Obtain a yield

One of the tenets of permaculture is to grow to use. Of course, if you are growing vegetables then de facto you hope to obtain a yield. But what about ornamentals? Do they have a place in the permaculture landscape?

Even before the concept of permaculture had come to my conscious mind, I had heard that nasturtiums were edible but it took a small leap of faith to actually try them out. In the event, I found that the flowers added a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to boiled rice. My daughter is a bit harder to convince but I now wait to see if the flowers I grew this year have self-seeded and I can try her again with the rice. I might also even try the flowers in salad or something!

In the meantime, I have picked one rosehip. I’m going to dry it and then make a herbal tea – I reckon one hip should be enough for a cuppa… This doesn’t require quite the same leap of faith, since rosehip tea is a beverage I have bought from shops before. At the same time, when I did that I had no idea what rosehips really were, so part of me is unsure that any I produce will be the real thing.

Leading on from that, I had always been baffled that some children did not know that meat came from a previously living animal, for example. It seemed too incredible to be true. Considering my rosehip experience, though, I can now see how the meat concepts might be.

Have you ever had trouble getting your head round the provenance of any food? If so, what was it?

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Good for the environment, Health, In the kitchen, Permaculture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Obtain a yield

  1. Reblogged this on freedomfarmtv and commented:
    Obtain that yield.

  2. I really like the idea of growing flowers with the thought of eating them or making tea from them. Many spices and herbs have beautiful flowers. You gave me some inspiration there.
    To answer your question there are so many foods whose provenance is questionable for me , surströmming, escargo, rocky mountain oysters, squid are just to name a few.

  3. drofmit4108 says:

    Leave your one rosehip to go fully ripe and a bit soft to get the best flavour.
    Crush it slightly, but DON’T expose the “choke”…
    it really is that… full of hairs.
    As a small boy, I used to get regular winter doses of Rosehip Syrup…
    and as a somewhat bigger boy…
    used to make itching powder from the “choke”…
    a lethal substance!!
    As an adult, I make melomel from boiled rosehips…
    strained and the juice added to honey…
    then fermented to make a mead…
    adult-style Rosehip Syrup.

    • Helen says:

      The adult style rosehip syrup sounds very nice😄. Anyway, thanks for all your tips. I read somewhere that I should cut the hip into pieces but by the sounds of it, it’s a good job I didn’t!!

  4. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 35 years. When I did eat meat, I couldn’t eat anything that looked like the dead animal. Eventually I just stopped eating animals all together and never looked back.

    Thanks for the education on Permaculture and rosehips.

  5. shawncallen says:

    I enjoyed your mention of flowers because Simon and I considered when we were making our seed order whether we should grow them. We decided to go for it even if they aren’t edible. Your post reminded me that some can be edible. Mmm… rosehip tea. Hope yours is yummy.

    • Helen says:

      Thank you! I noticed in your post you had bee-friendly flowers such as cosmos. So even if a flower isn’t edible it is still useful. And why not generally being some colour to the garden?

  6. What I meant by that was I think Surstromming was started in a time of famine here.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, plus people had fewer food choices or simply had different taste expectations. There were plenty of dishes in England past which would be considered very unappetising now.

      • I had always told my husband that surströming had to be started during time of famine. There was no way anyone would eat it otherwise. That they had a spoiled can in the back cubbard that had swelled and gone bad but they ate it anyway….I watched a TV documentary recently and I was not far off from the truth.
        You are right that taste expectations were different.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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