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.

The Guild of Oca Breeders seeks new members!

Oca Flowers

Towards the end of 2014 I received an email from Rhizowen inviting me to be part of an oca breeding club. I know Rhizowen from ‘gardening Twitter’ as the source of knowledge on all things botanical, plus sender – to my delight – of rare edible plants. In fact his tweets have probably influenced my […]

Winter Harvest

Winter harvest of perennial vegetables

Harvested from the allotment today! In the box:   (Top row from left) Patience dock Three-cornered leek Daubenton kale Sea beet (Middle row from left) Wild cabbage Garden sorrel Variegated wintercress Chicory Perennial leeks (Bottom row from left) Watercress (In the pot) Jerusalem artichokes (In the pot) Caucasian spinach shoots Salad burnet Alexanders Portuguese kale […]

Evergreen Christmas Salad

Kale, hazelnut and apple salad

Here’s an easy salad using perennial Daubenton kale….. ….plus a little vinaigrette, some chopped sorrel leaves, a handful of toasted hazelnuts and a couple of chopped sweet apples. I made it by the scrunching method where chopped kale is sprinkled with a little sea salt and then squeezed and massaged with the hands for a couple […]

Fermenting Perennial Vegetables

This is very much an experiment as I’m new to fermenting vegetables. I can make sauerkraut now and feel confident that it will turn out to be very palatable. And I’ve tried Jerusalem artichokes with ginger and garlic which worked fairly well too. I left the artichokes in quite large chunks and, although I liked […]

Many Ways to Feed the Garden

Perennial vegetables don’t necessarily need a lot of feeding. They are often less hungry than annual vegetables because their deeper, more extensive root systems can mine more soil for food. And because they are less likely to have been bred to grow as much as possible in a short time. But a bit of deliberate […]

Potentially Perennial Tubers

Mashua and oca tubers

To my mind, ‘replant perennials’, such as the potato, where the perennating tubers are generally replanted in spring because they might not survive the cold of a British winter, don’t quite cut it as perennial vegetables. They almost do, as planting tubers in spring is still a lot easier than sowing seeds and nurturing far more vulnerable […]

Skirret Update 3

It’s my fifth year growing skirret and my second year trying to improve the stock by sowing seeds from the best plants. Skirret I don’t have any stunning results to report this year but I did harvest plants with fairly fat roots grown from the seed collected last year. One-year-old skirret plant The roots were […]

Autumn Harvest

Harvested from the allotment today! Autumn harvest of perennial vegetables   In the basket:   (Top row from left) Portuguese kale Scorzonera roots Chicory greens Wild cabbage (Middle row from left) Ewiger kohl Daubenton kale Variegated wintercress Jerusalem artichokes – Dwarf Sunray Buck’s horn plantain (Bottom row from left) Sea beet Pink Jerusalem artichokes Variegated […]

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 […]