Rural Missouri - March 2011 - (Page 18)
ough economic times have spurred a comeback for fruit and vegetable gardening. More and more electric cooperative members with little or no gardening experience are looking to their yards as a source of produce. Once gardens were planted out of sight for aesthetics, but the resurgence of a trend to use edible plants as ornamentals is reshaping the face of gardening. Planting produce in front yards and along walkways adds convenience and accessibility. Simply put, edible landscaping puts food-producing ornamental plants in the home landscape. Most edible plants need well-drained soil and a minimum of six hours in full sun daily, but some tolerate partial shade. Do some research into the potential plant to make sure you pick the proper location. Nasturtium, Jerusalem artichokes, paw aw, Swiss chard, chives and daylilies are a few examples of commonly grown ornamental plants that double for attractive landscapes and the dinner table. Here are four examples of tasty landscaping plants and recipes:
by John Bruce firstname.lastname@example.org
Higher in protein than other fruits and boasting ﬂavorful hints of mango and banana, the American native pawpaw tree’s fruit looks tropical. Paw paws resemble mangoes and grow in clusters like bananas. The pawpaw is native to the Midwest and grows in temperate climates. It can be found growing wild in river bottomlands south of New England to Georgia and west to Nebraska.
and casseroles. Regular picking encourages repeat blooms.
2 cups biscuit mix 2/3 cup 2 percent or skim milk 1/4 cup melted butter 3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese 1/2 cup ﬁnely-chopped fresh chives Toss ingredients in a large bowl. Turn out onto a ﬂoured surface. Roll to 1 inch thick. Cut into 12 squares. Space apart on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
Gardeners and gourmets are rediscovering the delicious daylily. Not to be confused with true lilies, daylilies grow from tuberous, ﬂeshy roots rather than bulbs. Daylilies have been eaten for centuries in Asia where they originated. The tuber-like roots can be eaten raw or added to salads, soups and stews. The ﬂavor is similar to asparagus. The buds and blossoms are the sweetest parts. Raw or boiled, stir-fried or steamed, they can be eaten with other vegetables. With their savory taste and gelatinous consistency, the blossoms add a ﬂowery zest to soups and vegetable dishes.
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Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes, liven up the landscape with their bright yellow blossoms. American Indians grew them for their edible tubers long before the arrival of European settlers. French explorer Samuel de Champlain found cultivated plants on Cape Cod in 1605. The Jerusalem artichoke was named “best soup vegetable” during the 2002 Nice festival for the heritage of French cuisine. The tubers also are roasted.
1 cup diced cooked chicken 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 3-ounce package cream cheese (softened) 1/4 cup diced celery 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 2 teaspoons ranch dressing Daylily blossoms
Mix well. Fills about eight large or 12 small daylily blossoms.
More ideas to consider:
1 pound sunchokes 1 large shallot, diced 4 tablespoons butter 4 cups chicken stock 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1 bay leaf 1/2 cup heavy cream Salt and pepper Scrub sunchokes and peel off blemishes. Cube into 1-inch pieces. In a large pot, melt butter and sauté shallot until translucent. Add sunchokes, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté 5 minutes while stirring frequently. Stir in stock with bay leaf and bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until sunchokes are tender. Remove bay leaf. Let the mixture cool and purée in a blender. Return to pot and add cream. Salt and pepper to taste.
1 cup sugar 1 cup milk 1 egg 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup pawpaw pulp, peeled and seeded 1 unbaked pie shell Place all ingredients into pot and stir. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake until crust browns.
The violet blossoms of chives add a splash of color to any landscape. Chopped chive leaves are a delicate condiment for soups and other dishes, and the round tufted ﬂowers are used as garnishes whole and broken apart in salads, cooked vegetables
• Incorporate plants such as lettuce, radish or cabbage into your ﬂowerbeds and borders. • Plant herbs along with ﬂowers in a container. • Plant gooseberries instead of barberry for an effective hedge. • Train raspberries up a fence. • Plant ﬂowering cabbage in the fall as an alternative to mums. • Design an edible ﬂower garden using nasturtium, violas, borage and calendula. Incorporating food-producing plants in your landscape is easy. Simply replace a strictly ornamental plant with one that is edible. Or, try incorporating annual and perennial herbs and vegetables into already existing landscape areas to add interest.
John Bruce is a professional writer who gardens in Columbia, S.C.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2011
Rural Missouri - March 2011
Docent of the Walking Cane Dulcimer
Out of the Way Eats
The No-Dig (And Less Sweat) Gardening Alternative
Grow a Delicious Landscape
A Recycled Craft
Hearth and Home
The Gainesville Gunner
Top Apps for Rural Missourians
Rural Missouri - March 2011