Fremantle community gardens

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I recently visited Fremantle in Western Australia (early February 2016) and while there took some time out to walk round to see what was happening with the community gardens in the immediate area. I walked to […]

Pickled micro cucumbers

Pickled

There is always a stack of extra fruit when you grow productive vines like Melothria scabra or ‘Mexican micro cucumbers’. If you have a stack of them and you don’t know what to do with them […]

Aji simple sauce

sauce

Here’s an extra simple way to make a long lasting sauce from your excess chill pepper fruit and easily preserve it. It’s based on a fairly minimal traditional way to make Aji Amarillo sauce. Chili […]

Pepino and Pineapple salad

Pepino

A fresh ripe Pepino – Solanum muricatum – tastes pretty good by itself but even better when combined in various ways with other items like Fresh Pineapple and mint. The flavour can change quite a bit […]

Round Zucchini

Zucchini_round

The beauty of random pollination. This round Zucchini is a cross between the classic Costata Romanesco Zucchini and a primordial white squash Zucchini cross I had come up as a sport a few years ago. I have been […]

November

Broad_Bean_Chocolate

What I’ve been mainly harvesting or what has been ready for harvest for the last month of November. This period is traditionally the spring transition period and the end of the ‘lean’ period in September and […]

October

sprouting_broccoli

What I’ve been mainly harvesting or what has been ready for harvest for the last month of October. October is usually yet another tricky month as it is highly variable each year like September. 2015 we had […]

September

artichoke

What I’ve been mainly harvesting or what has been ready for harvest for the last month of September. September at the beginning of spring is usually another tricky month as it is highly variable each year. 2015 […]

Daikon Radish – Minowase

Daikon_Radish_Mooli_minowase

Daikon or ‘Big Root’ is a common name for a group of large (mostly) white radish plants. There is quite a bit of variation and they can look and taste subtly different but essentially all like […]

Red Stem Celery

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Red Stem Celery is a very old variety from the 1700’s or before. It has the old growth habit of generally producing fairly thin stems. Also it has a very intense flavour in the leaf […]

August

triamble_pumpkin

What I’ve been mainly harvesting or what has been ready for harvest for the last month of August. August is usually a tricky month as it falls at the end of winter and is highly variable each […]

Prostanthera incisa

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Prostanthera incisa is a traditional native Australian bush food which is sometimes called the ‘cut leaf mint bush’ due to it’s incised leaf edges. It has an almost severe intensity of flavour with a fairly strong […]

herb teas

herb_tea

This is simply a list of some of the main ingredients I use myself or supply for making herb teas. This may be in the form of material that is freshly picked, frozen or dried. ‘Herb […]

Dandelion – Taraxacum spp

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Dandelion has been used for ages as a general food plant and for medicinal purposes. It has a very nice clean ‘wild’ greens flavour in the leaf, the flowers are a little spicy and the roots […]

Fennel

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Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare – is a versatile perennial herb or harvested vegetable. It can be used in a number of ways in savoury or sweet dishes. And it has a fairly long usable growing period if […]

Epazote

Epazote

OK – so why grow something that tastes like Kerosene? Epazote  – Dysphania ambrosioides (syn Chenopodium ambrosioides) – is a fast growing very hardy plant (weed?) that produces seed like a blizzard and is a short […]

Chicory – Catalogna

Chicory_catalogna

Catalogna Chicory is a subtle tasting leaf and stem that can be eaten fresh and raw or blanched and/or added to cooked dishes. If you have it raw you can simply search out the smallest newest […]

Blood Orange

Blood_Oranges

Blood Orange is generally a very productive citrus. It usually has quite dense foliage and makes for an attractive small fairly cold hardy tree. They grow steadily and you can see quickly if they need extra food […]

July

amaranth

This is simply the first post in starting a new monthly tracking list for what I’ve been mainly harvesting or what has been ready for harvest for the last month. This will change from year to year […]

Turmeric

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Turmeric – Curcuma longa – is so much better if it’s fresh. This perennial ginger like rhizome has a light crunchy texture and mild zingy flavour somewhat like a ginger infused carrot. It has a nice long lingering […]

Kale – fast turnover food…

Kales

So there are lots of tasty varieties of Kale out there. They all have different structure, physical ‘mouth feel’, smell and taste at various stages of growth. Generally the smaller the leaf the softer and […]

