Monday, 23 February 2009

WAITATI EDIBLE GARDENS (column)

WAITATI EDIBLE GARDENS (column)

by Lucy Jack

Words of WEGgiedom

HARVEST MARKETS on Mark and Rayna's porch have kicked off this year with much busyness and success. The next one will be held on Sunday March 15th, so bring and buy all your local (from Seacliff to Purakaunui) produce.

Thanks to everyone who took part and especially Mark and Rayna for hosting the event.

If you would like to be more involved in Waitati Edible Gardeners, contact me (Lucy) at waitati.edible.gardeners@gmail.com and I will put you on our 'friends' list.

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE: Official life membership to the Waitati Edible Gardeners is $5 and will entitle you to discounts on our workshops and tours. We will put the revenue generated back into subsidising future events. To become a member, email me or post $5 with your name and WEG membership in my mail box (14 Orokonui Rd). We have got a fandangly new website (thanks to Carl Scott): www.transitiontowns.org.nz/node/427. It is part of the Transition Towns movement and contains photos, info and contacts for all of our events.

If you don't do email, but still want to be involved in our events, call me on 482 1773, and I will keep you in touch via phone.

Dear Aunt Lucy,

I am interested in edible flowers, any advice?

Again I refer to the story of a man my friend met in the woods in Florida who once said (put on a thick, dubiously Southern accent) 'you c'n eat anythang, some thangs j'st taste better 'n uthers.' He was just about to eat a bobcat.

It is not entirely a case of taste when it comes to plants as some will also give you contact-dermatitis, internal haemorrhaging or epilepsy. So please, as a rule of thumb, if you don't know what it is, don't eat it. That said, lots of common things including weeds are delicious. Calendula petals are poor-man's saffron or just pretty scattered on salad. Borage flowers taste cucumbery and can be frozen in ice cubes to add to drinks. Nasturtiums are gaudy, peppery salad additions whose pickled buds are a frugal alternative to capers. Immature pansies taste like winter greens; and lavender can be crystallized or used to flavour sugar. Young dandelion buds can be fried in butter and taste a bit like mushrooms. Okra, squash, pumpkin and courgette flowers can be stuffed with all sorts of goodies and baddies (ricotta cheese, roasted veg, rice, couscous), dipped in tempura batter and fried. Other simple salad additions include the flowers of: thyme, sage, rosemary, scented geraniums, mustard and chives. Please do NOT eat azalea, crocus, daffodil, foxglove, oleander, rhododendron, lily of the valley or wisteria flowers.

XX-Aunt Lucy

From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media: voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff, Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

No comments: