Every Monday, bright and early, a harvest is now taking place in the Kitchen Garden at The Leaf! The Kitchen Garden is home to a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and other edible plants. The beautiful, locally grown produce is collected and delivered to our restaurants and animals at the Zoo.
“It's been fantastic for us to see all visitors enjoying the gardens, including local pollinators, and to see such a variety of produce coming out of the garden that our chefs use to create unique dishes and fresh flavours,” said Beverly Drysdale-Coutts, Team Lead at the Outdoor Garden at The Leaf.
Recent harvests have included three varieties of fresh raspberries, green and purple beans, bundles of mint, radishes, beets, basil, crisp lettuce, borage – a beautiful edible flower, a few snap peas, and tomatoes.
The horticulture team works with our culinary team to plant produce that can be used in restaurants. Our chefs are always excited to see what arrives at their door on Monday mornings throughout the summer season.
Radish, Daikon Alpine Oriental
We are growing three varieties of raspberries: Souris, Red River, and Boyne.
Mint leaves are used to make peppermint cheong, a syrup used in our cocktails and herbal lemonade. Edible flowers can be used as decoration on salads or added to ice cubes to add interest to drinks. Varieties of lettuce are tossed in our house salads, and tomatoes are used in soups, salads, or preserved as a fresh smoked tomato paste.
Extra produce, such as the flowering heads of herbs, is delivered to the Zoo, providing enrichment for our animals with fresh new smells and textures.
Fresh mint was delivered to the Park Café
Mint cheong, a syrup used in drinks and cocktails
Our team looks forward to the ongoing harvest and invites you to take a walk through the garden, imagining new ways of using local produce. When you visit the Kitchen Garden take only inspiration – no snacking, please!