Tendrils: Blackberry/bramble flowers

Hello, and welcome to the final Tendrils editions for June 2017. The hedgerows are full of the promise of blackberries to come, and apparently we should be saying cheers to Irish cherries. There’s some interesting food pairing ideas for cherries there, and a basic recipe for pickling them, but no ideas for keeping the birds off your crop if you grow your own! Paticheri has a very seductive post on growing your own ground cherries for a rustic chocolate almond torte, which should have everyone wanting to grow them next year, if only for a (very good) excuse to make chocolate torte….

Great Italian Chefs have shared how to cook fennel, which also includes some suitable flavour pairings, and the Guardian has been exploring whether seaweed is really a superfood.

The Small Harvest Notebook by Emma Cooper

The Land Institute tells us about Kernza┬«, a perennial grain crop, and the benefits of perennial crops in agriculture. Kernza┬« is the first perennial crop they’ve introduced commercially, but researchers are working on others, including perennial wheat, rice and sorghum, and wild sunflowers.

Whilst we’re getting to the root of things, we can take a look at ‘Barida’, a medieval Arab recipe with ancient Roman roots. And Nature has an article on Joseph Dalton Hooker, the man who made botany a profession. And the New York Times uncovers the lost gardens of Emily Dickinson, who was more famous during her lifetime as a gardener than she was as a poet.

Anna Atkins deserves to be more famous, for her pioneering work taking photograms or cyanotypes (a forerunner to photographs) of botanical specimens. I think she would have appreciated a new community repository of plant illustrations for plant scientists.

Moving from the past to the present, Splendid Table has a recipe for curried Thai collards with crispy shallots. It says that collards are becoming the latest “it” vegetable, but refrains from calling collards the new kale. Collard greens aren’t common here in the UK, but they’re loose-leaf cabbage cultivars, a bit like spring greens.

That’s it from Tendrils this week, but if you require more weekend reading, you can download a copy of Kathleen Jannaway’s vegan classic First Hand, First Rate pamphlet from SpiralSeed. First published in 1974, it has been out of print for many years. Which will be the perfect accompaniment to a plant of plant cheese. See you next month!