from a year of travelling down under, worked with potatoes and created Potato and dill rostis and Sourdough pizza with potato, roast garlic sauce, kale and herb pesto.
We also invited people to share their favourite recipes. We collected around 60 recipes. Each week we featured one community recipe - including Pali and Iona's Spinach Saag tofu (check out their video here), a Lucy's red lentil and parsley, Naomi's broad bean and quinoa salad, Angharad's favourite chard recipe, Matt's dad's potato bhaji recipe and Caroline's quick and easy kale crisps. You can check out all of the recipes here.
Photos: Naomi's broad bean salad and Matt's dad's potato bhajis
Huge thanks to Food for Life Get Togethers Wales, Food Cardiff and the #EdibleCardiff network for all their support. And to all the community chefs who shared their recipes!
If lockdown life has taught us anything, it is how satisfying it is to grow veg and cook delicious and nourishing things with it.
Watch this space for our forthcoming projects as we ease out of lockdown ... we plan to continue the crop and recipe sharing in some way.