Posted in 'How to', Dahlia tubers?, Dahlias, Dalia Tubers, Fruit, Perennials, Sun loving plants, Vegetables, tagged Are Dahlia tubers edible, Baking Dahlia tubers, Cooking Dahlia tubers, Dahlia_Emery Paul, eating Dahlia tubers, food, james wong on November 20, 2012 |
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There’s been a fair amount written about trying different fruit veg to eat. Mark Diacono’s ‘a taste of the unexpected’ encourages us to eat Day Lily fritters and Fuchsia berries and James Wong is now working with Suttons, promoting seeds for Goji berries and Electric (mouth numbing) Daisies.
So yesterday, when a client asked me to dig up some Dahlias, we thought we’d have a go at cooking them to see if the tubers faired as well in the kitchen as they do in the herbaceous border.
I was baking potatoes last night, so popped a couple of tubers in the oven at the same time. I was quite curious to see how they’d cook, as they already seemed quite a bit more watery in texture than my Red Duke of Yorks. Well, although thoroughly cooked, they still had a crunchy bite but remained quite watery too. The nearest texture I can think of is rather akin to that of a cooked water chestnut. The flesh was fairly tasteless, but with a slightly flowery aftertaste, a bit like rose-water.
Not too convincing (my husband wouldn’t touch them!), but I’m going to persevere with a soup and possibly some bread. There isn’t too much written about eating the tubers, but some do suggest that heirloom varieties have a better flavour than more modern hybrids.
So do I want to grow these heirloom tubers to try out next year? I don’t think so. After my culinary experiments so far (and unless further experiments astound me), I think I’m going to stick to potatoes, and grow these watery tubers for their gorgeous blooms alone.
p.s. James Wong has suggested Dahlia rosti as a recipe, making sure you salt the grated tubers first before cooking to help them hold their shape. Will give this a try….
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Posted in 'How to', Allotment, Fruit, Pruning, Raspberries, Secateurs, Still time to, tagged food, How to prune raspberries, London Gardening blog, My raspberry produced no fruits this year, no raspberries this year, plants, pruning autumn fruiting raspberry canes, pruning autumn raspberries, Pruning Raspberries, pruning raspberry canes, pruning summer fruiting raspberries, pruning summer fruiting raspberry canes, raspberries that haven't fruited, raspberry canes, Secateurs, September pruning for summer raspberries, urban gardening blog, Why don't my raspberry plants fruit?, why raspberries haven't fruited on September 3, 2012 |
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Once your summer fruiting raspberry canes have finished fruiting this year, cut back only the old canes that the fruit was on to ground level, leaving the newer canes (maximum 6-8 new stems per plant) to grow for next year’s fruit. The fruited canes and new canes will look quite different: the old stems will be more brittle at the bottom and brown and woody, whereas the new canes will be more supple and a fresher green colour. Cut the old stems from the supports as you cut them away at the base and tie in the new stems in their place. If you have new canes that are growing further away from the supports, dig these out and plant elsewhere or give to friends!
If your raspberry canes haven’t fruited this year, pruning all of the summer fruiting canes either in summer after fruiting or in spring, is probably where your problem lies. You mustn’t prune the newer green canes that grew this year, as these will be the one year old stems that your raspberries will fruit on next year. Hope that makes sense. Don’t prune any canes that grew during this year (and this might be all of your canes if you cut back all of the stems in spring) and you’ll have fruit next year!
Autumn raspberries should be happily supplying fruit right now and up until October or November. These canes can be pruned in February.
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Posted in 'How to', Allotment, Annuals, Potaotoes, Vegetables, Watering, tagged Arran Victory potato, Carroll's Heritage potatoes, coloured potatoes, Digging up potatoes, earthing up potatoes, food, growing potatoes, heritage potato varieties, Main crop potatoes, novelty potatoes, Pink Fir Aoole potatoes, Red Duke of York Potato, Red King Edward potato, Salad Blue Early potato on August 21, 2012 |
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Wow, I love digging up potatoes. Especially when they look like this! I grew a selection of colourful tubers sent to me by Carroll’s Heritage Potatoes, as well as my all time favourite, Pink Fir Apple, at my allotment this year.
I grew these on top of grass à la no dig, as per my last post, initially covering them with about five inches of compost. However, I hardly earthed them up (mainly due to my lack of energy to haul bags of compost to the site) and just left them to do their own thing all summer. Buoyed by my Charlotte potato success, I thought I’d see how they were coming along after all the rain (and finally a bit of sun). Although the yields are not quite as large, due to my lack of earthing up , I’m still really chuffed with a decent crop of my beautiful multi coloured tubers (and my knobbly Pink Fir Apples). The larger purple potatoes on the left and in the top image are Arran Victory, named in 1918 in celebration of the ending of the first world war. They have a high dry matter and are good for everything except boiled potatoes. The dark pink are Red Duke of Yorks (1942) and the lighter pink are Red King Edwards (1916) -both good all rounders with their skin happily retaining their colour when cooked.
Last night I made lilac mashed potatoes out of the Salad Blue Earlies (cross-section above), which according to the Carroll’s website is a novelty potato dating back to the early 1900′s and not a salad potato at all! Very tasty, but slightly disconcerting alongside my pinkish salmon!
I’m never really convinced about the value of growing main crop potatoes when my growing space is somewhat limited, but these heritage potatoes make my heart sing, so I will definitely be continuing my ‘no dig’ experiments in a more ordered fashion with some of these good-looking lovelies next year.
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