Growing your own food: What's for lunch? – Sara's Kitchen Garden
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Growing your own food – what's for lunch?

What's for lunch? Well, we use what we can find in the garden. We are quite creative cooks and we build the dishes from what's available at the moment. Growing your own food means that the food is always healthy, fresh and beautiful!

En korg med läckra bladgrönsaker och orangea späda morötter. Growing your own food – a basked of delicious leafy greens and orange carrots.

Newly harvested vegetables for our lunch. I'm making a salad with fried vegetables and a nice basil dressing. Growing your own food is so fun!


We don't really buy a lot vegetables in this family. We mostly manage on what we can produce ourselves, all year round. I sometimes need to buy a few things though, for example  potatoes if I we've had problems with the ones we grow ourselves. I also buy some leafy greens that the children can put on their sandwiches in winter. But everything else comes from our own kitchen garden here at home. And there's plenty here to eat!


Närbild på korgen med ljust gröna basilikablad och nyskördad grön och lila sparris. Growing your own food, close-up of a basked filled with basil and newly harvested asparagus.

I'm growing the basil variety Mammoth in my garden. It produces large leaves with a nice, subtle taste.

Growing your own food  – a regular day

This is what we eat for lunch on a regular day. I harvested the vegetables together with Loa, 2 years old. You can read more about what we eat for dinner by reading our weekly menus in my newsletter Letters from the Garden (you can sign up to the newsletter below.) We usually just have leftovers or fresh vegetables for lunch. Today, we had fried pasta salad from yesterday, stir fried asparagus, black kale and snap beans with a salad and a basil dressing. And raw carrot as a side dish. It was absolutely delicious! Even our youngest really likes the delicate little summer carrots, so I'll make sure to sow more soon. The Chinese chive and thyme are for the oven-baked lamb we're going to eat later tonight.

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Where did I grow the vegetables?

Asparagus: Outdoors in the open, perennial
Snap beans: In my polytunnel, sowed them indoors in March
Black kale: Outdoors in a cultivation box, sown in winter
Chinese chives: Outdoors in the open, perennial
Thyme: Outdoors in the open, perennial
Basil: In my polytunnel, sown indoors in March
Carrot: In my polytunnel, wintersown in February
Lettuce: Outdoors in a cultivation box, wintersown in snow


Watch a follow-up on the previous video here: Harvesting broadcast-grown greens

As you can see, I depend on my polytunnels to get an early harvest of vegetables. The most important thing about my polytunnels is that I can grow many different kinds of vegetables in them. I can start harvesting the same vegetables I'm growing outside a lot sooner in my polytunnel. So, I don't only use my polytunnels for the heat-loving vegetables.

The state of my carrots always gives me an idea of what early spring was like this year, compared to previous ones. And it has been cold. I've been able to harvest my wintersown carrots in the polytunnel around mid-May these past two years. We're around 4 weeks late this time!


Ett litet barn bär på en korg med grönsaker. Growing your own food, Loa with fresh vegetables.

Loa calls the vegetables in the basket "dill-chow". He's quite particular about which vegetables he wants to eat. He likes eating them cooked rather than raw. Carrots, broccoli and corn are his favorites, together with mashed potatoes and parsnip.


So, the early spring harvests were a bit delayed. But we have been doing ok anyway. It's actually really easy to adapt your cooking to what's available in the garden, as long as there's something there to work with of course. Growing your own food is a real privilege. My goal is to be completely self-sufficient next year. Do you have a similar goal?
/Sara Bäckmo

24. June 2021

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