There is no better satisfaction then sowing, growing and harvesting your own produce. Apart from being super fresh, they also taste much better! Don’t be put off by the amount of space you think you might need, see our Cuttings Spring / Summer 2021 ‘A Taste of Sunshine’ article (pages 6 and 7) for our top products to help get you growing, no matter how much outdoor space you have.
If you’re new to growing your own and you fancy having a go at growing from seed, don’t miss our Grow With Us how-to videos – starting with a guide on how to sow seeds. For beginners, or if you’re growing with children, we suggest starting with these easy to grow crops: Tomatoes, Courgettes, Radish, Beetroot, Salad Leaves and Herbs.
Coolings Home Grown Produce
In our cafes and restaurants our chefs steam, fry, grate, stew, bake, juice, pulp, puree and mash a huge amount of fresh vegetables throughout the year. We even bake cakes containing vegetables! We are always experimenting with different flavours and complementing them with others to achieve the best results.
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, although purple, black, red, white and yellow varieties exist. Carrots are always best sown from seed directly into the ground, as transplanting carrots from pots to the ground can increase the risk of them attracting a pest called carrot fly. Carrots can still be sown in May.
Carrots are cooked and eaten in a variety of ways. We use grated carrot in homemade carrot cake and homemade coleslaw, and chopped in our carrot and coriander soup, as well as in our Cottage pies, and as a complement to our Sunday roasts.
This vegetable can be pulped, mashed, boiled, pureed, grated, fried, stewed, baked, juiced or eaten raw, and are typically used in stir-fries, salads and soups. Carrots are high in beta-Carotene, which our body turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for healthy vision, bones, teeth and skin.
Beetroot is packed with essential nutrients and is a great source of fibre, iron and vitamin C. Beetroots and beetroot juice have been associated with many health benefits, including improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure and increasing exercise performance. They are delicious when eaten raw, but are more often cooked or pickled. Their leaves can also be cooked and enjoyed in the same way as spinach. Beetroots can be planted from April onwards. Our chefs use pickled beetroot in our premium salad and raw grated beetroot in our beetroot and mixed seed cakes.
Click here to see some of our favourite delicious recipes to make with your home-grown produce.
Courgette, or Zucchini as it’s known in other parts of the world such as Australia, can be planted in May after the last frosts.
In England a courgette that can grow to nearly a metre in length is harvested at half or less than this size, as a fully grown courgette is called a marrow. We use grated courgettes in our cakes, such as courgette and chocolate cake, and lime and courgette loaf cake. Courgettes are low in calories.
Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family. It’s large flower head is eaten as a vegetable. Broccoli is one of the healthiest green vegetables, rich in dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins and anitoxidants, which have proven health benefits. It’s also versatile, inexpensive and tastes great. Broccoli can be used as a handy snack, in soups and in salads. We use broccoli and its stalks in our Broccoli soup, and to complement our Sunday roasts.
For a selection of ready to plant vegetables check out our ‘Grown your Own’ range. Now is the time to sow vegetable crops from seed, we have a wide range available from Suttons and Thompson and Morgan.