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Food Glorious Food: From Garden to Kitchen

If you read our previous Food Glorious Food blog you'll see how much we grow in our gardens and the variety of produce Damien has been harvesting. Berries, potatoes, marrows and herbs, we get a lot from our Food Garden.

  • Cafe cake, Sophia Spring
    , Sophia Spring


Some of our homemade cakes using our own fruit

With so much tasty food being grown in our gardens, we wouldn't want it to go to waste so our chefs in the cafe cook up some fantastic food that you can enjoy.

  • The Horniman Cafe, Customers enjoying lunch, coffee or afternoon tea in our cafe
    Customers enjoying lunch, coffee or afternoon tea in our cafe


The Horniman cafe

Jason has made a warming moussaka made with aubergine grown in our food garden. We have a beautiful Black Beauty variety growing here at the Horniman that tastes as good as it looks.

This savoury course (below) is a sausage and caramelised red onion filling inside a crispy pastry lattice, seasoned with Horniman-grown herbs(easily one of my favourites). On the side is tomato salad with a range of varieties we grow here, including red, green and yellow varieties.

  • Home made sausage pastry , Food from our cafe using garden produce
    Food from our cafe using garden produce


Is it lunchtime yet?

And it wouldn't be the Horniman without a good gateaux. When I popped into the cafe Val was finishing this beautiful fig and marrow cake that looks delicious.

  • Fig and courgette cake, Food from our cafe using garden produce
    Food from our cafe using garden produce


Fig and marrow cake

I've tried making cakes using courgette before and it ended up (to quote Mary Berry, the Doyenne of Dainties) with a soggy bottom. Val's cake was perfectly formed, but she wouldn't let me in on her secret recipe, yet.

The menu in our cafe is constantly changing, so be sure to pop in and see what takes your fancy.

  • Hungarian stew, Food from our cafe using garden produce
    Food from our cafe using garden produce

A Hungarian stew with home-grown cabbage.

If you're a fan of tea and cake, and all things foodie join us on Saturday 26th September for our event Food Glorious Food, part of Urban Food Fortnight. This event marks the 2nd anniversary of our Farmers' Market and the launch of Tea Trail London, a vibrant new webapp mapping tea's history and tea customs across London.

Food Glorious Food: Grown in our Gardens

For those unfamiliar with the Food Garden we use this gently sloping, south-facing area  to grow a range of food plants from peas and pomegranates to potatoes and pearl millet.

Apart from a few permanent residents, the garden’s quarter-acre is filled each year with plants raised from seed. Planning for this begins now, when we take stock of the growing season, and this carries on through the winter as we draw up next year’s layouts, calculate plant numbers and finalise seed orders.

  • A, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

Examples of layout and seed order

So what have been the successes this year, and where does it all go?

Our cane fruit has produced by the kilo, keeping Valerie in the Horniman cafe busy making delicious berry mousse. We grow an early blackberry (‘Kotata’) which ripens in mid-July, followed by raspberries, loganberries, boysenberries and Japanese wineberries through August and into September. I’ll be out picking the last of them once I’ve written this.

  • C, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

  • D, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

Our Loganberries; basket of mixed berries from earlier in the summer

Everything in our ‘Leafy and Fruiting Vegetables’ section has done well too. We’ve had lettuce, chard, some lovely red cabbages, tomatoes and aubergines, courgettes and cucumbers and some truly massive marrows. Later on there’ll be kale and Brussels sprouts too. Yum, I say. You heard me right.

  • E, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

  • F, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

  • G, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

Me with volunteers Keith and Irene; aubergine ‘Black Beauty’ in the garden; view of the Leafy/Fruiting section

Hungry plants like tomatoes and marrows get a boost with a liquid feed made from the comfrey plants in our Medicinal Border.

I let the leaves break down in a bag and collect the rich black liquid that drains out; it’s high in potassium which helps plants develop and ripen their fruits. The liquid needs diluting before use and stinks outrageously but it’s sustainable and doesn’t cost a penny.

  • H, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

  • I, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

Comfrey in the medicinal border; comfrey feed in bucket

Over in the Bulbs, Roots and Tubers section there’s lots still to come. As the nights lengthen there’ll be potatoes and sweet potatoes in September, swedes and carrots in October, and celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips from November onwards.

I’ve already harvested beetroot, turnips, onions, shallots and new potatoes over the summer. Chef Jason put our beets to good use in the cafe, making borscht, and a beetroot and goat’s cheese salad.

  • J, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

  • K, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

  • L, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

View of bulbs, roots and tubers section; onions drying for storage; first turnips of the year back in June

Every week during the summer I look at what’s been harvested and send the Horniman Cafe a list. Once they’ve confirmed what they want to use it gets bagged, crated and delivered early in the morning.

  • M, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

  • N, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

  • O, Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens
    Food Glorious Food, produce from our gardens

3 different crated deliveries ready to go 

When you visit the Food Garden please keep in mind two simple rules:

  • Keep to the paths
  • Don’t pick anything

That’s it. Other than that it’s yours to explore and hopefully be insired by.

