Dock Root Hot Drink

I finally got around to roasting the Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) roots I collected a while back, it has turned out ok, it is very bitter probably more bitter than Dandelion tea so if you like that you may like this..

I dug the roots washed and dried them I then roast the root in my oven for about 2 hour the littler bit roast quicked so you have to keep checking and sorting out what is done and leave the bigger bit until dark all the way through and crispy.
I then ground it in my coffee grinder and simmered for 2 or 3 miutes just like Danylion tea. I have no idea what medicinal value this beverage has I did it to see if it was as nice as Dandelion because I love that but it is so expensive and I rarely have enough Dandelions all the time to process this way, I’m putting more Dandelions in all the time.
Well there are plenty of Dock around so give it a go there is nothing to loose.

I hope this picture isn't to dark.

Advertisements

Red Fin Perch Patties

Just a quick recipe I’d like to share, my grandfather dropped off some really small Red Fin Perch to me yesterday he hadn’t scaled them and when Red Fin Perch aren’t scaled straight away they are really hard to do so I decided I would make patties I have never actually done this before so I’m exited to taste the results, I filleted them and skinned them, this was no easy task mind you as they were supper small, anyway after doing them all I munched the fillets up with my hand held electric mixer and added enough water to get a sloppy smooth mixture happening, I then pushed the mixture through a metal strainer this was a bit hard but no harder than pushing berries through a strainer for sauces etc if you have done that you can do this. I ended up with a good 500 grams or so of smooth, translucent goo, it looked a bit like the glue we used to get a school when I was a kid.
My recipe has my fermented Scarlet Runner Bean mix in it which I have mentioned previously this makes it nice and tangy, doesn’t matter if you don’t have this but it is really nice with it! The rest of the ingredients is below.

  • Fish Pulp 500gms
  • Whole meal flour 1 cup
  • Chick pea flour 1/2
  • Dried Nettles (Urtica dioica) 1/4 cup
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Cumin, Coriander seed, ground and Hot Paprika
  • 1 cup of fermented Scarlet Runner Bean mixture

Once you have mixed this all together let it rest over night this just allows all the flavors to come out and all the juices to be absorbed by the flours and if you have added the fermented ingredients this time gets all the good bacteria happening, it just changes the texture and flavors than just using it strait up, well in other patties I’ve made it does anyway!

I served this with Sow Thistle (Sonchus sp.) fried in hot frying pan, then just covered with water and simmered until liquid is gone, baby green button Squash fried in a little oil until just blistered and colored, fresh Lemon slices and my fermented Zucchinni, Chilly and Tassie Pepper Berry (Tasmannia lanceolata) relish. YUM!
It was just superb I alway find Squash goes really well with fish as it is a bit fishy itself and the slight bitterness of the Sow Thistle the heat of the relish and fresh lemon just rounded it all off perfectly!

Fruit Leatherzzzzz

Come on you beautiful sweet Blackberries! Blackberries are my favorite berry and should be ready shortly.

So I just wanted to do a quick update on my fruit leather making experiments without electricity!

So far I have done Yellow Plum & Honey, Green Gage Plum, Silvenberries, Chilly & Honey, seedless Sylvenberrie & Chilly and Tassie native Snow Berry (Gaultheria hispida) & Honey.

Left to rite, Green Gage, Yellow Plum & Honey, Sylvenberry, Chilly & Honey and Seedless Sylvenberry & Chilly.

The Yellow Plum I did by spreading onto a big stainless steel bench in the sun for a day, it was an amazingly hot sunny day so worked beautifully, by the time I got the Green Gages I had aquirered some stainless steel trays and I wanted to try making thicker leathers so I used these, it also happened that it wasn’t nice weather as well so I dried these in the car and it worked fine.

The Snow Berries I talked about recently, they didn’t stick together like other fruit leathers so next time I will mix them with other fruits.

