The Backyard Larder

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

Caught on the Hop

You can sow hops seeds now. This was brought to my attention by a recent post on What to sow in October by The Unconventional Gardener. Sown now and planted in a favourable spot, a hop plant could be giving a harvest of hop shoots in 2018. The young shoots of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus) are […]

Scorzonera and Skirret in September

It occurred to me the other day that as I’m growing some root crops (such as scorzonera and skirret) perennially, there isn’t really any need to wait until the end of their annual growing season to dig some up. In harvest terms I’d been thinking of them as annual root crops but there should be […]

Cut-and-come-again Perennial Vegetables.

The familiar sowing, planting, thinning, weeding and harvesting routines of the annual vegetable garden don’t all apply with perennial vegetables – but I’m discovering new routines that do! One of these is chopping the plants down to give a fresh harvest of tasty leaves. It’s very useful with plants such as Good King Henry, Turkish […]

Everlasting Cabbage

The plant in this photo came to me as ‘Ewiger kohl’. This is not exactly a variety name. It is German for ‘everlasting cabbage’ and was probably used in the past in the same way as ‘perennial kale’ is used now. Ewiger kohl, true to at least the spirit of its name, is a reliably […]

Summer Harvest

Harvested from the allotment today! Summer harvest of perennial vegetables In the basket: (Centre) Globe artichokes Horseradish greens (large leaves, top left) (moving clockwise) Welsh onions Buck’s horn plantain Day lily buds (in front of plantain) Garden sorrel Variegated Daubenton kale Wild cabbage (in front of wild cabbage, centre outwards…) Turkish rocket, bladder campion and […]

Weeding the Wintercress

I’ve had to do some heavy weeding on a couple of my perennial vegetable beds – those beds which I’ve neglected to either plant with a weed-suppressing ground-cover or to mulch with sufficient grass cuttings or compost or the like! Luckily things sometimes survive beneath the weeds and I was pleased to rescue some young […]

Tofu Stir-fry with Horseradish Greens

We had a tofu stir-fry for tea. It was made with several perennial vegetables including one I hadn’t tried before – horseradish leaves. I had to hack back some weeds to find my horseradish plant but it seemed to have survived quite well. Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a vigorous long-lived plant and (as I have now […]

Artichoke ABC

Are your globe artichokes in bud? Have one for lunch! Cut off enough stalk so that it will fit in a steamer. Steam until a scale detaches effortlessly from the bud when you pull it. (This 10cm diameter artichoke took about 25 minutes.) Starting near the stem (and discarding the first round or two of […]

How fast can a climbing spinach climb?

In July 2015 I had a bit of fun seeing how fast Hablitzia tamnoides, the Caucasian climbing spinach, was scrambling up the trellis on the garden wall. I posted the results on Stephen Barstow’s Friends of Hablitzia tamnoides Facebook group. 40cm in 3 days – more than 0.5cm an hour! I’ve just repeated the experiment and the […]

Floret Frittata

I made a frittata with florets, flower buds, flower sprouts, broccolis, (call them what you will!). They came from sea kale…….. Good King Henry…. and Turkish rocket…. They were steamed for few minutes until just tender, and then stirred into a bowl of four beaten eggs seasoned with chopped garlic chives and salt and pepper. […]