‘You can always tell when spring is just around the corner. Our self-seeding greens- borage, nettle, mustard cress and sorrel- sprout up all over.’
We have two vegetable gardens. Our first is within view and a short stroll from the main dining room. The other, much larger, is past the lake. They are working gardens and constantly being dug up and replanted. Sometimes they look abundantly productive and at other times they can look a little scruffy and in a state of chaos. While we always try to have them looking good, especially the one nearest the restaurant, the fact is that the season and planting cycle will determine what is available.
You can always tell when Spring is just around the corner. Our self-seeding greens- borage, nettle, mustard cress and sorrel- sprout up all over. Within a couple of weeks into September our kitchen has enough quantity to use in some special dishes. Our spring recipe from head chef Cameron Cansdell is flavoured with these tasty greens.
Spring also brings us onions, beetroot, shallots, broccoli, spunta and nicola potatoes, radishes, new fennel, celery, and carrots. In partially a shaded corner of the garden is our asparagus. For most of the year it is bare but underneath the crown is busy expanding. This year, beginning in late August, we have had a continuing supply of spears. They are noticeably thicker than in previous years and as the plants mature further, they’ll thicken even more.
When you’re next at Manfredi at Bells, take a break between main course and dessert and stroll down to the garden. Chances are you’ll see one of the chefs (or even me) pottering around.’
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