Though we may struggle sometimes to get certain favourite plants to grow in our garden, I am always surprised (and sometimes frustrated) at the way some plants thrive in difficult locations outside of our carefully tended gardens. Take a look at the pic above. It’s one of our most useful seasonal plants, Chickweed (Stellaria media) growing happily in a gutter on the roof of the newsagents next to the NAB bank on Murray Street. It’s happily taking in the Sun on this Winters day, oblivious of the fact that none grew in our garden this year until I forcibly transplanted some from the wild. Plants grow best where they’re happiest and this one is obviously happiest just out of my reach!
They’re usually finished in the garden at by this time of Winter but the Blackberry Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) just keeps on producing flowers and juicy black berries. They often survive in patches in the parks and by the creeks until now, being a short lived perennial. We usually take ours out when they slow right down in the cold and the leaves go all brown and sick looking. This year though, they’re in for the long haul. Note: only eat the Black berries, not the green ones, they’ll make you sick. When the black berries fall right off into your hand, they’re ready.
I’ve a little story on pages 16-18 of the current (#252 April/May 2019) edition of Grass Roots magazine. It’s a little piece about the Australian Native edible plants we have here at Ligaya Garden and why we chose them. I hope you can grab a copy and check out our article and the many others they have in this edition
It’s an Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) that sone friendly person left by our gate. Thanks whoever it was… These are delicious! share2steem gardening via Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BsmOSc1lmbJ/
In front of the dubious looking gardener is a whole mass of Goosefoot (Chenopodium album) which was harvested today. It’s a super nutritious, hardy weed that does well in a garden. This lot are for drying so that we can continue to consume its goodness in the non-Goosefoot seasons. share2steem via Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BsCvdf9FObo/
Oxalis corniculata, or Creeping Woodsorrel is a common plant in pots over here. It seems to prefer making itself at home in potting mix at our place. A lot of folks don’t like it because ‘it’s a weed! ‘ but it’s not to me, it’s a tasty snack. It’s an Oxalis, so contains Oxalic Acid which gives it a bit of a bite. It’s not as strong a taste as other relatives in the Oxalis genus such as Soursobs but then again, everything about it is smaller and more delicate. My favourite part is the green seed pods which, at 1-2 cms in length, seem quite oversized for such a tiny plant. Pick them off and have a tangy munch. Interestingly, these seed pods are known for something else. They explode when ripe – again, something you may not think of when you see such a delicate plant. Creeping Woodsorrel is full of surprises!
I transplanted it into one of the beds immediately. It’s tough as nails and more nutritious than it’s cousin, via Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/Bpx0n5gFhct/
We’ll its time for the Woodstock of Gawler amateur herbalism, Food Underfoot! On Sept 23rd at 11ish, I’ll be taking a foraging walk through Henry Chenoweth Reserve in Gawler where we will take a look at the seasonal, local, food and medicinal herbs available. Last year, if I remember correctly, we looked at Chickweed, Dandelion, Catsear, Fumitory, Black Berry Nightshade, Plantain, Petty Spurge, Nettles, Nasturtium, Sow Thistle, Milk Thistle, Castor Oil Plant, Green Amaranth, Goose foot, Wild Lettuce and Storksbill. We discussed their food value, medicinal uses, history and environmental value. It was all pretty good. Henry Chenoweth Reserve is along the South Para River, between the Gawler Community House and The Elderly Center. It’s probably best to park in the Elderly Center car park, cross the foot bridge and meet at the seating in the pic above. From there we’ll wander and frolic to our heart’s content. One note – Gawler Council contractors do spray in this reserve. That