Tendrils: Purple potato flowers

Hello! Welcome to Tendrils. After a politically stormy night, the UK skies have emerged neither blue nor red, but more of an attractive purple colour, such as that appearing on my Sárpo spuds right now! And the key question on everyone’s lips is: if Jeremy Corbyn does become Prime Minister, what will become of his allotment? He won’t want to let it go… waiting lists in London are notoriously long.


It will be a while before a government emerges from the mêlée, but in the meantime we need to get the environment and climate change back on the political agenda, and expose everyday climate denial. There’s a Twitter account that goes with that campaign (@EverydayDenial), but at the time of writing they hadn’t yet tweeted. Or you could just eat more porridge, which will help.

I promised the politically weary a couple of sweet treats in Tendrils today, and the first is this divine-sounding Nettle & Honey Cake (Brenneslekake), from a lovely blog in Norway that I have just discovered. The second is mashed potato fudge, which is too intriguing not to try (and a potentially winning way to make use of leftovers…).

Right, now that we’re all refreshed… here’s a lovely long read on a botanist in Lapland, which is about retracing Linnaeus’ steps and spending some time with the native Sami. Growing under the midnight sun is about the joys and challenges a female farmer faces in Alaska.

Oprah had a little trouble with her plant IDs this week…

What to do with all this Dill? #Harvestday

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on


…and got schooled by Jamie Oliver (ouch!), but now that the confusion is all cleared up she can turn some of her lovely fennel harvest into a surprisingly delicious pesto without basil. I have fennel fronds… will 2017 be the year I make my first ever pesto? (I know, I know….)

We’ve got another tropical treat from the ethnobotanist behind the Paticheri blog, Ceylon pasalai fritters for afternoon tea. I think she’s talking about Talinum triangulare.

The Nomad Seed Project is talking about Nashville breadroot (Pediomelum subacaule), which was an food for indigenous groups on the Great Plains.

We’re back to slightly more familiar terrority as Of Plums and Pignuts gives us the skinny on eating daylilies, from a British perspective. Meanwhile, the Woodland Trust looks into nettles – why they sting and whether applying a dock leaf really helps.

Ladies in the audience might want to consider raspberry leaf tea, and if you’re tossing out your old jeans you can use them to grow mushrooms instead. You might find it a bit more tricky to make sweet cicely and spruce sours, but they sound tasty. And I’ve been writing about the chocolate vine, Akebia quinata, for Lubera on Facebook, so now of course I need to find some vertical space in the garden where a pair of those can live! They are included in the current Lubera 20% discount on climbing plants….

OK, my work here is done. Enjoy your weekend and I will return with another grounbreaking Tendrils next week!




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.

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