Saturday, June 20, 2015

Accidental food aka sow your own weedy edibles.

One way to supplement your diet without actually having to do any gardening is to encourage the growth of edible weeds. Every year we end up with lots of Italian parsley and nettles. In the above picture is also sow thistle and chickweed, both high in minerals. Dandelion is another useful edible weed we have that looks after itself. These are all just growing in the paths around the back yard. 
Many common weeds are quite edible and some even have simple medicinal uses if prepared correctly.

Other plants that can become established by allowing them to go to seed are rocket, lettuces, amaranth, mustards, mizuna, some of the Asian leafy greens.. there's more, too.

Of course, you need to make sure you have correctly identified the plant before you eat it. Oh, and that the dog hasn't weed on it. Foraging is a great thing to get into, but please be aware of roadsides being potentially sprayed with herbicides and possibly heavy metal content may be higher from particulates from vehicles or industrial exhaust.

There is a beautful book written by a local Permaculture teacher, called The Odd Fodder Cookbook that is all about how to safely forage for weeds. It's fantastic to see people making better use of the resources around us. 

Enjoy the rains and go see what new tasty foods you can find to try out.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rats. grrrr...

Rats, the scourge of our attemps to grow food in our garden. Their repeated onslaught into our brassicas, clearing kale and battering broccoli finally wore me down last summer, then of course summer comes. Hot and dry and much too long, still with very little rain compared to 'the old days'. It is not great trying to garden when you feel bad about any water you are using. 

We stopped growing anything the rats like and I have been trying to remove places they can hide. Walking out the other day I saw this confetti-like stuff. 

Weird green shavings and leaflets from the honey locust.

Rat poo and rat shavings. 

Looking up , I realised it was shavings from the stems of the dragon fruit above. Obviously not very tasty and they must be quite desperate to be chewing on that. 

Poxy rats have chewed all the green part off this cactus stem.
We bought some kale and broccoli seedlings the other day and have put cut off plastic bottles around each one for now, but I'm not sure what we'll do as they get bigger.. pesky rodents.