Feel free to come and say hello if you see me working down there. Questions are always welcome, including ‘what’s the best way to cook a marrow?’ Maybe it’s the gallery full of taxidermy I walk through every morning before I get out to the garden, but my answer is ‘stuffed.’

 

 

 

A Tale of Tea Packaging

Tea Trail London is the newest page in the Horniman's tea story. Tea has been an integral part of our collections and museum, dating right back to the 19th century when Frederick Horniman's tea trade was at its height.

Frederick Horniman left his mark on the tea trade by using mechanical devices to speed the process of filling pre-sealed packages, rather than selling tea loose.

This greatly reduced the cost of production and maintained a higher quality of tea. Unsurprisingly, some of Horniman’s competitors were a little disgruntled, but by 1891 Horniman's was the largest tea trading business in the world.

The Horniman tea packaging is still very iconic, featuring the coiling dragon like in the example above. One of the great things about working on Tea Trail London was the chance to explore other collections, and we found Horniman tea in other institutions.

This tea advert is from the Museum of Brands and is a packet we hadn’t seen before, here at the Horniman. Interestingly, red seems to be the colour of choice for tea packaging, like this Typhoo example, also from the Museum of Brands and this Horniman packet in our collection:

Tea Trail London is viewable online, you can check out some of our tea collections as well as archives, objects and stories from other collections, from afternoon tea to tea packets, it’s all there!

Be sure to tweet, instagram or facebook us using #TeaTrailLondon and let us know your thoughts, or if you have any tea stories to share.

Sponsors

Spilling the Tea

The Horniman's Digital Team have been working with partners across Europe to develop an exciting new web-app Tea Trail London.

If you follow us on social media, you may have seen our announcement of Tea Trail London, a new web-app that explores tea drinking and history in London through 3 different trails.

On the web-app - which can be viewed on a desktop, tablet or mobile phone - you can follow each trail, illustrated with objects from our the collections here at the Horniman and discover famous and secret London sites for a fun, tea-themed day out.

 

Three Themed Trails

The trails are thematically arranged and feature a mix of museums, shops, heritage sites and the best places to have afternoon tea.

Our three trails are: Tea Through Time, World Tea Tastes and Taking Afternoon Tea .


Tea Trail London is our contribution to Europeana Food and Drink, which aims to co-develop digital cultural resources with an eye to creative and business development across Europe through the theme of food and drink. Based on Frederick Horniman's tea legacy we decided to pick tea as our theme.

Working with Semantika, a Slovenian company who are one of the leading Museum Applications providers in Central Europe, we decided to create a web-app that would be versatile for a wide range of users such as families, Londoners, national and international tourists.

The history and world of tea is vast! So we began by identifying three potential themes, had a hot cuppa then went out into London to find the less well-known tea story.

Tea in London

We partnered with some of our favourite London-based museums: The Geffrye, Museum of Brands, The Museum of London and National Portrait Gallery finding exciting archive images of tea drinking, portraits of famous tea folk and beautiful tea sets.

Heritage sites such as The Cutty Sark and 6 Belgrave Square tell the fantastic story of tea's arrival in London and the invention of afternoon tea.

With so many great tea-stories emerging we approached some of London's most famous afternoon venues including Brown’s Hoteland The Berkeley who serve world famous teas. Brown's HOtel is London's oldest hotel and their afternoon tea was graced by Agatha Christie and allegedly Queen Victoria, whereas The Berkeley’s fashion inspired tea is a modern re-imagining of traditional tea.

And we thought it was only fair if we gave you a few tea shops so you could enjoy tea at home. Yumchaa, Fortnum and Mason and Kusmi Teas (as well as others) all offer a broad range of teas from around the world.

We visited a lot of sites, venues, archives and collections to develop these trails to have unique and original content. Be sure to take a look!

 

Take a Tea Trail

We have been working on an innovative digital project along with Europeana: Food and Drink, creating a webapp that will allow users to explore collections, historical sites and London venues all on the theme of tea.

The app is split into three trails that can be followed or used to give you an original idea for a London visit. The three trails are:

A history of tea

A look at how tea first arrived in London, how society took to having a cuppa and the development of tea cultivation.

Tea around the world

Tea is enjoyed around the world and in many different forms, this trail covers some of the many tea drinking customs that can be enjoyed in London.

Afternoon tea

The tea institution that is Afternoon Tea has a fascinating history that started over  200 years ago, from traditional Earl Grey to contemporary tea blends, we have gathered some of London’s most famous and secret tea serving venues.

The Horniman Musuem and Gardens were founded by a tea merchant; an appropriate legacy for us to celebrate

The webapp is due to launch later this year and it has been excellent fun researching the content, who knew there was a link between afternoon teas and a polio vaccination.

Get involved

London is a tea capital and we certainly can’t know all there is to know, no matter how many cuppas we have. So, we need your help crowd source a couple of venues:

  • Let us know where have you had your best afternoon tea or cup of tea,
  • London venues that serve Rooibos or Maté blends (we are a big fan of both)

 

If you have any questions or comments on the project please Tweet, Instagram or Facebook us or email us

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