The Backyard Larder

A place to explore and buy perennial vegetables and other food plants.

The Backyard Larder Blog

Exploring the possibilities of the perennial vegetable garden.

Perennial Vegetables and my Inspiring Sister.

Box of perennial vegetables

We’re not ace cooks in our house. You can’t go too far wrong with fresh organic vegetables and herbs, so plenty of tasty dishes reach the table. But, although we quite like cooking, we don’t love it. So we rarely focus and plan enough for anything out of the ordinary. It is often all a […]

Sorrel and Raisin Pie

Sorrel and raisin pie

About once a year I go off my savoury vegetable tracks and blog about other uses for the plants I’m growing. I’ve often wondered how a sorrel meringue pie would turn out. But Stew is trying a vegan diet at present and I didn’t want to mess about today with the vegan meringue substitute for […]

Purple Tree Collard Crisps

Purple tree collard leaves

I wondered if purple tree collards would make good kale crisps. I tossed some shredded leaves in olive oil, salt, paprika and lemon zest and dehydrated them in a low oven to find out. They worked out just as I think they should. But it seems that I don’t really like kale crisps! I’ve had […]

Do ducks eat duck potatoes?

Boiled wapato

I’m not too sure whether ducks eat duck potatoes. The sources I read disagreed about that! But we do. Well we did for the first time last Friday evening – and they were excellent. ‘Duck potatoes’ are one name for the turions (underwater buds) of the beautiful water plant Sagittaria latifolia, also called broad-leaf arrowhead, or wapato. […]

Mashua – roasted, baked, fried and boiled.

Chopped mashua

All summer I had a vibrant looking mashua plant growing against the fence at the allotment. No flowers though until a week or two ago. And then the frost got it! Time to find out whether we like this root or not I thought, and I dug up a bunch of lovely clean tubers. It […]

Tubers on toast

Marsh woundwort tubers on toast

I’ve been having a bit of trouble growing decent-sized Chinese artichoke (Stachys affinis) tubers. This year’s harvest is an improvement on last year’s – but I need to do more to achieve the soil they desire, one which is light, well-drained and moist all year around. But I’ve found a less fussy alternative. Here is […]

Sunny side up or down?


I found a recipe for braised sunflower heads! Who would have thought it? The heads are braised in a white wine, olive oil and lemon juice mixture and then topped with ricotta cheese, herbs and breadcrumbs and baked in the oven. My attempt….(I used cottage cheese instead of ricotta). I was dubious. But wow, yes! […]

Don’t Skip the Skirret in the Stew

Skirret roots

In the early days of The Backyard Larder I wrote a guest post for The Unconventional Gardener about the perennial vegetables I’d started to collect and grow for sale. I described my attempt at making a stew just using the harvestable perennial vegetables I had growing at the time – and how it hadn’t really worked! Well […]

Introducing the Purple Tree Collard

Purple tree collard

This is a very special plant on my allotment because it took me ages to get one! I learnt about the purple tree collard probably from watching John Kohler’s YouTube videos about the perennial vegetables he grows in America. They seemed to be unobtainable here and for ages I couldn’t find anyone who would ship […]

The Silverwhips of Staithes

Wild cabbage, Staithes

Here are the promised photos of the ‘silverwhips’ of Staithes, taken on my recent visit. Silverwhips is the Staithes name for wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea) according to tour guide company Real Staithes. The curators in the amazing local museum hadn’t heard of the name, but I found references to it in a book on Staithes dialect by Arthur […]