Tendrils: Ice Peach blossom

Hello, and welcome to Tendrils. Tomorrow the UK switches over to British Summer Time, which is great for gardeners who want to pop out into the garden after work (if I’ve got this the right way round), but means the early birds will be in the dark for a few more weeks. 100% of plants polled said they don’t notice the difference.

Last week I made a coconut rice pudding with stewed rhubarb. Whilst I fancy Rhubarb – Rosewater and Rose Petal Streusel Crumble Slices, realistically this week’s offering is more likely to be rhubarb and custard. Preceded by lots of purple sprouting broccoli.

This week the BBC ran a nice story about how how an obscure seed is helping to save the elephant, which is about a vegetable ivory substitute: tagua, the off-white coloured seeds of six species of palm trees.

The Guardian ran an even nicer one about a man who believes that adopting battery chickens saved his life.

And whilst I was writing about runner beans for The Organic Academy (sign up now for access later in the year), I discovered that runner bean flowers attract hummingbirds and got very sad the UK doesn’t have any. You can also eat red/scarlet runner bean flowers, by the way, although I am currently struggling to find out what’s wrong with the other colours, since they also come in white, pink and bi-coloured varieties.



Tendrils: 10% off Rob Smith seeds
You can save 10% on
Rob Smith’s heritage seed range this weekend, with the discount code ROB17

I’ve spotted cleavers and nettles emerging from the verges, and the horse chestnuts leafing out over my head. Now is the time to think about foraging for nettles, if you are so inclined. You may prefer to read about wild eating in the hills of Crete, but then again the promise of plum blossom chocolate truffles may drag you outside.

Continuing with the wild food theme, The Gannet has interviewed Roger Phillips.

Meanwhile, Lifehacker takes issue with free ‘bee-friendly’ wildflower seeds being handed out with breakfast cereal in the US, because they don’t take into account the different floral regions.

And it seems like a good time to remember that bees aren’t the only pollinators we should be caring for:


That’s it for Tendrils this week, but if you’re still stuck for something to read then you can download the FAO’s book on Traditional High Andean Cuisine, which includes authentic recipes for crops such as oca, ulluco, mashua and yacón. See you back here for Tendrils again next week!

What can I do? Sown in Bolton are crowdfunding an expansion to their work on an urban food project. They work with people in food poverty, aiming to give people living on housing estates the resources and support to grow their own food. If they’re successful, their new funding will enable them to work with 100 families across Bolton and develop two food hubs to teach a wider audience about the benefits of growing food.