Now I had Sylvenberries in the freezer from last season from our farm so I used these, I did the first lot of Sylvenberry leathers with the seeds to see if I needed to go to the extra trouble of de seeding, deep down inside I knew I was going to have to do the extra work but you don’t know unless you try do you! Anyway they are ok if you don’t mind seeds the flavor is great, really hot! But I don’t love the seeds as I have bad teeth so I de seeded the next lot. I also dried these in the car, this one took ages to dry and was hard to get off the tray and they are way to strong for me! next time I have berries I will mix with another fruit.
When I say I dried in the car I mean for most of the time, when it was really sunny and I thought it was safe from raining I did put them out on top of the car here and there OK!
And another note these were all raw not cooked just blended up to pulp and dried!

So far my favorite is the Plum leathers and the Plums are free so bonus, there are about three or four plums that grow feral here in Tasmania, if you keep your eyes open on the sides of roads they are everywhere!

Well wild Blackberries and Apples next, not an Apple fan but may be nice with other fruits we will see I have to give it a go anyway, I will do up date when they are ready cheers. 🙂

Mushroom Surprise

What a supprise my father bought me down some Horse Mushrooms (Agaricus arvensis) today from my brothers property, it is strange for them to be out at this time of year but we did just get a good soaking the other night and I’m not complaining!

Horse Mushrooms (Agaricus arvensis)

Horse Mushrooms (Agaricus arvensis) on fermented Scarlet Runner bean breads

 

I pealed and chopped these then fried them in olive oil added water to cover then I added 1 heaped tablespoon of wheat flour, salt, pepper and a bit of Oregano and simmered until thickened that’s it.

I have fermented Scarlet Runner bean mix on the go so I fried this to serve the mushies on.

My Scarlet Runner beans from last season

Fermented Scarlet Runner beans mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this concoction I have my dried Scarlet Runner beans from last season, I soaked about 3 cups of them for 2 days then blended to a loose batter I then added 1 cup of wheat flour a teaspoon of salt and let the mix ferment, it has been fermenting now for 3 or 4 days, it is hard to see in the picture but it is really light and fluffy and went really well with the mushrooms. YUM!

Soup for any day.

Yah for the rain….. The gardens really needed a good soaking, tomorrow it all will have grown a few inches I recon.
A nice day for making soup and I just happen to have a couple of big beautiful Zucchini’s and some lush zingy Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) in the veggie patch so in between showers I ducked out and grab what I needed, my grandfather gave me a leek last night as well so I will throw that in too, mmmm I’m thinking Curried Zucchini and Sorrel soup Yum!

To make this delicious delight chop and fry off 5 Onions and 3 Garlic cloves in olive oil after 2 minutes add 1 teaspoon each off dried Chilly powder, Tumeric powder, Cummin powder, Sweet Paprika powder, Curry leaves and any mixed curry powders you like add some Black Pepper and White Pepper, fry all this to release all the magic aromas. Then add 2 big chopped Zucchini’s and the leak and fry for another 2 minutes until these become slightly soft, cover with water now salt to taste and simmer untill it is all cooked and reduced slightly. Rite now why this is simmering wash and chop the Sorrel I used about 5 packed cups full as I love Sorrel it depends on your taste, when the soup is done stir in the Sorrel for only a minute as you don’t want to over cook it, take it off the heat and blend until creamy smooth then serve with fresh lemon and grab a handful of fresh Sorrel, rip it up stir it in, squeeze the lemon over and  Walah…. This soup is a taste sensation with its smooth and creamy texture the warmness of the spices cut threw by the zestyness of the Lemon and acid in the Sorrel and salted to round it all off perfectly, just how I love my Zucchini soup. Well I hope you enjoy this recipe it freezes well just heat up gentle each time you use don’t re boil it OK!

Simply Chickweed

Come on rainnnnnnn I don’t want to hobble outside to water the yard!

