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 Resilient Allotment

Globe artichoke and cardoon bed

It’s been a busy spring. Some kind friends have lent us a piece of land in their garden for The Backyard Larder nursery. We’ve been clearing out a greenhouse, starting off sale plants, and weeding and levelling an area for standing out beds for growing them on. I managed meanwhile to keep on top of […]

Hasty Hostas

Hosta shoots

We had a quick lunch of hosta shoots last week. The shoots were unfurling fast. I wanted to try them before they unfurled completely.

April meals

Caucasian spinach and olive pizza

Here are some of the perennial vegetable dishes we’ve had in April. (For neatness I’ve presented them as a week’s meals – but really we’ve eaten these at various times over the course of the month).


Ma'susi or fiddleheads

I had my first taste of these treasures today. They are the coiled shoots of the ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), traditionally harvested by First Nations people in northeastern North America, and introduced by them to European settlers. They are called mahsusiyil by the Maliseet peoples and ma’susi by the Mi’kmaq and known more widely as fiddleheads. They […]

2018 Review

Bath asparagus

The Backyard Larder Blog’s fifth annual review. Spring has been a long time coming this year. Even the perennial vegetable allotment is looking a bit bleak. It has been encouraging to look back at photos of exuberant growth from last year….


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 […]