As we move into springtime we are in a positive mood as it is our favourite time of year. Spring.
Snowdrops and daffadowndillies, frolicking lambs in fields, burgeoning buds on trees – and what most farmers are joyful for, the grass is finally growing.
The spring seems to lift the collective spirits, and it certainly fills us with excitement thinking about the produce that will soon grace our plates.
Put the slow cooker away, stop making stews, say goodbye to comfort food – and a great big welcome with open arms to beautiful salads and spring flavours, foraged wild garlic or the first crunch of a radish.
Spring also brings with it an opportunity to explore your local farms and producers. If you haven’t already found yours, why not hunt down your local NeighbourFood market (ours is Megginch).
It’s a brilliant place to begin if you want to start buying locally but appreciate the ease of the online shop. You pop on to the website, pick your produce from a selection of local growers and makers, and then scoop up your bountiful harvest all in one go from the pick-up point.
Or if you’re keen to learn a little more about your local farms and agritourism businesses (including farm shops, farm tours, self-catering accommodation) take a look at Go Rural and follow their Facebook page, where you’ll be able to watch live farm tours as the spring progresses.
As we’re all out and about, walking more (and long may it continue, don’t let it be a lockdown habit) you might start to notice wafts of garlicy goodness as you stomp through the woodland.
Take a little time, and perhaps a book, or the help of a website to ID – but you may have stumbled across the vibrant verdant bounty of spring, wild garlic.
If you have the permission to do so, pick a bunch, and when you’re home, give it a good rinse then throw it into the food processor. Follow with approximately 50g of parmesan cheese, or perhaps use Mature Anster (made in Fife), 50g of hazelnuts and a big glug of olive oil. Whizz it up again, then add lemon juice and season to taste.
And to ensure you have a good supply all year round, freeze your pesto in an ice cube tray, so that you can pop a cube even in the deepest depths of next winter, to taste a little spring.
Anna Lamotte runs the Guardswell Farm, near Inchture, with sister Kirstin