The Alternative Kitchen Garden is Emma's gardening podcast. You can listen to any or all of the episodes straight from your browser by clicking the play button on the fancy player.
If you want to automatically listen to the latest and future podcasts, you can subscribe in iTunes or with RSS. If you want access to the whole back catalogue archive (100+ episodes), you can also do that in iTunes or with RSS.
After a long absence, the Alternative Kitchen Garden is back, with an explanation of why John Innes is all over your bags of compost, and why it’s been so long since the last show. There’s also a new segment – join me for some plant geekery in the Herbarium, where I discuss some of the horticultural and botanical news, what I’ve been reading and what I’ve been blogging about.
When you’ve listened to the show you might want to check out The Peat-Free Diet, or the musical genius of Can You Dig It?. If you’re looking for the blog posts I mentioned, the best place to start is the homepage, which has a list of the most recent posts.
Gosh, it has been nearly a year since I recorded an episode of the Alternative Kitchen Garden Show. I have been studying for a Masters degree in ethnobotany – I’m currently involved in doing the research for my dissertation, which has to be finished by September!
Once I’m done with my studies then I hope to return to recording the podcast, but in the meantime if you’d like me to break into my hectic schedule and record a new episode, you may be interested to know that I have promised to do so if I win the Capricorn Best Bleats Awards this month.
So if you’d like to hear my dulcet tones again before September – get voting! There may be some cheese in it for you, too, as everyone who votes is entered in a free prize draw.
This episode is all about eating the plants that I’ve been growing in the garden. Check out the Project:Nosh homepage on the blog for links to the individual blog entries and recipes, and while you’re there look out for Alison Tindale’s guest post on Good King Henry.
In the run up to Easter, this show is all about chocolate, which comes from the cocoa plant Theobroma cacao. I talk about its past, present and possible future. And then I take a look at some of the possible chocolate substitutes you could grow in your garden.
For scent there are chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguinea) and the chocolate-scented daisy (Berlandiera lyrata), both of which will attract beneficial insects into the garden along with the local chocaholics.
Or you could try Wood Avens (Geum rivale), White Avens (Geum canadense), Carob (Ceratonia siliqua), American sweet chesnut (Castanea dentata) or lime (Tilia spp.) if you have the right climate. And be on the look out for a new chocolate-flavoured treat from Down Under.
Although it’s Lent and some of you may have given up coffee until Easter, we’re talking about growing your own coffee plants in this show, and the various harvests you could get from them. There’s also plenty about how coffee (Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora ‘robusta’) is grown in its native habitat, and ideas of what to do with your used coffee grounds once you’ve drunk your brew. (My coffee plants came from the Eden Project shop on a recent trip to Cornwall. The Eden Project was the topic for episode 76 of the show.)
If you’re itching to get seed sowing, then take a look at The Peat-Free Diet, which contains a lot of useful information about raising plants without peat.
During the show I mention Stephen Barstow and his concept of ‘edimentals’ (ornamental edible plants); Stephen is one of the ‘plant hunters’ featured in my forthcoming book Jade Pearls & Alien Eyeballs.
For the first Alternative Kitchen Garden Show episode for 2012 I am once again opening my seed box to examine some of the forgotten treasures that lie within. And to mark the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, I have chosen plants with an oriental theme.
Find out about soy(a) beans, podding radishes, kintsai (Chinese celery), Stem lettuce, Chop suey greens, two distinctive aubergines and kiwis.
For the final episode of the Alternative Kitchen Garden Show for 2011, I’m looking at frost and the effects it has on plants and gardens in temperate climates. I also look back at the successes and failures of 2011, and look forward at some of the changes coming to the garden in 2012.
If you’d like to see the photos of Pete’s Butt City improvements to our rain water collection and storage system, click through to the blog link.
We’re delving into the herbs and spices section of my seed box this time, to see what Unsown Treasures I have found that might find a home in the garden this year. But what is the difference between a herb and a spice?
The plants covered in this show are Dill (Anethum graveolens), Cumin (Cuminum cyminum), Mistuba (Cryptotaenia japonica), Perilla (Perilla frutescens) and Cinnamon basil (Ocimum basilicum var. ‘Cinnamon’).
My trusty cumin potatoes recipe is available on the blog, and if you’re looking for those dill varieties then they’re on offer from Suffolk Herbs.
If you’re a fan of the Plants for a Future website, then please consider supporting their current fundraising campaign to help them continue with their work.
If you’d like more details about the book then I reviewed it in back in May on the blog, and Dave’s website is Selfsufficientish.com, and you can find out more about his wild food walks and other events there.
During the show Dave also gives us his top tips for peat-free gardening, and if you want to know more about making your own leaf mould (or leaf mould in the US :) then listen to episode 32 of the show or check out my latest post on the BBC Gardening blog.
If you have a few spare pennies or cents then you can help support Kew’s work at the Millennium Seed Bank – The Alternative Kitchen Garden Seed Appeal is raising enough money to save an entire wild (edible!) plant species.