First Forage of the Year


IMAG0667 I am having a bit of an oniony year so far : yesterday I repotted my collection of  foraged or donated onion family plants which include :

Allium ursinum : wild garlic : just coming into leaf :

An elephant garlic from last year : Allium ampeloprasum : quite big, if not quite elephantine enough to harvest

Allium proliferum : Egyptian walking onion : teeny, but the name gives me high hopes of it proliferating!

Three cornered leek : Allium triquetum : looking strong.

Then after my meeting in Walthamstow, of which more later, I cycled along the path that goes through the churchyard of St Mary’s and found this lovely patch of something definitely allious :  which I am not entirely sure which it is : it looks most like 3 cornered leek, but with flatter leaves than my potted ones : it is in the churchyard, under a tree, so maybe richer soil accounts for the difference.

I picked a handful, to make risotto, maybe, or pesto, or perhaps an adapted east end sauce for sausages like the parsley ‘liquor’ you get with eels. Any recipe suggestions greatly appreciated!

This plant is an interesting example of perennials producing useful food, when the sun has only just come out, and annuals are still mostly curled tightly asleep in their seeds : although me and my son have started some pumpkin and black bean seeds on the windowsill :IMAG0673Cute, yes, but feed us, they won’t!

My project in Walthamstow, is with a care home, to help them with their sustainable garden project : It’s an interesting one, because of the potential to change the way a large organisation looks at landscape, and even the earth : but man, is it hard going! None of the people have any knowledge of permaculture, or even organic gardening,  and are doing a hard job for quite low pay : and the last thing I want to do is increase their workload. It would be easier, I realise, to set up a site and work with a small group of like minded individuals : which is an easily funded and much trodden route : Organiclea, Edible Landscapes etc. It would be like a perennial plant, with last year’s growth to build on, rather than an annual growing from seed, in what may turn out to be stony ground. Although before I star moaning too much, it occurs to me that Perennials are largely stuck, where they put down roots, whereas the seeds of my project in its year can potentially reach further :  as far as the birds and wind will take them.

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