This is an attempt to document my efforts to grow and eat locally around Melbourne, Derbyshire. My family own a nine acre smallholding on which we grow fruit and vegetables and keep bees, and chickens, but that won't feed us alone, so the idea is to get to know our local produce and to see how easy/hard it is to follow a diet that is local to within 30 miles. The fun part is also trying some new (easy) recipes that use home-grown and local produce. Feel free to comment, send in recipes, and share your experiences of buying and eating locally.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Beautiful organic cauliflower

This beauty was grown in the school garden and picked and eaten by the children today. Thank you to Swarkestone Nurseries for the donation of the plug plants.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Artichokes again

Baby carrots and fennel

This is the first year I've grown fennel and I'm thrilled with how it's coming on. Can't wait to taste it.

Organic strawberries

Today we picked 4.9 kg of strawberries from the garden which at Tesco organic prices are worth about £40!

All homegrown summer salad

This salad had shredded lettuce, mange tout peas, broccoli and baby carrots in with an oriental dressing made with soya sauce.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Elderflower champagne

Use empty plastic water bottles, which should be sterile.

36 elderflower heads

1 lemon

680g caster sugar or granulated sugar works fine too

2tbsp white wine vinegar

4.5 litres water


Make sure there are as few insects as possible on your elderflowers. 

Put them in a clean bucket along with the juice of the lemon, its rind without any pith, sugar and vinegar.

Add the cold water and leave 24 hours.

Stir from time to time to dissolve sugar.

Strain through muslin into sterilised bottles.  Screw on tops.


Leave 2 weeks.  Check fizziness and let off excess build-up.

Sunday, 7 July 2013


These grown from seed last year and really productive now in forest garden. Yummy with French dressing.

Edible lime - Tilia Cordata

Lovely eaten raw in salads.  The leaves are best when young, so it is a good idea to coppice the tree every few years to keep it manageable with lots of new leaves. 

Alpine strawberries

I love these tiny little alpine strawberries.  They have quite a different taste to normal strawberries, more like little sweets.  Best eaten straight from the bush - I have been snacking on them whilst working in the Forest Garden.