This morning I harvested my first Carrots and baby Squash from my garden yum! It is the first time I have grown red Carrots they look stunning and I thought I would just grab some other ingredients from around the yard Purple Orach and some lush Chickweed (Stellaria media) and make a lunch out of it! Why not!

I like to keep my food simple as I recon it’s the best way to enjoy all the individual flavours, I like fancy meals too don’t get me wrong but the first harvest of the season has to be just simple so I can appreciate all my hard work and also if it is simple I can check out any new flavors from any new plants I haven’t grown or tasted before.

Gorgeous Chickweed ready to use

Stunning Red Carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

So after picking and taking their photo, I could take pictures of  Veggies all day they are so beautiful as beautiful as any flowers, I rinsed and clean the Chickweed by just plucking the very ends and any big leaves off, I chopped an Onion, Garlic, Carrots, Squash and the Orach. I couldn’t believe the Carrots were orange inside they are so stunning much more exiting than just plain orange Carrots, anyway I put 1 teaspoon of olive oil into my wok and fried the Onion and Garlic for about 2 minutes until Onions were translucent I then added the Squash and Carrots fried for 1 more minute then I added wait for it….. fermented Kale juice!! First time for everything and because this is quite salty I didn’t have to add extra salt just pepper. So I simmered this for about 2 minutes so the Carrots and Squash are still crunchy they must still be crunchy because now I add the Orach and Chickweed just for the last 2 minute and its done, I like my Carrots and Squash to still be crunchy but ever so slightly tender not mushy Yuck….. nothing worse than over cook Squash.

It is simple but the flavors were great I could taste each different veg which is what I was aiming for and using the Kale juice was a great idea it was salty with a bit of tang, I guess it’s a bit like using a stock really and always on hand in my house as I always have something fermenting!!

Prepared meal

Now I am sitting here writing this with a Herb poultice on my dicky knee, I bruised and chopped some Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) and an Onion with Whole leaves of  the Dock and Mullein on top of the chopped up mix to hold in place and so the bandage that i put on top of all this doesn’t get to dirty and smelly, done!

Here’s hoping it helps, I can feel the Onion it is really cold like tiger balm so lets see if this helps, I really want to use more herbs for healing and I’m a great guinea pig because I’m a chronic pain sufferer and there seems to always be something wrong with some part of my body……  I don’t get sick otherwise so I guess thats something, touch wood! So I hope to be able to share a lot of herbal healing ideas and experiences in the coming years…..

Well where ever you are and what ever season I hope you are getting as much joy and healing from your gardens as I am! 🙂

Veggie madness….

My projects this week have revolved around my gardens produce it’s summer here in Tassie and we have had some nice days lately and my garden is growing like crazy, it is turning into a veggie forest.

I harvested this huge basket of Kale, Baby Red Beets, Red & White Beet leaves, Fat hen (Chenpodium album) Purple Orach, Sow Thistles (Sonchus sp.) Sugar Snap Peas it looked amazing…

My Garden Harvest

I started off with a big pot of stew I make a big lot and freeze portions for later, I had defrosted the last of my home grown Muscovy drake  just that night gone and thought this would be nice with the earthy flavours of Beets and Sow Thistles (Sonchus sp.).

So I just fried of the Onion, Garlic, Spices and the Muscovy Drake portion until nice and brown I then added foraged rehydrated Slippery Jacks (Suillus luteus), water to cover and simmered for 2 hours then I added baby Beets and Potatoes, Squash my mum grew, salted to taste then simmered for another 15 minutes. Then I added the chopped Sow Thistles (Sonchus sp.) a big bowl full I really wanted to get as much flavour from these as possible so I used heaps, I was a bit worried it would be to bitter but it was perfect, I then simmered for another 20 minutes, it tasted great the meat just melted in my mouth!

I had this meal with my latest fermented flat bread and the sweetness of the Millet flour and again the earthiness of the Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) seed flour went really well with all the flavours in the stew.

