Over the summer we had an abundance of beautiful basil. We used it in many dishes including canapes.
Strawberries were grown using the hydroponics system, recirculating flowing water.
The Kitchen Garden
In collaboration with the University Grounds Team, we are proud to be developing a project to grow our own produce here on the Streatham campus.
The Kitchen Garden supports our aspiration to reduce the travel miles and the volume of bought-in goods used by our Catering Team.
In it's first year, The Kitchen Garden currently produces a variety of seasonal crops that our Chefs use in some of our dinner and banqueting menus, as well as in our salad dishes.
The Grounds Team have been experimenting with both heritage and traditional varieties, using growing mechanisms which reduce the need for fertilisers.
The team have been growing a selection of vegetables, herbs and salad which have included strawberries, basil, parsley, coriander, cucumbers, chillis, tomatoes, peas, beans and root veg. This first year has been a trial of the system and also creating an outdoor patch using sustainable ways of nourishing the soil and plants.
Hydroponics is the horticultural technique of growing plants using a water-based nutrient solution rather than soil.
- This means targeted water use, where the majority of the water fed to the plant is used, allowing more rapid growth and reducing water waste.
- IPM (integrated pest management) means reduced or no chemical use, using biological control instead. No soil means less pests and diseases, so the produce is cleaner and there is less contamination.
- The small production space can be optimised effectively - so more can be grown in less space.
The Catering and Retail Team are currently investing in additional resource for The Kitchen Garden to support and develop this exciting new initiative over coming years.
'To produce high quality fruit and vegetables all year round using a variety of methods including hydroponics and field growing techniques. To promote environmental sustainability, low food milage and regenerative agriculture principles. To research and collaborate to find new and innovative growing methods and techniques.'