Curing Sweet Potatoes in a Tent!

Sweet potatoes must be one of my most favourite vegetables. This was the first year I’d had a chance to grow them; Sow True Seed kindly provided a selection of slips – All Purple Organic, O’Henry and Beauregard. The vines quickly took over the garden, sending out runners like Triffads. I didn’t realise until late on…

If sunflowers had teeth…

…then this one could have bitten my head off! I’ve read Day of the Triffids by John Wyndam and watched the BBC adaptation and it’s enough to know that I’m glad plants can’t walk (notable exception: walking onion!) and most of them are not carnivorous. Sunflowers may be one of the most anthropomorphized plants out there, a…

How To Eat Mushrooms Without Dying

I’ve just finished reading The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. It is a terrifying post-apocalypse book that made me cry on a plane before I was even half way through. It’s all the horrific tension of Cormac McCarthy’s, The Road, but with real, raw emotion. It made me dream of superflu pandemics and quarantine areas,…

Nature Eats Nuture

It has recently occurred to me that my nightmares of impending and horrific doom occur daily in the garden. Albeit, on a smaller scale, but terrifying and destructive for the players involved. It’s a warzone out there. Over the course of a week, three different neighbours told me they’d found the remains of a dead chick in their garden….

Growing Potatoes in Straw

I’ve been digging raised beds for weeks. I’ve started making protein shakes out of bananas, peanut butter and chocolate soy milk, just so my body doesn’t fall apart. My soil is pretty much clay; it sticks to the spade and I have to stamp it off like I’m squishing a bug. I’m worried about the…

Sow True Seed

  I have a lot to say about this seed company, but for now, just let me give you a glimpse of the future of food:   I have some digging to do…

Backyard Pesto

Some awesome post-Apocalypse skills went into this little jar of green, nutritious delight. First, allow me to rebuff the pesto purists (and Apple Mac’s internal dictionary) by telling you that pesto does not require basil and pine nuts. This is a lie told to you by capitalist grey squirrels who pay red squirrels peanuts to…

My Feta Will Last Forever

A few days ago I froze parsley, but I was concerned that it will melt, wither and die when the electricity fails. Fortunately, my feta will last forever. Forever Feta is really very easy: Into a jar, layer feta cheese, any herbs you think will taste good, pepper and chilli (if you think the post-Apocalypse…

Preparing for the Apocalypse (or how to freeze parsley)

I met a lovely slightly scary lady who believed the end of society as we know it is pretty dam close – food and transport infrastructures are on the brink of collapse and the fall of government and the economy wont be far behind. Apocalyptic Lady: it wont be long now. Me: the end? Apocalyptic…

Getting to know ‘Hen of the Woods’

I recently attended a Wild Foods Workshop at Meanwhile Back in Saluda. When Alan Muskat (popularly know as The Mushroom Man) told us we were going to have lots of conversations with the plants, I knew we’d get along. Me: hey pretty plant. Plant: hi there. Me: Chris, Chris Smith. When you say it fast…