The flat bread consists of 1 cup of Millet flour, 1 cup of Stoneground Wholemeal flour and ½ cup Dock Seed (Rumex obtrusifolius) flour, 1 table spoon of fermented Spanish Onion Relish to kick start the fermentation and enough water to make into a smoothish batter, let this sit on kitchen bench for at least 3 days before use. I just leave mine in a little ceramic crock beside my stove it just keeps getting better over time.

While the stew was cooking I prepared the rest of the veggies, I just munch on the Snap Peas raw, they are a real treat and don’t stick around for long.

I had recently fermented some Kale and I really liked it I actually like the juice more than the veggie itself so decided I would just do a big batch and use the juice even if I couldn’t eat all the leaves my girls or worms will love them, Oh I also added to the White Beet leaves to this batch so it will be a bit different to the last lot.

Fermented Kale Juice

I also had a heap of Fat Hen (Chenpodium album) and Purple Orach, I have to look up the botanical name for this one I know it as just a regular veggie and have been growing it for years but every time I say it’s name to people they look at me weird like I’m speaking Chinese so I guess it’s not so common, so here is the botanical name for Purple Orach (Atriplex hortensis).

You have to keep these two plants pruned or they bolt and go straggly so I always have heaps and thought I may as well just ferment them and see what they are like maybe another nice juice, so we will see.

I chopped these and push them in to big jar I bruised them by hammering them into the jar with the end of my rolling pin if you do this their natural juices start to come out and then I covered with a weak brine solution 2 table spoons salt to 1 litre of water with a few pickling spices then I placed a smaller jar of water inside the bigger jar to hold most of the veggie matter under the liquid, it is bubbling away very nicely as you can see.

Kale in crock fermenting

Fat Hen & Purple Orach fermenting

Ummm what else did I do, oh that’s rite I also bulked up my Chilly, Zucchini and Tassie Pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata) fermented Relish with more Zucchini, I had another one in the garden, it was so big I will also have enough to make a Curried Zucchini soup, my favorite but that can wait until tomorrow I’ve had enough today…..

I actually had my first fire bath this afternoon I was burning some old trimmings from my fruit trees and decided it was a waste of good heat so grabbed a shovel and places coals and wood under my new fire bath, so afternoon bath it is!!

It was good it heated up heaps quicker than I thought it would I definitely need a wooden floor in it because the actual bath surface gets quite hot, it is a huge bath and it only took half an hour to heat up plus it is a warm day too so that helped. I need to make some sort of cover for it but because if there is a breeze which there was ash gets in the water everywhere, so that is my next project.

I though I may as well treated myself with a Shissa pipe as well whilst laying back there enjoying my first back yard bathing experience.

It was pretty funny my ducks didn’t know what to make off the situation they were looking at me very curiously indeed and when I was finished I had to lock them out of that yard because I thought they might jumped in after I got out, and they would get a hot shock if they did and I don’t want any more cooked duck thanks girls, these girls are for eggs not cooking!…..

My new out door fire bath

A look back at 12 months of my Veggie Lacto-Fermentations

Hi all I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on fermentation, I have been experimenting now for over 12 months with Lacto fermentation, this is the process of fermenting foods with salt, as in a brine solution or just using the plants natural liquids and salt and in most cases keeping the veggies under the liquid so it isn’t in contact with the air, when I talk about pickling  or use the term Lacto-Fermentation, I am referring to this method, if I use vinegar I say vinegar pickles ok, just so we are clear.

Lacto-Fermented Snap Peas (12 month old)

I’m always looking for ways to live more simply so as to have as little impact on nature as possible and I don’t think there is any greater joy in doing so, it is my passion as you will find out if you haven’t all ready.

I started fermenting full on over 12 months ago and haven’t looked back. My mother asked me what I wanted one Xmas or my birthday can’t remember, anyway after a few google searches I decided I wanted to get the book Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz so mum ordered it for me and it is the best present I have ever been given I recon, it has changed the way I look at food completely. It has opened my mind up to a whole new world a world crawling with friendly little critters called bacteria.

