Cooking with our native plants and propagating some more!

It’s an exciting time for our garden – the bush foods and potatoes we planted last year are finally big and strong enough to harvest and cook with. It’s also the time of year to propagate native seeds. So we have been busy kitchen gardeners!!

Native propagating

With a view to planting down at the Merri Creek in spring, we propagated poa, lomandra, wattle, clustered everlasting flowers and callistemon from locally gathered seeds. Thank you to Elissa for also coming to teach the students how to propagate native species such as goodenia from cuttings.

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Lettuce seed gathering

The wonderful thing about forgetting to harvest your lettuce in time is that it goes to seed and makes hundreds of seeds for your next crop.

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Potato, rosemary and salt bush focaccia

 

Native Spinach and Salt Bush fritters

Whenever we cook, I am delighted that there is always enthusiastic requests for the recipe, so here it is, plus some photos of the happy harvesters, cooks and eaters! Fritters are a wonderfully flexible recipe – a base of flour and egg and then add in whatever else you have on hand (grated zucchini, chopped greens, herbs, corn – the list is endless). We wanted to try our native foods and potatoes and they worked wonderfully.

Ingredients:

  • Large handful of Warrigal Greens (Native Spinach) – blanched in boiling water for 1 – 2 minutes, drained and chopped
  • 1 small potato – boiled and grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • Few leaves of salt bush – finely chopped
  • Sprinkling of cheese (we used parmesan but fetta, ricotta and cheddar will also work)
  • Butter or oil for frying

Method:

Stir all ingredients together. Mixture should be quite sloppy. You can add a tiny splash of water or milk if needed. Melt butter or warm oil in a frying pan. Spoon mixture onto hot pan into blobs about 5cm wide. Cook approximately 2 minutes each side and serve.

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