Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

We picked some greens for dinner and I thought I would post a small selection - the pak choy was left out of photo but I'm proud to have grown all the greens here! We've got Sorrel, which is going bonkers in this weather, Okinawan Spinach, Sambung, Mushroom Plant, Tatsum, and English Spinach

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on September 14, 2019 at 0:18

Nothing wrong with an electric dryer Dave.  Better now I run it in the day on my solar, but that's another story.  I quite dig on dried greens and they can be used in an awful lot of ways as a thickener.  I give you:   Ghormeh Sabzi

Comment by Dave Riley on September 13, 2019 at 21:17

Yes there's that eternal quest. Grow what you can grow but push the menu envelope.I think 'the greens' are backyard great value. That is, so long as you have the protocols to prepare them for eating.

I'm not a salad nor a green smoothie nor a stir-fry man. So I came to the greenery via a bowl of soup. From there I began to work out how I could deploy these leaves in other dishes.

According to my bibles -- those available from Green Leaf for Life -- I'm considering drying my leaves. That makes sense so long as you don't rely on an electric dryer.

A simple leaf dryer suffices..apparently.

Would suit tomatoes as well.

Comment by Travis Franklin on September 13, 2019 at 19:44

Thanks for the comments Dave, especially the one you made on July 12

Comment by Dave Riley on September 13, 2019 at 12:37

For those keen on the option, the Warrigal Greens are away big time at the moment. I think they outdo the spinachiness of spinach.

But I think these leaves should be cooked more often than not. Chaya, for instance, is an example of an oxalic acid generator  that definitely needs cooking for 15 minutes.

Even the Maya knew that about Chaya...and it has been argued  that Warrigal Greens wasn't used as bush tucker  by Aborigines because of the plant's oxalic acid  content (which is less than or about the same as English spinach.

If you don't cook them, you perhaps should limit your intake if your fam is prone to gout or kidney stones.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 12, 2019 at 15:22

LOL!  Dave, I left your place with a warrigal green and arrived home with Okinawan spinach and a nasturtium! 

Comment by Jeff Kiehne on July 12, 2019 at 12:21

Is there any difference between pak choy and bok choy  one site says pak choy has green stems  and that bok choy gets bigger but the Pak Choi  seeds i have  grow white stems and get big  so looks to be exactly the same as bok choy  plus there are many ways to spell all very confusing.

Comment by Sid Saghe on July 12, 2019 at 9:19

I don't have any Warrigal Greens at the moment, unfortunately it didn't take (which I was surprised at) so I'm going to try a sandier soil mix next time. I think Sambung is also called Longevity Spinach, I have two plants currently and I love them to death. I don't have any Ceylon Spinach for harvesting at the moment but I do enjoy throwing a leaf or two in with everything also. I just harvested a great deal of seeds and I'll be replanting come spring to get a good vine going!

Comment by Cathie MacLean on July 12, 2019 at 6:48

Good job Sid.  All that diversity contributes to good health for you and your garden.  Love it.

Comment by Dave Riley on July 12, 2019 at 0:40

I did give you a root of Warrigal Greens. But if the plant isn't 'green' it must be Okinawan Spinach...which I may have also passed onto you.

Warrigal Greens are always green except when they fade  to a slight yellowing ( for instance  when dogs pee on them -- as happens on the coast here -- or when they dry out)

This is Warrigal Greens being green -- note the hairiness of the leaves which are deployed to hold salt at bay.

This is  Longevity Spinach leaf...

and these are Okinawan Spinach leaves.

Of course a true connoisseur like me can taste the difference blindfolded as I harvest and eat them almost every day.

Just don't offer me those Ceylon or Brazilian 'spinaches' please...

As for the space issue it's a no brainer...

Stay away from Longevity Spinach as it will take off big time and clamber hither and yon if you are short on room. Longevity Spinach leaves are tougher if they aren't young. But they aren't fibrous like some other leaf green stems. They also don't have a strong flavour profile. That's good or bad ,. I eat them primarily because they are health bonzer. Thus the name.

The other two are space benign and can easily be planted among other plants and within  their shade. But the way I eat these leaves, I make sure I have a few growing.Both will take a lot of cutting back for eating purposes.

Okinawan Spinach is growing particularly good this year and the trick is to replant it via a cutting every couple of years as old stock  will get fibrous and less succulent with fewer tastier stems.

Full sun in Winter, semi shade in Summer.

Warrigal Greens are so true grit tough, they should grow anywhere.

But then, how many spinaches can a man share his life with?

Not being a Silver Beet type, I'm not gonna be a victim to the all-the-greens-that-fit program. I like what i like.

Today for a  change I harvested a mixed selection of some annual greens. So I'm not a puritan. But for your nutritional bang per mouthful these perennial spinaches are pretty awesome.

That and the 'Tree Spinach' -- the Chaya. But that one isn't so keen on Winter.

The advantage of other leafy greens is that they change the flavour palette when you combine them...and often the texture.And they are far less fickle than the average salad green.

So I'm a soup rather than a salad man.

While not a spinach, my old friend, Katuk, will grow very well in the shade.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 11, 2019 at 22:01

Trouble is, you can't fit everything Dave.  Might I be so bold as to suggest - grow what does well at your place! (Just don't assume every spot in your yard is the same.) 

I also realised that I need to share a photo and get you to tell me what the hell it is!  LOL.  After seeing your photo, the "Warrigal" "Green" I got from you is not Warrigal.  Hell, it's not even entirely green! 

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