It was just me home for dinner the other night - a rare occasion. I headed out to the garden to harvest a flurry of greens for one of my favourite quick dinners - a stir fry, and I threw in a few big chillies into my harvest basket too this time - just because I could make it as hot as I wanted tonight. No 'little person' tongues about.
For me, there is nothing quicker than ducking out to the garden, roughly chopping the greens, tossing them in a pan for a few minutes with some coconut oil, garlic, ginger, turmeric and onion. I happened to have a little organic rice and chia leftover in the fridge from our sushi making the night before, so I tossed that in for a minute too. The whole process from walking out my door to harvest, to sitting down to eat was only 15 minutes. My favourite kind of fast food.
I'm always delighted to see how much abundance and choice there is in the garden even though I literally spent about an hour in the garden since early January. We were away for a month and now we're having a heatwave. I have been spending a lot of time looking at it from a shady spot, making lovely plans of what to do as soon as it cools off a bit (I'm loving the rain we're getting tonight - finally!)
This is what's in my clutch of leafy greens and purples. As you can see, most of it is from perennial plants, self-seeding vegetables, trees, and just a couple of things I planted before I left.
- Brazilian Spinach (perennial)
- Surinam Spinach (perennial)
- Sweet potato leaves (returning annual)
- Pumpkin leaves (self-seeding annual)
- Cranberry Hibiscus leaves (perennial)
- Okinawan spinach leaves (perennial)
- Sorrell (perennial)
- Cassava Leaves (perennial)
- Welsh Onion leaves (perennial)
- Self-seeded mustard spinach (self-seeding annual)
- Amaranth leaves (self-seeding annual)
- Red Chard (planted annual)
- Green Chard (planted annual)
- A Comfrey leaf (perennial)
- Society Garlic leaves (perennial)
- Society Garlic flowers (perennial)
- Sweet Basil (self-seeding annual)
- Purple Basil (self-seeding annual)
- Tulsi: sacred basil (perennial)
- Parsley (biennial)
- Chillies (perennial bush)
- Lemon Myrtle leaves (bushtucker tree)
- Kaffir Lime leaves (tree)
I had some turmeric and ginger on my shelf previously harvested, and I also tossed in some of last season's coriander leaves which had I blended with olive oil and froze in ice-cube trays. I am so glad I did. For me stir fries and pumpkin soup just don't taste the same without it. I've just planted some more seedlings in today, along with another dozen open hearted lettuce in my new no-dig garden.
You of course don't need to have all these particular plants. Take a look around your garden. You might actually be surprised how much food you can find that is beyond the 'typical' - broccoli leaves, carrot tops, beetroot leaves and so on. And if you haven't got into perennial greens yet, go for it. I cannot recommend them highly enough. I use them in just about every meal and they are so easy to grow and care for - a gift really!
Labels: At home working mother, family, food, foraging, gardening, no-dig garden, perennial basil, perennials, permaculture, recipes, simple living, vegan