The line between off and fermented is a fine one sometimes and my whole idea of what constitutes off has moved way beyond most people’s perceptions of this word, I can tell by the way they look at me when I invite them to try something that has been sitting out on my bench for months on end bubbling away and smelling to some like a fart!

Kale ready for fermentation, I pound Kale down until liquid rises add a bit of brine, place plate and rock on top to hold it under the liquid

Finished Lacto-Fermented Kale, this took about 2 weeks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where once I would have probably reacted the same way with disgust and disbelief I now crave the unique flavors and smells that emanate from the many bubbling crocks and jars around my home.

I do admit it takes a bit of getting used to at first, the only one I had to kick out into the patio so far was the fermented onions…… I understand it is a acquired taste but I mostly think a lot of peoples rejection to these pungent health enhancing foods is in their heads, the fear campaign surrounding our food these days has been very effective, I don’t want to get to political or though I don’t think you can separate politics and food but here I just want to share my experience and hope that I can blow away a few of these fears so people can enjoy something that we as humans have been enjoying from the beginning of our existence.

Every ancient culture on earth has had some form of naturally fermented foods in their diets. We have lost a lot of this knowledge and are afraid to experiment to re find the wonders of fermentation, we do still have foods like beer, wines, cheese and dill pickles etc but the majority of what we consume is pasteurised or iodised literally to death!

I say Don’t Believe The Hype!! We as people need to regain control of our food for it is OUR health and wellbeing that is at stake, have a look around you how many people do you know or are yourself  over weight, sickly and just have no energy, no it isn’t just food but I believe it has a lot to do with it. If something is on a shelve in a shop we just believe it is safe to eat without even reading the labels, when did we hand over the responsibility for our health to big corporation and politicians, we have been fooled into trusting these big corporations and look at where it has gotten society today, we have a health crisis at present and it is getting worse every day.

Lacto-Fermented Chilly, Ginger and Garlic (12 months old)

So just saying I believe we need to go back to go forward if you know what I mean. Go back to living in harmony with nature, I know you’ve heard it all before buy local etc, etc but only by buying fresh seasonal produce, growing your own, foraging, bartering and creating meals from scratch can you be sure of what you are eating and by doing so it not only benefits you your family your neighbourhood and your local area it helps the environment and all other species on our precious planet, so why wouldn’t you do it! And please don’t say “I’m too busy”  the oldest excuse in the book because if you are too busy to love and look after yourself and your family and the planet we all rely on to survive then you need to reassess your life…….

So for my experiments so far, when I first started out I was on a mission to turn my fridge off, I haven’t got there yet but I will. I thought the old ways of fermentation for preserving food would help me in that mission, so I decided I needed to do my own research to find out.

I picked Snap Peas, Snow Peas, Baby Carrots and Zucchinis from my garden, bottled them in a brine solution and put them in my cupboard to see how long they would last without refrigeration. The baby Zucchinis went mushy after 5 months the Carrots 7 months, the Snow Peas started to loose their texture and go sloppy by about 8 months and the Snap Peas are still good 12 months on and I recon that is pretty good.

I now put my whole baby Carrots and Zucchinis out on the bench for about a month or so depending on temperatures and then I put them in the fridge which stops them from over fermenting, they have lasted 12 months easy but I believe they would keep in a cellar or in the ground without refrigeration, I don’t have a cellar to see unfortunately.  I also did a jar of Chillies, Ginger and Garlic and put in the cupboard and they are fine 12 months on. So my conclusion is that it is an effective way to preserve food without considering all the other nutritional reasons to use this method.
If I want a sour pickle I use 2 tbsp. salt to litre of water if I want a salty one that will last longer without refrigeration I uses about 4 tbsp. and you can wash the salt out before using if they are too salty for your taste.

