Featuring great value food from our organic garden and cooked onsite in our kitchen, The Castle Cafe is the organic cafe with the best view! Winner of the 2013 Sustainable Food award from Sustainable City Awards.
Like the proverbial pig in muck, I’ve taken a genuine liking to jumping in the compost bins at the Castle during my garden apprenticeship. It’s a place to witness first hand the circle of life as scraps from the cafe and climbers rots and turns magically into dark rich compost that we then use to grow delicious new vegetables in.
We are in the season of autumnal abundance, with harvests occurring all over London’s gardens, growing sites and city farms. Hedgerows are plentiful and trees are laden with sweet fruits ready for the picking. Yet in many gardens around the city a great deal of fruit falls to the ground every year simply to return to the earth rather than feeding people. At the same time as this natural supply is ready to drop, the UK is importing apples and pears from countries as diverse as France, New Zealand and the South Africa.
The bees and butterflies made the most of the warm, calm bank holiday weather, as did a huge number of visitors to The Castle enjoying the day and taking part in a whole range of walks, talks and activities on this year's May Day event.
A couple of years ago The Castle was approached by Dan, a climber at the centre and director of Dizzy Spell Films. He had an idea of making a film about the work that has (and is still) been done in developing the Castle into an ethical, sustainable business.
This 30 minute film follows Steve Taylor, CEO and the brains behind our holistic approach. He explains what we have achieved so far (up to 2013), including ethical procurement of goods, eco-friendly waste disposal, recycling, lighting, heating, and insulation.
It's been an abundant and busy summer here in the Castle Garden! Thanks to the warmer weather, and our increasing veg growing space, (more veg beds and our new glasshouse made from reclaimed materials, thank you to Caste’s head builder Gerry and his team!)
The Castle Cafe, for the second year running, has won the Sustainable Food Award at the 2013-2014 Sustainable City Awards, announced on the 27th of March. This is a great achievement, considering that we've come out above dedicated restaurants and cafes! Our congratulations go to the Cafe, Kitchen and Garden teams for making this happen.
There are only a couple of days to go until Christmas (as if you needed reminding!) and the Herb Team at the Castle Garden has been working hard producing some lovely herbal gifts and stocking fillers, made from herbs grown in the Castle Garden this year!
The garden was a hive of activity with herb and vegetable production increasing, volunteers harvesting, youth groups experimenting with earth building, lectures, courses and parties!
In June the flowers were out in force and the bees were working overtime! Our garden was alive with colours; huge purple poppy heads, gentle mustard flowers, towering hollyhock and everything in between.
Our bees have been working hard this year... and now we've got some honey to show for it. Because our garden has a huge diversity of plants, our bees make particularly tasty, organic honey! This is a lovely treat for anyone and makes a nice Christmas present. Jars are on sale in the Cafe for £7.50.