Growing Galangal, Tumeric, Ginger and Lemongrass from the Supermarket

Ah, the joyous celebration to be found in fresh, homegrown aromatics!  Not only not do they look lush and tropical, their perfume fragrances every part of the plant, not just the familiar culinary bits. When you brush up against lemongrass or walk through a thicket of lush galangal leaves, a gentle aroma is released. Im told…

Growing and eating Onion as a Perennial Crop

In the supermarket we usually only see onions that have been grown as annuals from seed because you get the biggest bulbs this way. However, onions are like daffodils, they propagate both by seed and under the ground by forming new bulbs that are usually smaller. You can plant sprouting onions from the pantry and…

Rocket (Arugula) for Salad Leaf, Smoothies and Flowers

I’ve got rocket in the garden about to flower, rocket in my veggie boxes for salad and rocket setting seed up at Katoomba after gracing the cold winter months with her pretty white tumbles of flowers. Rocket is a good value plant for sure. It’s part of the brassica family, so it has that punchy…

Growing Radishes for their Pods and Flowers

I never was a fan of radishes till I started growing my own and trying different varieties. I’ve grown French breakfast because they’re so pretty, cherry bell for the same reason, black Spanish radishes and long white Japanese radishes. ┬áMost of them ended up on the plate at Bei Amici and Felix transformed them into…

Identifying and grouping plants by their first leaves

Do you ever plant seeds and forget what they were? This mystery seedling is different to other plants I have observed lately. The cotyledon or first pair of leaves are long and thin with rounded tips, similar to the giant winter spinach seedlings. The next pair of leaves are oval and broad and quite fleshy,…

The edible garden. Heritage blood carrot flowers

I bought lots of plants with me when I left the farm to their new location in Katoomba. Chives, radish, shallot, onion, garlic, mustard, horseradish, red veined beet leaves, lemon balm, artichoke and of course the amazing orange inside, blood outside carrot. It amazes me how hard it is to grow a good carrot. My…

Comfrey

Comfrey is an amazing plant and well worth cultivating. It is one of the best sources of allantoin, a cell regenerator, which is great for the skin and also internal tissues. It’s common names tell it all- heal all, boneset, knit bone, bruisewort. Comfrey Poultice The leaves can be used to make a very effective…

Lavender Salt Rub

I decided I wanted to make a Lavender Salt yesterday and made a quick note to obtain some for my Spa Garden. Today I had an invite from a new friend to visit my local community garden and we happened upon a broken piece of a very nice lavender which I am, as of this…

Rosemary Vinegar

Herbal vinegars are easy to make and have been a traditional way to quickly preserve vital herbs through winter. <a Today I am making a Rosemary Cider Vinegar for my hair treatments, but this and other herb vinegars are also excellent in salad dressings and sauces. My favourite is a good french tarragon vinegar, but…

Autumn Booster for the Garden Veggie Patch

This year I am growing in new beds at Katoomba where the soil is sandy and nutrient compromised. Despite personal reservations, I thought I should at least experiment with making an Autumn soil booster to get settled in, ready for the up coming busy Spring. A good gardener, like a good parent, also considers and…

Radish flowers as a garden element

We use mainly edible / medicinal plants in our gardens, so use them for their decorative as well as culinary potential. This mass of flowers were radishes I let go to seed. One day I was tasting the flowers (which are good) and then tried one of the new pods that follow the flowers. Wow!…