We previously covered watercress in a Making Carbs Count feature
a few years ago. A hit in the Victorian era, this year's season is nearly
upon us, so here's a reminder of it's value in today's diet.
ealthier than kale,
grown in Hampshire
and Dorset in
watery gravel beds,
watercress is a unique
crop and its British season runs from
May to October, so get ready to take
advantage of it! It has almost no carbs,
fat or salt but packs a vitamin hit, so think
about including it in your regular shopping.
One couple have been working as
watercross growers most of their lives.
Penny Ede first started working on a
watercress farm at the age of seven
when she would join her dad after school
and in the holidays to help hand bunch
the watercress ready for market. She
ultimately chose it as a way of life when
she left school, following in both her
father's and grandfather's footsteps. Then
she ended up marrying a 'watercress
man', Sean, having met him in a local pub,
unaware at that point that they shared a
passion for the same industry.
Sean, unlike his wife, was not
necessarily destined for a life in watercress
but rather fell into it on the advice of a local
careers officer at the age of 16. Both the
Edes (pictured right) have now worked in
the watercress industry for 28 years and
MAKING CARBS COUNT: UPDATE
have been happily married for 23 of them.
Today Sean is a production manager for
the Watercress Company, looking after
their five Hampshire based farms, and
Penny is his assistant manager. She says:
"I enjoy every single day and I still get a
buzz after all these years. This is a way of
life, it eats into you and absorbs you. You
Some couples might find it a strain on
their relationship to be in the position of
boss and assistant but by all accounts
it has actually enhanced their marriage.
Working on the same farms and in the
same industry means the Edes really
understand the stresses that the other is
under. Where possible though they do try
to leave work at the farm, and as Sean
puts it, "I might be the boss at work, but
she's definitely the boss at home!"
If you want to discover the history of
watercress production while riding on
a steam train, you can explore The
Watercress Line which runs from Alton
in Hampshire. It used to bring the crop up
to London in the Victorian era but still runs
today. Check the website for the seasonal
timetable and for events.
Nutritional value of watercress per 100g: Calories = 11, there's
virtually no fat of any kind, no cholesterol, sodium, fibre, carbs
or sugar, a bit of protein but does have a big dose of Vitamins A
(63%*), C (71%) and a little bit of Vitamin D and B-12 (5% each).
*Percentages show total of your recommended daily amount.
Crunching the numbers on watercress
Watercress and Pumpkin Seed
Pesto with Spaghetti. Click on
the pic to download the recipe.