Updated: May 9
May is a strange month. It can be hot or it can be rainy, either way, both are good for our kitchen garden, and our polytunnels are coming on well. Not much is happening above ground outside in the veg patch, apart from our vines bursting into bud, our apple trees blossoming, and our bountiful rhubarb patch shooting up at an exponential rate. We’ve already made good use of what we have harvested so far, cooking it down to become a sensational base for our delicious Menu du Dimanche dessert and a seasonal flavour to our popular homemade ice cream…
Mostly known for our wines, not many visitors are aware that we cultivate a kitchen garden to supply our restaurant. Rhubarb is one of our first vegetables to come through after winter. A giant patch which has spread throughout the years since we began the vineyard and although not the sweetest vegetable to grow in our kitchen garden, cooked down with sugar or other soft red fruits rhubarb adds a distinctive seasonal flavour to our menu. Contrary to popular belief the more traditional variety which is known for its green stalks provides a mellower flavour rather than those with deep red stalks. Which is perfect for our warm homemade rhubarb tart with orange-infused creme fraiche was a big hit last week.
The goodness to come
In the winter months, when not much is happening in the vineyard, our focus shifts to preparing our kitchen garden polytunnels. And we will start to reap the rewards of our early labour in the coming months. Our herbs and edible flowers, including Lemon Thyme, Strawberry Mint, Greek Oregano, Borage, Viola, Salad Burnett and Sweet Cicely are already in use in our kitchen. And our beans are shooting up nicely, and our tomato plants, although slower growers are already a few inches above the soil, as are our potatoes. We may have to wait a bit longer for our strawberries and cucumbers, aubergines and chillis, but our courgettes, onions and garlic are showing great promise and will make an appearance on our seasonal restaurant dishes soon.