Last year I ordered myself a packet of the Organic Gardening Catalogue’s wild edible plant mix. It says it contains:
Leaves for Cooking: Charlock, Chickweed, Common Bistort, Common Comfrey, Common Mallow, Common Orache, Common Sorrel, Fat-hen, Garlic Mustard, Good King Henry, Greater Plantain, Red Clover, Red Valerian, Sea-beet, Yellow Rocket.
Stems for Cooking: Alexanders, Lesser Burdock, Milk Thistle, Sea kale.
Roots for Cooking: Goat’s beard, Lesser Burdock, Marsh-mallow, Pignut (to be eaten raw), Sea Holly, Wild Carrot, Wild Parsnip.
It looks like this:
Sow I sowed it into a container and left it to its own devices. Some seedlings came up, and I left them to their own devices. By December it looked like this:
I thought about trying to identify the plants and pot them on, honestly I did, but I never got around to it.
I did move them into the shed when it rained a lot and they nearly drowned (that container doesn’t have any drainage…).
On Wednesday they were looking a little sad in the shed – either drooping from the cold or from being too dry. So I brought them into the kitchen and watered them.
And they flowered.
So now I have daisies blooming in the kitchen! These are Bellis perennis, and yes – they are edible. Sacred Earth has ideas for foraging and using daisies, and Eat Your Weeds has a lovely recipe for Sautéed daisy greens with roasted baby beetroot.
We are not like other people.
— Emma Cooper (@emmathegardener) March 2, 2018
Clearly I need to plant mine out and encourage them to spread a little! I am pondering the best place for them in the garden.
Whether there’s anything else growing in the container is hard to determine; I don’t know whether anything else will germinate, either. Wild plant germination can be a little erratic.
Mat Coward (@StarGardening) is crowd-funding a new gardening book called Eat Your Front Garden: How to grow your own invisible allotment, which should be a good read for anyone who likes to keep their plant geek flag flying under the radar. It’s aimed at anyone who wants to grow their own food, and would like to make use of their front garden, but don’t want it to look like a vegetable patch. Mat will be introducing us to the idea of crypto-vegetables, 30 plants which produce edible crops but can ‘pass’ for ornamentals. Whether he will include some tips on stealth harvesting, to maintain the illusion, remains to be seen!
Whether or not we ever get to see this book in print is up to us – if we fund it, Unbound will print it! You can pledge your support from £10. The future is in your hands 😉
— Emma Cooper (@emmathegardener) March 3, 2018