Portuguese Kale

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Who knows where this originated… but this group of Kales ( Brassicas – various species ) has come to be identified very clearly with the Portuguese cuisine and especially the classic soup made with it. The […]

Double Curl Parsley

Double_Curl_Parsley

This is a very old variety of curled parsley with a very intense flavour profile. It is excellent for making pesto by itself or combined with basil and garlic and the nut of your choice. […]

Salvia Sclarea – Clary sage

Salvia_sclarea

This plant was commonly used for an eye wash which is where it gets it’s common name from. It has a range of interesting chemicals in it that have antibiotic characteristics. But it also has […]

Lettuce – Freckles

freckles_lettuce

The Freckles lettuce is an old Romaine style from the 1790’s in Austria. Is a solid grower and will thrive in cold and wet weather and equally grow well in the warmer months. It has […]

Oca – Oxalis tuberosa

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Oca is a tasty little South American Andes plant that has been around in the south pacific for a while. It is the tuberous root of Oxalis tuberosa which is quite large for an Oxalis family […]

Silene vulgaris

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Silene vulgaris is a small european & mediterranean perennial leafy plant that has leaves that taste like a subtle cross between spinach and cucumber with a slight bitter twist that disappears with blanching or cooking. It is […]

Valerianella locusta

Valerianella_locusta

Valerianella locusta is often called ‘Corn Salad’ or ‘lambs lettuce’. Originating as a forage food it eventually became an accepted and even desired cool growing leafy green food. It usually has a fairly simple slightly […]

Komatsuna

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Komatsuna (Brassica rapa var. perviridis) is a classic Japanese brassica green. It is a medium sized plant shaped like a typical open cabbage family plant. The white or green leaf stems grow to about 40cm high and the […]

Alexanders – Smyrnium olusatrum

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Alexanders is a biennial mediterranean winter herb or vegetable that has a distinct celery like flavour. It is an interesting replacement for the often very bland and one layered taste of mass produced celery that was […]

Lime

Kaffir_Lime

There are so many limes to choose from and each has their own unique flavour and best uses! Two of the most useful which I grow are the Tahitian Lime  – Citrus latifolia which is […]

Perilla – Shiso

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Perilla or Shiso has a very distinct and some would say pungent flavour and scent. It is commonly often also called ‘BeefSteak’ plant after (I assume) it’s somewhat ‘meaty’ taste and texture. The species is […]

Gold Nugget mini pumpkin

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Gold Nugget is a small tasty little variety of pumpkin that grows usually on a small bush like plant and produces a lot of fruit. Because the plant never gets bigger than about a metre wide […]

Chayote – Choko

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Sechium edule or Chayote comes originally from Mexico and the central American region. I have grown up with this name for it and also the common local name in NZ and Australia of ‘Choko’. It is a […]

Kamo eggplant

Kamo_01

Kamo is an heirloom Japanese variety of Eggplant from the area of Kamo. It has a round ball shaped fruit and grows on a fairly short plant that seems to come into production quite quickly. […]

Garlic harvest 2014

garlic2014

This years Garlic harvest has been quite successful. I have been growing quite a lot of test varieties the last two years to build up seed for hopefully a good sized commercial crop in the […]

Fava Bean – Violetta

BB_Violetta

Violetta is a Broad Bean variety that seems to be commonly grown in parts of Italy. It has dark purple bean skins on maturity and the usual green inside. There can be some variation and […]

Fava Bean – Egyptian Ful

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The Egyptian Ful is a short pod type Broad Bean that has quite small plants that bear small pods profusely, The small beans inside the pods are a light green/brown drying to a light tan […]

Lemon Verbena

Lemon_verbena

Aloysia citrodora or Lemon Verbena is a wonderful deciduous perennial to grow. It will grow quite large and woody after a few years but if you keep cutting it back hard each year it just […]

Cardoon

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The Cardoon is a cultivar of the same perennial plant species as Artichoke – Cynara cardunculus. They grow much the same way and in the same conditions however the point of growing the cardoon is to […]

Fava Bean – Robin Hood

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Robin Hood is a short compact but heavily cropping variety of broad bean. It has a fairly distinct green bean especially when young. The image here is of the fully mature beans at the end of […]