So far my favourite plain veggie ferments are Sauerkraut, Baby Carrots, Snap Peas, Scarlet Runner Beans, Pickled Onions and Beets. I make a fermented Chilly sauce and a fermented Spanish Onion sauce too that are to die for. One note- I have found that this fermentation method changes hot things like horseradish if you leave them too long it is quiet amazing actually, my Horse Radish was so potent when I started it and for about 2 weeks I didn’t think it was going to be edible but after about 3 months if mellowed out and even became sweet, same with my Mustard and Ginger done this way!.. So if you want hot do a Vinegar pickle.

My Lacto-Fermented Zuchinni & Tassie Pepper sauce

This season I want to experiment more with mixes incorporating weeds, as in Kimchis and Relishes. This season so far I have fermented Kale which I really like and yesterday I made a Zucchini, Capsicum, Chilly and Tasmanian Native Pepper Berry (Tasmannia lanceolata) Relish. (Recipe to come & will be in my Fermented recipe section above)

Well I hope this inspirers some to experiment with fermentation you wont be sorry……………

Mmmm Muscles

Yum Muscles are one of my favorite sea foods, we have the Tasmanian Black Muscles here and they are my favorite Muscle. I didn’t forage for these myself my brother picked them on the way home from a weekend away a few weeks ago, I’m just getting around to posting this now.

I haven’t had a chance to do a coastal foraging trip yet this year  but very soon and hopefully I will have a lot to post about.

I cooked a meal of Chilly Muscles for myself straight away, I put them in a pot added my fermented Chilly Sauce and for liquid I used some of my Kombucha that had Ginger in it, it worked really well nice hot and tangy.

I served the Chilly Kombucha Muscles with couscous, in my couscous I add cinnamon powder, a coupler chopped preserved lemons, pepper, fermented chilly sauce, Dandelion leaves (Taraxacum officinal) and fresh lemon juice. In the middle I put my home made Tomato & Ginger sauce all this on top of my gorgeous Purple Orach leaves.

I cooked the rest in salt water and a chunk of sea weed (dried Kelp) after they had cooled I pulled the meat out and I scraped the actual hinge muscle of the shells too, I can’t bare to waste that bit it is so good and then I bottled in a brine a tinny bit of vinegar and parboiled for 20 min.

I opened one of the jars the other day and they are amazing sweet and tasty, I thought I could make them last a week but I ate them that day!
I will definitely be doing a heap of these on my coastal foraging trip.

My new Garden beds

I love my new gardens beds so thought I would share, see for years I had a great garden well it was my hole yard really, I had a little stall and sold veggies to the tourist in the area but over the years my beautiful yard was taken over by Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) …. Word of advice if you see this buggu in your garden take it seriously and try to get on top of it as soon as possible it will destroy your soil.

My New Raised

Garden Beds Early January

 

Oxalis has millions of tinny little corms and it puts oxalic acid out into the surrounding soil to stop other plants from growing, it is a great evolutionally survival of the fittest system but makes its virtually impossible to remove once established and impossible to grow plant amongst, they just wont grow it is a terrible weed, I’ve tried everything mulch, plastic covers, vinegar, salt even resorted to Glysophate but to no avail.

Wood Sorrel(Oxalis acetosella)

So the only solution I could come up with was to build raised garden beds bring in new soil and keep the actual beds totally quarantined from the surrounding ground soil. I built beds out of old tin and poles we had lying around, filled them half way up with crappy soil from the yard lined with weed mat and filled beds with new soil and manure from my grandfather’s property. I actually got this menace of a weed from sharing a rotary hoe with my grandfather the weed came from his place and I learnt a hard lesson from this “Don’t share dirty hoes…… I can’t help myself I had to say that, sorry no but seriously pressure clean any garden equipment if you are sharing it.

Any way I’m wrapped with my gardens, a lot of hard work but so worth it and now I’m not selling to the public anymore these are heaps enough for me and my menagerie…. chickens, ducks and worms!

