Spring food and gardening festivals

SummerBeginsAs we enter into Spring, there are food and gardening festivals a-plenty, showcasing some of the best foods and gardens Britain has to offer.

Historic Chester hosts its Food, Drink and Lifestyle Festival on 4th to 6th April, with many TV chefs heading to the Racecourse to present demos, take part in challenges and judge the many awards and contests at the event. The Taste Cheshire Food and Drink Awards will be announced and Cheshire’s Finest Sausage will be revealed. There will be free cookery classes for the kids and even camping facilities for those looking to enjoy the spring sunshine.


The first installment of the Great British Food Festival takes place at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire on 10th to 12th April. With chef demos, man v food contests, artisan talks, a kids’ corner, live music and gift stalls, this is certain to be a fun, foodie, family weekend.


National Gardening Week (13th – 19th April) was launched four years ago by the RHS and since then has grown into the country’s biggest celebration of gardening. Thousands of people, gardens, charities, retailers, culture and heritage organisations and groups get involved and there are events and activities taking place up and down the country.

From beginners’ workshops and guided walks, to garden parties and open days, there is something for the whole family to enjoy. Visit the website for more details:  http://www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk

Let us know of any other foodie or gardening events you are attending this spring on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or email us on info@seedpantry.co.uk with your suggestions.

Add colour to your cocktails this Spring

Spring herbs and yogurt smoothie, diet vitamin drinkIt’s really starting to feel like Spring, so now is a great time for sowing and growing but also harvesting lots of flavoursome and healthy herbs!

Now we all know herbs are great for cooking with, but what about adding them to your drinks too – cocktails, mocktails, or even to liven up a glass of water!

Mint is the obvious choice for a refreshing drink. Perfect in mojitos, martinis, juleps and Pimm’s for the grown ups, or in homemade mint lemonade for all the family, mint is also a digestive and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

Savoury-sweet and with a peppery edge, basil is a novel addition to a garden-inspired cocktail. It goes great with vodka and gin-based drinks, or can act as a pretty garnish in a fruit juice or soda water.

Try adding fresh rosemary to a lemontini or a sprig of thyme to a glass of prosecco or cava.

Or why not add your freshly chopped herbs to your ice cube tray. Just add a few leaves to each cube, add fresh water and freeze. Once they have frozen, remove from the tray as and when you need them to give your springtime drinks a spritz of colour.

Our favourite afternoon drink is a soda water with fresh, homegrown lime wedges and a mint leaf ice cube – so refreshing!

Let us know of any herb-inspired drinks you enjoy and send us your photos on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or email us on info@seedpantry.co.uk with your suggestions.

Spotlight on Parsnips

Roast Lamb and sweet roast parsnips.

Baked, boiled, pureed, roasted, fried, mashed, steamed or even raw, parsnips are a sweetly flavoured a highly versatile root vegetable, native to Britain. Perfect with a roast dinner, they are a good source of essential vitamins and November is a great month for harvesting your parsnips.

Great British parsnips, fresh out the ground.

Did you know?

  • In Roman times, parsnips were considered to be an aphrodisiac
  • Parsnips can be made into a wine that has a similar taste to Madeira
  • In some parts of Scotland, parsnips are called white carrots
  • The word parsnip is from the Latin ‘pastus’ meaning food and ‘sativa’ meaning cultivated
  • In Europe, parsnips were used to sweeten jams and cakes before sugar became widely available
  • Parsnips are packed with vitamins, minerals, nutrients and fibre including Vitamin C, potassium and dietary fibre


Pick up parsnip seeds in our winter veg kit