So… I mentioned a new project. My time in this garden is now limited – by September I will be elsewhere and the garden will (hopefully) have a new owner. Some of the plants are staying, and among those are many that I have never actually eaten.
There are various reasons. I grow these plants because I want to get to know them, rather than first-and-foremost for culinary reasons. Some of them are perennials and are only now mature enough to harvest. The chaos of recent years has made it difficult to harvest the right things at the right time, and life has been too stressful to take too many culinary risks.
But it seems a shame (especially as I am off to become an ethnobotanist) to have grown so many of these edible plants without actually eating them and so I have come up with Project: Nosh*. The idea being that I will try and use as many of the edible plants in the garden as possible, given the time constraints of seasonality. I have an ever-increasing list, which I will continue to update:
Hop shoots– sadly I missed the boat on this one, as the harvest period is March and April. I only have one plant anyway, so it would have been a meagre harvest….
- Good King Henry
- French tarragon
- Curry plant Helichrysum italicum. Apparently it has ‘some culinary uses’, which doesn’t inspire confidence.
- Buckler-leaved sorrel. I tried to kill this, but it seems to be very resilient and refuses to die, so I may as well give it a go (I have tried, and eliminated, broad-leaved sorrel – the chickens were the only ones who liked it.)
- Vine leaves.
- Saffron. (Which I have harvested but not used yet. I will be gone before it flowers this year.)
- Young squash shoots. Dad has just given me a butternut squash. Given the weather and the time constraints, I am unlikely to eat any of the fruit….
- Green garlic
- Stevia. I have done no more than nibble a leaf so far.
- Poppy seeds. I’ve eaten other people’s, of course, but not my own.
- Jasmine. I used the flowers of my Jasminum sambac to scent some sugar. Assuming I can find it, I intend to use it!
- Cinnamon basil.
I have no idea how many of these I will manage to use, and I’m aiming to keep popping out into the garden to see what’s available to harvest. As I use each one I will blog it and link to the blog post from here.
If you’d like to blog along with Project: Nosh then just leave your links in the comments here or on any of the forthcoming Project: Nosh posts. If you’ve spotted something in my garden you don’t think I’ve mentioned eating yet then by all means ask me, and if you’ve got serving suggestions for any of the things I’m planning to eat then let me know!
*I have discovered that nosh is originally a Yiddish word, meaning snack or nibble :)