3 Garden Things

I have a small plot at home plus some plants in containers that I try my best to keep on top of. I almost always grow from seed and adapt permaculture principles where possible to ensure a productive and sustainable garden. I like to grow a wide variety of vegetables and I acknowledge that I am lucky to have the space and time to do so. So I thought I would recommend three edible plants that are highly productive, hardy and versatile for those considering gardening that may have little time and space.

IMG_20160221_160613737

Summer crops are coming to an end. Banana tree trunks line the edge to stop the kikuyu weed getting into the garden. An old play pen rail is used for a trellis for my cucumbers.

Silverbeet aka Swiss Chard

IMG_20160228_143009663

Red and yellow stemmed swiss chard growing in a container.

Silverbeet can be grown throughout the year, the white stalk silverbeet is commonly sold however yellow and red stemmed silverbeet are easily grown and have slightly differing flavours. It’s a great leafy green to add to soups and stews, the stalks are edible too but require slightly longer cooking time (a minute or so longer). The leaves can also be chopped finely and eaten raw in salads or if you have large leaves use them for wraps, layering between vegetable bakes, or blanch them to make dolmas in replacement of grape leaves. It is highly productive and hardy and will eventually go to seed. Plant seeds every couple of months to ensure an all year round supply.

Rhubarb

IMG_20160228_143122043

Rhubarb grows amongst the native spinach.

Perhaps the most hardy in my garden and is another plant that grows all year round. The stems are the part you eat, (the leaves are poisonous, so don’t eat them – put them into your compost heap.) This plant can get quite big so if you plan to grow in a container, use a large one. We mostly stew our rhubarb and enjoy it with muesli or porridge, or for desserts like rhubarb crumble. Stewed rhubarb also freezes well.

Peas

IMG_20151016_160049284

Marcy loves eating peas straight from the garden.

I especially like growing peas because my toddler loves picking, opening and eating them. They are also good for school lunches and require no prepping or wrapping – just throw them in! Raw peas are nice in salads and freshly picked steamed peas with a little butter is delicious. Peas require a trellis to latch and climb on to so erect this first before planting so you don’t disturb the roots or other plants. If you have small children plant them in your garden or in a container where they can have easy access to so pick them. My experience with growing peas has only been in the cooler months in year with a Spring time harvest.

Those are my top three easy and versatile edible plants – please share in the comments your recommendations, I would love to hear from people!

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “3 Garden Things

    • Thanks Jenny. I’m about to plant some beans, I haven’t been a fan of beans in the past but I’m going to give them another go, because they are so versatile and produce lots. I think my toddler will enjoy picking and eating them.

      Like

      • Toddlers can be fascinated by finding colourful tasty seeds inside the pod. Today I’m plan to sow broad bean seeds in time for winter. I love this versatile crop. Bumble bees love the flowers and I get a green ‘manure’ to compost after we’ve eaten or frozen the beans.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi, I just found your blog – great stuff! I see you have NZ spinach winding it’s way through the rhubarb – that has to be another no bother veg if ever there was one. I’m a big fan of fruit and veg that look after themselves – like lemon trees and lettuces that self sow.

    Like

    • Hi Anne! thanks for reading. Yes native spinach is another effortless veg that is very versatile in the kitchen. I have used it in a variety of things. I always have to have a leafy green growing in the garden – so versatile.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s