THE CROFT & KITCHEN GARDEN
The Croft is a wild and largely edible landscape. Over 150 edible herbs, greens, and edible flowers abound here. We take time out of the kitchen, to forage for seasonal ingredients to grace your dinner plates. There has been a traditional croft on our land at Bruach Mhor for hundreds of years. During the last twenty years, most of our 7 acres has been allowed to revert to its natural state. Since the croft has been sheep-free, the indigenous plants and animals have not only come back, but have flourished on this sunny southern pennisula on the Island of Mull.
It is a wonderful adventure to incorporate the great variety of wildflowers and plants that grow on our land, into our dishes. We use meadowsweet and whin blossoms from our lower fields to flavour ice creams and panna cotta. We make puree and soups out of nettles, 3 kinds of wild sorrel, land cress, dandelion leaves and chickweed. Flowers such as thyme, borage, comfrey, wild pansies, are used in salads or as garnish. We also make chutneys, sorbets, syrups and cordials from black elderflower, rosehips, bog myrtle and brambles. These fresh herbs and flowers help make Ninth Wave one of Argyll and the West coast’s up and coming quality restaurants.
This burgeoning croft is a wonderful setting for one of Mull’s best restaurants. The abundance of flora is also a haven for wildlife including many kinds of bird, bee and butterfly which happily continue to pollinate many of the wild flowers and herbs we use on our menu.
The Kitchen Garden
We start our sourcing right here in our own kitchen garden, ensuring unbeatable freshness. Growing side by side are Highland stand bys such as rhubarb, beets, kale, broadbeans, peas and currants with more unusual items such as Kaffir Lime, Lemongrass, Gogi berries, Barberries, Cardoons, Namenia, Mizuna greens, Orange Thyme and Sea Buckthorn. Our garden has been expanded to help keep the restaurant supplied with fresh produce grown by organic methods. It is this dedication to fresh produce that makes us stand out.
We have made a concerted effort to grow old fashioned herbs and vegetables such as sweet woodruff, chamomile, comfrey, marshmallow and oyster plant to revive traditional locally foraged and grown foods. Our kitchen herbarium has been diversified to include culinary herbs from all over the world: southernwood, orpine, Mexican tagetes, pignut, and sea-kale . Garden flowers, including nasturtiums, sweet peas, borage, marigolds and rosa rugosa are used in salads, syrups and as garnish. We source seeds and plants from the Organic Gardeners Catalogue through the Ross of Mull and Iona Organic Gardening Association.
Tender produce is hand picked by chef Carla just before preparation.
“I venture into the garden to gather fruit and veg as I need it. Lamb’s lettuce beaded with morning dew, raspberries still warm from the sun…a chef’s dream.”