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.


A secret seed club and invisible allotments! Ssh! But if you want to know more, read on…..

Ali’s Alliums

Edible Allium bed

It’s been all change at my perennial vegetable allotment recently. I’ve been relocating plants to make room for two ‘sand beds’ for plants which haven’t been doing so well in the clay soil, but also to establish a bed with larger colonies of the perennial leeks and onions we most like to cook with. Here […]

Trying perennial cardoon shoots – unblanched!

Young cardoon shoot

Last June I wrote a post about blanching perennial cardoons earlier in the year than the autumn blanching recommended for plants sown in the spring. Why? Because perennially grown plants are already full and leafy by mid-spring. I had a bit of a problem with tough leaf stalks though, and so will be starting soon […]

Cooking Great Camas

Camassia leichtlinii ssp leichtlinii

I’ve been steaming great camas (Camassia leichtlinii). This bulbous perennial is one of two main Camassia species which are highly regarded food plants for indigenous peoples of North America (the other being common camas, Camassia quamash). Of the six Camassia species these two are the most widely ranging (occurring in Western North America from British Columbia […]

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 […]