Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

'Warrigal Greens', 'New Zealand Spinach' Tetragonia tetragonioides

This grows particularly well in our garden and we always have new plants coming up if anyone would like some. It is used anywhere that Spinach is used, in Filo Pastry with Pine Nuts, Fetta and Ricotta, in Stir Fries, Soups, Pies, Salads.

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Comment by Dianne Caswell on June 9, 2016 at 20:47

My Goodness James, You must have been potting in the dark.

Comment by James Rosenlund on June 9, 2016 at 20:10

Dianne :- the half dozen seedlings you gave me last Tuesday were potted as soon as I got home and are looking good, so I'll plant them out when they're well established. Thanks for your generosity.

Comment by Christa on June 6, 2016 at 15:04

Dave, See if you can borrow it.  I have seen it for sale for over $100, it is not a thick book but holds good info.

Comment by Dave Riley on June 6, 2016 at 14:11

Wild Herbs of Australia and New Zealand is in the Moreton BRC library system but not the BCC.

Comment by Christa on June 6, 2016 at 12:06

Let me know if you are unable to borrow from your library, it is hard to get hold of.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on June 6, 2016 at 11:55

Perhaps this book could help me as well Christa, I will have to look into it.

Comment by Christa on June 6, 2016 at 11:50

Dave, I have been reading up about this the last couple of days, by coincidence.  Tim Low's book "Wild Herbs of Australia and New Zealand" has a good write-up on these subjects.  The book is quite expensive to buy, I don't know why.  It is very interesting, he shows which plants are high in different toxins etc.  Alkaloids, cyanide, oxalates, nitrates and nitrites and tannins. The plants are set in groups A. B C etc., indicating which plants that do not contain these items.   It would be an excellent book to obtain at a library, if possible.  It has quite a deal of relavant info about the greens that I have heard you say, that you consume. 

My own reason for this interest, is that some foods are high in oxalates and this can affect my kidneys etc., and also my problem is having too many foods with Vitamin K.  From what I have been reading, some greens can rob you of certain vitamins and minerals, in the process of absorption.  So I have been trying to eliminate the greens that are problematic for me. 

Comment by Dave Riley on June 6, 2016 at 9:28

I'm just a hobbyist, Dianne, with self interest in mind.

Iron is so darn difficult to take in as it's so fickle. I don't have any issues with it but I do partake of lambs fry keenly. (Dead animal liver is a vitamin and mineral powerhouse.) 

But, as you know, taking iron orally, even chelated,  isn't very efficient. Injections -- which I've given -- are like driving solder into flesh (and they stain the skin  like tattoos) -- thus the zigzag technique.

Intravenously -- wow! -- like an Iron Lady.

But looking at the options maybe fermenting a food or two (like capsicum) is worth considering. I have a simply gorgeous sweet pepper paste fermenting at the moment. 

It's an easy DIY -- just salt and produce -- and a dab here and there goes well on many menus. And if absorption is compromised by your gut microbial demographic (but that's not necessarily the case), then eating live ferment is a big plus.

As for the specific critter I mentioned -- Oxalobacter formigenes -- I see where related probiotic supplements are available -- but not locally. 

Comment by Dianne Caswell on June 6, 2016 at 7:00

You are full of knowledge and goodness (or not so goodness) of foods. I wish I had a few hours to sit down with you and discuss these issues as you may be able to give me some hints on what I should or should not be eating for my health problems. Couldn't work out why I am so tired, I am anaemic and need to have an Iron infusion on Tuesday.

Comment by Dave Riley on June 5, 2016 at 23:56

As a follow up --and of interest to fermenters and oxalate sufferers:

First, this is not a question over which there are legions of food science dissertations. There simply is not a lot of literature on home fermentation.

However, there is a nice little article that suggests fermentation is a great strategy to reduce oxalic acid. A 2005 study of carrot juice examined the soluble iron in fermented and unfermented juice and found the fermented carrot juice to be up to 30 times more absorbed than unfermented juice. The authors argue that it is the reduction in metal chelators (phytic acid and oxalic acid) that drives the change in availability of iron. They actually test for phytic acid and show that it is completely removed with fermentation. Carrots are known high oxalate foods and it is likely that removal of oxalates drives much of this added iron availability.

As a result, the evidence suggests that both fermentation and boiling are fairly effective strategies to reduce oxalic acid in your food. Of course, the key benefit of fermentation is that the food can stay raw, giving you all of the benefits of rawness with the mineral binders.

The oxalic acid obsession is most important for people relying on oxalate foods for their mineral content or people prone to kidney stones. We took care to reduce oxalic acid in our green soups because we were making gallons of concentrated greenness. Some people have raw green smoothies every day with no issue at all. If that is you — fantastic. There is so much goodness in greens any way that you prepare them, that we all really need to find more ways to eat them that meet our own specific circumstances. Fermentation is just one possibility.[SOURCE]

That green leafy vegetables, like the oxalic acid greens, go gooey when fermented is a drawback but I'm chasing workarounds.When you soak dried beans prior to cooking -- as you should -- you are actually fermenting them. 

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GrowVetiver

Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.


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