Hi, I’m Lorraine. Welcome to LorraineGardens!
This is a place for anyone who is interested in gardening, urban growing, suburban growing, veg and fruit growing, foraging, healthy cooking, whole foods, organic movements and Caribbean flavours.
Born and bred in the West Midlands, UK of Jamaica heritage my journey into falling in love with gardening started somewhere in childhood.
My dad loved his garden (the best dahlias, roses, tomatoes and corn!) and mum had a keen interest in all things herbal (there’s a tea almost for everything ;-), it’s a Caribbean thing! ).
My Caribbean heritage has had a strong influence in shaping my approach to gardening. My dad would cite the importance of growing his veg without “all that rubbish” or in modern terms “growing organically”. So it was only natural that when I came to my own garden this was something strongly in my own mind and therefore I take a holistic approach to my garden and only grow in an organic way.
My love of foraging began in those long school summer holidays where a good friend and I would get lost for hours amongst fields and lanes picking blackberries to take home and make into slushies and pies.
And so it was, that when I got a garden of my own some 20 years later the gardening bug kicked in and all of that wonderful history came to the fore colouring both how I garden, how I cook and how I eat.
The recipes here are mostly vegetarian, vegan or ital inspired by the food I ate growing up, friends, family, travels and by what’s available in the garden or hedgerow. Whilst I’m not vegetarian my personal diet is predominantly plant-based. Ital is a Rastafarian term that when used for food means natural, plant-based, fresh foods. Ital comes from vItal. The belief that fresh food straight from the earth has the best nutrition and is good for us maintaining our vitality. Ital is Vital. Ital food uses no salt preferring the use of herbs and peppers bringing all the required flavour to the pot. Sometimes some Jamaican classics will be referred to which I’m passionate about and are just too good not to include.
Gardening has taught me a lot, a gardener knows that all things are interconnected – soil, wind, rain, sun, wildlife and food. I believe that the health of the earth is also human health. Therefore I believe in taking a holistic approach to food that supports kindness to our planet and kindness to others. I support local organic farmers and growers in the community, small organic producers abroad and members of Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and Soil Association organisations. Community is the place where I shine a spotlight on these farmers and other great blogs through links to their posts.
I often get asked about the photos. For those who are interested all photos are taken by me unless otherwise stated. I use a Canon EOS 400D which is a great standard camera and a standard 28 – 50 mm f4.5 lens.
I hope you enjoy reading this blog, that is will inspire, on occasion provoke thought and that you will be tempted to grow something.