Eating Closer to the Earth

Food made with ingredients that are grown with love and care has something powerful that connects us to ourselves, our history, our culture, our past and present, and brings us closer to our land. Fresh, and preferably organic, produce is vital to the creation of nourishing, nutrient-dense food.

Mustard plants bloom on the Home Farm, near Highgrove House, Prince Charles's private home in Gloucestershire

Plants at the Highgrove Shop

Prize ribbons of Prince Charles's award-winning chickens displayed on the henhouse door at Highgrove

Prince Charles, the best known organic farmer in Great Britain, transformed Highgrove Home Farm to a seedbed of sustainable agriculture almost three decades ago, and the result was vegetable boxes for the locals and a range of organic gourmet food available to the public. The first product in the Duchy Originals range was my favourite Original Oaten Biscuits.

The original Duchy Originals - the Oaten Biscuits

Biscuits stamped with the crest of the Duchy of Cornwall (above), and jam (below). Photo by Tony Cenicola

The wheat and oats all from organic farms in the UK and most grow a traditional variety of wheat called Maris Widgeon – which grows unusually tall. As a result, it gives protection to native birds and insects while preventing weeds without the need for pesticides. Next time when you pick up one of these delicious, original biscuits, you are benefitting Mother Nature and your stomach at the same time.

Thick Cut Seville Orange Marmalade

The spread with its distinctive bitter flavour and aromatic chips of peel

Another one of my favourite is the rich, bittersweet Thick Cut Seville Orange Marmalade. There’s nothing more quintessentially British than marmalade, and this one is handmade in traditional copper-bottomed boiling pans in the glorious Somerset. When I don’t have time to make my own (recipe to follow soon), this still offers the dark, chunky goodness we all crave.

Next time when you order a vegetable box from one of your local organic farms, consider going one step further and join the impossibly glamourous Duchess of Devonshire and feed some poultry friends in a ball gown. Who says one cannot farm in style?

The Duchess and her friends, by Bruce Weber (1995)

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About Patricia

Born in Hong Kong and studied in England for most of her life. Transplanted herself to Tokyo, New York and finally back to her root. Having treated her taste buds to the best of these continents have to offer, she has decided to invite others to join her on her gastronomic voyage. Full-time food lover, part-time cook who wants to enjoy the pleasures of life, mostly at the dining table.
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