Over the past 7 weeks, more than 80 harvest boxes have been collected. From green leaves to edible flowers, the seasonal vegetables from the Maxwell Centre have found a home.
Erin is sharing with us why she is happy to collect her harvest box weekly. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and to share a delicious recipe ….
Have you discovered or rediscovered any vegetables/plants thanks to the Harvest Tuesday bag?
The vegetable box has made me fall in love with cooking again. I have always been a bit of a foodie but fell out of love with it last year after dealing with some serious health issues. Since I began ordering my harvest box, I get excited for Tuesdays, it is my day to play in the kitchen and experiment. I especially have rediscovered how much I enjoy salad leaves and the huge variety that is out there, beyond the usual thoughts of salad consisting of merely iceberg lettuce. Being able to explore the taste of edible flowers, fresh spring onions and herbal tea infusions has been something I have really enjoyed, which I doubt I would have if it weren’t for the Harvest Tuesday Bag.
Why is it important for you to eat fresh vegetables/herb ..? Are they hard to find?
I have chronic health issues and diet is very important to me in trying to control my symptoms as best as I possibly can. As a result I have to try and eat as much vitamin rich foods where possible and the Harvest box has allowed me to add more enriched foods weekly. Due to the salad box, it is great to add more green leafy vegetables and edible flowers (which you cannot get in the local Lidls) to my cooking.
Do you grow anything at home or in your garden?
I have so many pots of plants around the house, tomatoes, couple of different lettuce plants, chilli, lime and all my window boxes are filled with edible herbs which I can pick freshly as and when I need them. For me growing my own plants and food has been important for my own mental health, especially during Covid-19. Growing my own things reminds me to value patience, the importance of slowing down and reminding myself to look after myself. The joy you get when you see the tip of a seedling appear from the soil makes it all worth while.
Can you share with us one of your favourite recipes with vegetables?
My favourite thing to make is a spiced chickpea and peach curry. In a pot I brown some shallots (preferable for their sweeter taste but normal onions do just as well) with garlic, fresh ginger and celery until the onions are translucent. I then add chickpeas, with a little aquafaba (1 tsp of the juice from tinned chickpeas) and my own spice mix for 1 minute. You can use any curry spice mix you like. Then I add in any vegetables I want to add- usually courgette, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, aubergine and carrots- top up with homemade veg stock that i make weekly from my leftover veg stalks etc and simmer for 20 mins. After 20 mins I add peach slices (tinned, with the juice drained away), add in spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes and then serve with whatever side dish you fancy. I like mines with a lemon and mushroom cous cous.
Any comments or anything you want to share?
Thank You again for breathing back life into my kitchen.
Picture 1: Meet Erin!
Picture 2: Erin’s window sill with some of the plants she is growing. Very impressive!
Picture 3: A summer Lemon Chicken salad- made from harvest Box ingredients with a homemade Dandelion Vinegar dressing
Picture 4: Green salad Soup made entirely from Harvest Tuesday Box (with added beetroot slivers and toasted seeds)
If you want to know more about the Harvest Boxes, recipes or gardening please be in touch!