How do you cook the products of your forest garden? Forest gardening is attracting increasing interest, but when it comes to harvest time, how do you make the most of the produce?
"From bamboo shoots and beech leaves to medlars and mashua, Food from your Forest Garden offers creative and imaginative ways to enjoy the crops from your forest garden. It provides cooking advice and recipe suggestions, with notes on every species in the bestselling Creating a Forest Garden by Martin Crawford. The book includes:
l Over 100 recipes for over 50 different species, presented by season, plus raw food options.
l Information on the plants’ nutritional value, with advice on harvesting and processing.
l Chapters on preserving methods, from traditional preserves such as jams to ferments and fruit leathers.
With beautiful colour photographs of plants and recipes, this book is an invaluable resource for making the most of your forest garden – and an inspiration for anyone thinking of growing and using forest garden crops."
( Green Books summary )
The two authors are the renowned forest gardening author Martin Crawford and Caroline Aitken, co-teacher in the last years with Patrick Whitefield for numerous PDC's at Ragmans farm and at the the Sustainabilty Center . They take us from the basket to our kitchens and teach us how to preserve and process our forest garden produce.
Martin and Caroline have had a great idea. What do we do with all the produce of our forest gardens? in all the literature on forest gardening there was a piece missing, the after. what happened when all the baskets were in our kitchens full of fruits, nuts, roots and greens. Well the authors gave us a big answer.
the book is very well thought, i loved it. it's not a gardening its a book for gardeners though.
the book is divided in two parts. the first takes us from harvesting onto preserving, passing through a beautiful description of how to make fruit leather! I didn't know fruit leather and it sounds a great preserving method.
The authors take the reader up to the second part of the book: the cookbook!
Here we find more the 100 recipes for over 50 products. the great idea was writing it based on the seasons. So we have spring, summer, autumn and winter, each with their recipes. Great dishes, simple and inviting, and full of opportunities for mixing them up, turning around ingredients. The leading undertone is they are easy. How could it not be this way though. Why think of complicated recipes when you're using awesome, nutritious ingredients. Kepp it simple and you'll get the "wow effect" at the table
If we mix together a twenty and more year forest gardener and a teacher and course chef, we can just get this output. Creativity and love for food, good food is the basis.
Speaking of summer, I loved mallow, malva spp., leaf dolmades, or stuffed mallow leaves. refreshening finger food that just jumps in your mouth. And there are so many.
Autumn struck me with ... acorns, they are a fixation for me. It just sends me nuts that we have so many acorns and dont' eat them, just look at them as animal feed, at least thats what happens with my friends. Ok so for acorns the best recipe was acorn paté, that resembles chickpea hommus, and sounds great, can't wait to try.
I guess this book can go close to Carl Legge's, Permaculture kitchen, and start to take some space on our shelves. we're starting to fill a gap!
We can't think of plant guilds, or design a property, if we don't have the right books to help us when taking a break, and this for sure is one.
I think a nice way of using this book is sharing the kitchen on residential courses and trying the recipes. Try a contest, those that cook the best dish don't wash plates, this book can inspire!