The kitchen team from St Christopher's School enjoyed a days’ work in the extensive kitchen gardens of The Pig, near Bath last week. The team were there to learn about growing and gardening their own produce and to get some inspiration for their own menu at the school.
Lead Chef, David Thomas describes the day and the benefits for his team.
"The day started with a tour around the Hotel and grounds along with an explanation about the company and the ethos it holds. They have a 25-mile menu which means they source produce from within a 25mile radius of the hotel, from independent traders to encourage local business and local trade leading to a mutually beneficial relationship.
The hotel has a fully functioning kitchen garden and the gardeners work hand in hand with the chefs to grow produce that can go straight from plot to plate. Towards the end of spring and throughout summer the kitchen will receive around 90-95% of its vegetable, herb and fruit produce from the gardens.
After the tour we went out to harvest what was needed for the kitchen that day. Afterwards we were taught about the growing techniques used for the different vegetables and taken around the plots and shown how each vegetable can be harvested and what it needs to maximise production.
It was then time for us to get stuck in and get our hands dirty. We split into twos and each had a bed to dig over and prepare ready for planting. Once dug over, the soil is then broken apart and raked into a fine top soil. Once finished, the team was shown around the grounds of the hotel where the animals for the menu are raised for meat and eggs.
The day was brilliant fun and really inspiring for the team. Hopefully it will further inspire them to think about the process food goes through before it gets to our plates and help them think creatively about the dishes that are made at St Christopher's."
A big thank you to the gardening team at The Pig for educating us in the practices of growing and gardening on a large scale project.
The Aurora Group
The Aurora Group is an innovative provider of education and care for children and adults with special needs.