We’ve been out of the garden and in the kitchen more than usual this week. The Science on a Plate events held during the Edinburgh International Science Festival have been keeping us busy.

Scotland’s top chef Neil Forbes cooked up some of Edible Gardening Project produce at four demonstrations held on Easter Monday. Neil used our fresh, seasonal and very local vegetables to create several delicious dishes. He talked about using recipes as a guide when cooking and letting seasonal produce dictate what specific ingredients you use. Reducing food miles and eating vegetables when they are at their tastiest are just two advantages of following this advice.

The Edible Gardening team were on hand at the demonstrations answering questions and helping people who were interested in edible gardening, but were not too sure where to start. Our top tips for new growers are;

Be brave and give it a go. Ask advice from local gardeners but don’t be put off when you get lots of different advice!

Keep it simple, try not to take on too much at once.

Spend a little time planning – think about a few crops you’d like to try and then work out when and where to plant them. Seed catalogues are a great source of detailed information.

First and foremost pay attention to the soil – a good source of organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure is essential to help your crops flourish.

Have fun and don’t worry if everything doesn’t work first time. Even the most seasoned gardeners make mistakes (they just might not admit it!).