Hello, and welcome to Tendrils. There was worrying news, last week, that the Svalbard seed bank had been flooded due to unexpected melting of the permafrost – a direct result of climate change. What actually happened was more of a damp squib. Record rainfall last year seeped into the hallway, and then froze solid. They’re making some changes to make sure that doesn’t happen again, but in the meantime the seeds are all completely unaffected.
Also worrying was the news that consumers throw away 40% of bagged salad. I’ll admit to buying bagged salad, but we do eat it; if it goes a bit past its best I throw the remains into something I’m cooking. We’re just finishing the last bag of the season, though, as there will be fresh salad leaves from the garden from now on.
On the other hand, we have the chef that made such a delightful dish out of Seared Romaine Lettuce Bottoms that they had to come up with a new recipe to use all the lettuce leaves that were otherwise wilting and going to waste.
Elsewhere in the world, Paticheri has been discovering some local weeds that are used in herbal medicine, but are also eaten. There’s a great recipe for indravalli dosa, for anyone who lives in the right climate….
It may be hot here at the moment, but it’s still temperate, so the weeds we’ll be finding will lend themselves more to such delights as The Stinger in the Rye: a Foraged Nettle Cocktail, and crispy fried stinging nettles.
Of course, we also get elderflowers, and the Woodland Trust has been kind enough to share how to identify and use elderflowers, for those of us who haven’t got then hang of it yet.
I have orach in my salad bed this year for the first time, and the Laidback Gardener tells us that tells us that it was was one of the first vegetables cultivated by humans, known well before the time of the ancient Greeks. I’m a little jealous; there’s four vibrant colours of orach shown in that blog post. Here it’s hard enough to find one….
Speaking of ancient, an Egyptian funerary garden has been discovered, which looks an awful lot like a square foot garden….
That’s it’s from Tendrils this week. Stay safe in the sun and I’ll meet you back here next week for another batch, m’kay?
This blog post was written by Emma Cooper and was published on The Unconventional Gardener website. If you're reading it elsewhere you may want to navigate away from plagiarised content.