Let me introduce myself. I’m Catherine and I live on a sheep farm 900 feet up in the Peak District National Park. I’m married to Ben and I’m the mother of two naughty boys. I came to this wild and windy spot about 12 years ago and have gradually restored an old Victorian kitchen garden. It was just like a secret garden – you could hardly make out the wall it was covered in so much ivy and it was a complete jungle. After many years of toiling away we now have a workable patch of land and are beginning to be self-sufficient in fruit and veg for about half the year. Any surplus we sell via our Facebook page “Broomhead Walled Garden“.

This brings me to the next part of my blog which is cooking and in particular concocting thrifty, healthy dishes from the fruit of my labours. Cooking and gardening seem to run in my blood. I have a library of cookbooks written by my mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother which I still refer to and the obsession with cookery has definitely surfaced in me.  I appreciate that not everyone has a garden but hope to show that there are many foods that you can grow in a small space and I want to provide environmentally friendly tips for those with a plot of land.

With today’s manic urban lifestyles I feel that we have lost connection with many of the old ways. I want to show that you can create delicious, thrifty, healthy food with minimal effort and avoid buying plastic-wrapped salt, fat and sugar laden foods. I’ll be including meat and dairy because I believe that if they are of good quality, grass-fed/organic, then they are beneficial to health and contain many valuable vitamins and minerals. I’ll try to focus on easily obtainable, British veg although might have the odd lapse… and whilst I’m aiming to be healthy, I won’t be able to resist a few goodies on the way.

From childhood onwards I have always loved cooking. I worked as a cook abroad for a few years and then more recently have started my own B&B here, serving breakfasts and dinners. See www.broomheadestate.co.uk for more information.

I want to share this wonderful breadth of knowledge with you and start a dialogue about environmentally friendly gardening and cookery.  So come with me and let’s open the pages of 100 years of handwritten cookbooks.

Thanks for reading.