Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Edible Landscaping

My sister, a Master Gardener in California, introduced me to Rosalind Creasy. She has several books on growing and cooking with herbs, heirloom fruits and vegetables and a new book on Edible Landscaping. We plan to transform our front landscaping into an edible landscape this spring and summer, so it came out just at the right time! I've also checked out several books on edible landscaping from the library as well as finding information online. We're planning to use eggplants, tomatoes, rosemary, swiss chard, lavender as ornamental and edible plants and thyme as ground cover. 

Wheatsville has some amazing heirloom seeds from Seed Savers that they have handpicked for our area. They also carry Seeds of Change seeds which I've used with great success in our garden.

Additionally, look at your local nursery for organic, locally grown transplants. Breed & Co. carries transplants from Gabriel Farms. Johnson's Backyard Garden (you can order yours online here and pick it up at several locations around Austin) will be having a transplant sale on March 5th from 10-1 and Sunshine Community Gardens is having a transplant sale on March 5th from 9-2. 

What to do with your harvest? Here are a few ideas from Rosalind Creasy (books available at the public library and BookPeopleand some of my Internet research on what to do with herbs in your edible landscape. 

Also, check out Judy Barrett's Homegrown Texas website and book, What Can I Do With My Herbs?

Herb Blends and Pestos

Rosemary - preserve in vinegar or oil breads, pizza, pork marinades, roast potatoes

Sage - stuffing, saltimbocca, tomato sauces, roast potatoes, white beans w/garlic, tempura

Thyme - fish dishes, soups, stews, salad dressings & marinades, add under poultry skin, add to mint tea, preserve in vinegar or oil

Hyssop - flavor of anise/rooot beer, great with mushrooms, edible flowers

Basil - pestos, sauces, soups, infused oils

Borage - cucumber flavor, salads, soups, edible decorations, remove hairy sepals w/left hand grasp the stem and w/right hand pinch the middle of the start and pull, flower should separate from sepals intact

Chamomile - best for making tea, petals in salads

Chives - in goat cheeses, soups, mashed potatoes, chive butter

Cilantro - toast seeds before grinding, use roots for Thai dishes

Lavender - drinks, jellies, souffles, sorbets, salads, soups

Mint - with chocolate, tea, tabouli

Oregano/Majoram - pasta sauces, chile relleno, pork stew

Parsley - soup, stew, new potatoes

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