Different produce responds to different treatments – and some things just need to be eaten.
The list below gives a summary of which fruit and vegetables store and preserve well. It may also help in planing your edible gardening year.
- apples, pears (not early variety)
- beetroot, cabbage, carrot, garlic, kohlrabi, onion, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, swede, turnip
Good for bottling:
Makes delightful things:
- all fruits
- aubergine, cabbage, cauliflower, courgette, cucumber, onion, tomato
Can be dried:
- apples, damsons, plums
- beans, peas, tomato
- berry fruits, apples and pears (if pureed)
- broad beans, broccoli, calabrese, French beans, peas, runner beans
Lasts well on the plant or in the ground:
- artichoke (Jerusalem), beetroot, broccoli (sprouting), Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celeraic, celery, chard, chicory, kale, leeks, lettuce and salads, parsnip, swede, turnip
Eat when ready: few or no good storage preservation options
- artichoke (globe), asparagus, cardoon, radish, sweetcorn
21st-Century Smallholder – by Paul Waddington
We have started to harvest beans, including handfuls of beautiful vibrant purple ones that magically turn green when cooked. The Native Americans use a technique called the three sisters. They interplant corn, bean and squash together in a beneficial arrangement. The beans add nitrogen back into the soil, while the squash keeps the weeds out. You can plant beans through corn so that they will curl up and around the corn stalks. At the moment, our beans happily co-exist next to the corn but haven’t reached their tendrils out in their direction.
The melons are taking over one of the beds. We happily broke off our first melon, and took it back to the kitchen to slice up. We both tasted the pale white flesh and to our dismay discovered it was hard and sugarless. I looked it up in a book and worked out it was a jam melon! That’s the last pack of variety seeds I buy.
While up on the Fraser Coast, we purchased some local nuts and a few petite jars of rainforest spreads. Here’s the results of our taste test:
1. Lemon Myrtle Honey (left)- This one was a thick lemon syrupy honey. We could clearly taste the tang of the Lemon Myrtle, with a base of Eucalyptus honey. One way to identify a Lemon Myrtle tree is to crush some of its leaves, and it gives off a similar lovely sweet smell of lemons!
2. Davidson’s Plum Jam (middle) – The labels describes a “tart plum flavour, followed by a delightful tang.” We found it similar to normal plum jam and its mild taste was the most agreeable of the three. Davidson’s plum trees only grow in very limited regions of the Australian Rainforest.
3. Riberry Jam (Lillipilli Jam) (right) – The last one had a distinct taste that neither of us liked. The label says it is similar to “boysenberry and ginger”, so if you like these flavours perhaps this is the one for you. Riberries are only found in Australian rainforests on the east coast
We tried the spreads with mini pikelets for breakfast. If you would like to purchase and try any of these bush foods for yourself, visit Lemon Myrtle Refreshed’s website.