I have been on a journey now for a coupler years of foraging and trying to live of the land as much as possible, the rest of my yard now is weed pasture that myself and my girls and two boys can graze on, I rotate them around the yard to rest areas I have a big yard.

In my beds I planted some plants I’m hoping will self-seed into the rest of the yard plant people would refer to as weeds but I look at weeds as a free nutritious food source and have been living off them for about two years now, I buy very little food these days it’s great. There is nothing more satisfying than hunting, gathering or growing your own food it is very primal and I believe deeply healing. It is great for you and the environment in general if done with respect.

My Raised Beds

1 Month Later Feb

 

In my beds I have several different beet roots as they are one of my all-time favourite root crops, I have recently discovered the joy and health benefits of Beet Kavas, a lacto fermented beet juice it is fabulous.

I also have in Purple Orach, Zucchini’s, Sweeds, Carrots of all different colours, Peppermint for tea, Kale, I give a lot of that to my girls they love it I also ferment a bit here and there for myself and it is a good textured hardy green for stews etc, Squash, Parsnips yum, Snap Peas, normal Peas, Scarlet Runner Beans.

The more unusual plants are Amaranth for grain, I don’t really like the leaves, Salsify black and white, I’m hoping this will go feral in my yard, I’ve also collected lots of seeds of this from feral plants around here and thrown it all threw my yard, it is a delicious root veggie, Sorghum for grain but I didn’t realize it is sterile when I bought it so it wont go feral unfortunately, it is hard to get some plant here in Tasmania because our quarantine is pretty strict and lastly Burdock that I also wish to go feral, well I haven’t actually tried this yet but read a lot about it and it sound good.

The weeds that have come up in my new soil that I eat are Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) Fat Hen (Chenopodium album) Night shade (Solanum nigrum) I will talk about this later in detail ok, these are all very welcome weeds in my yard and on my plate!

I already have Broad Leaf Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) Curly Leaf Dock (Rumex crispus) Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) Mustards (Barassica sp.) Dandelions (Taraxucum officinal) False Dandelions (Hypochaeris sp.) Chick Weed (Stellaria media) Smooth Sow Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus) Nettles (Urtica dioica) Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) Bitter Cress (Cardamine hirsuta) Horse Radish (Armorica rusticana) Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) Apple Mint (Mentha sp.) and a bigger leaved mint. WOW when I list them all I have a few, no wonder I haven’t had to buy food and this is all without what I actually go foraging and hunting for in my local area…. My new raised gardens are just a bonus really for root crops that need softer soil and plants I can’t have in with my Ravenous mob of girls!

Todays Harvest

My yummy dinner

 

I have been taking some of my Orach and Beet leaves to a friend here in my home town that has a cafe and accommodation, she loves the leaves and has been mixing them with lettuce for salads, they just give salad a different texture and great earthy taste, some balls you might say! I find lettuce quiet plain without these extras. I also add Dandelion leaves and flowers to liven up my salads. She “B” brews me up a nice coffee and tries to feed me up every time I take something up, B is a chief so it is good to bounce of her and she doesn’t mind being a Guinea pig for my recipes so bonus.

I love seeing people enjoy and appreciate my food, fresh or cooked I think it is one of the most loving interment things you can do for someone to feed them and it gives me immense pleasure too.

So today was my first real harvest for myself from my new veggie patch, I pulled some baby Sugar Beets, Snap Peas, Scarlet Runner Beans and Smooth Sow Thistle, I threw all this together with some bought pasta and my home made Red Wine and Tomato sauce from last season, I love simple foods and when it is so fresh and healthy you don’t need to make it complicated, I washed all this down with my Rose Hip Kombucha mixed with my Elderflower Lemon syrup, sweet sour and tangy just perfect with the earthyness of this dish, I’m really looking forward to some yummy meals this summer….  Cheers 🙂