you can do it! take the local harvest challenge & don’t forget to have a happy easter

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in Home | 32 Comments

I was asked by my fellow fair foodie and inspiring blogger, Sharon from FlavourCrusader to write a post for the upcoming Local Harvest Challenge. The challenge takes place over one week (Sunday 3 April – Saturday 9 April) where we take on the goal of intentionally reclaiming our food choices and decreasing the degrees of separation between us and food. So check it out and take up the challenge…find resources near you and put into practice the art of eating locally, sustainably, supporting local and organic farmers and businesses, and discovering the face behind your food. The below picture and post is reflecting upon local food from my backyard. Have a Happy Easter guys :: Jem x
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What involves zero food miles, has tons of physical and mental health benefits, improves food security, provides maximum nutrition, hours of entertainment, tastes yummy and is ridiculously cheap? It’s an old school thing called growing your own food and this is how I eat local. Sounds too good to be true but it is. This photo provides a small but pretty snap shot of my backyard ecosystem. Nasturtiums are forever present in my garden, I let them go feral and have their way around other plants (happens to be strawberries here). They are a great example of a smarter-than-average plant that I regularly harvest.

Being a lazy gardener who practices permaculture, I try to grow food that provides multiple functions to improve the health of my garden and my own health. Firstly, nasturtium flowers and leaves are peppery and damn tasty with seed pods that can be treated and eaten like capers. The flowers are a beautiful addition to absolutely anything. Nasturtiums are high in Vitamin C, contain flavonoids and boast anti fungal properties. They also calm me down when I look at them. I went to the effort of only planting these herbs once in my garden (about a hundred years ago) and because they self-seed, I have never needed to plant them since. Most importantly, nasturtiums attract all kinds of beneficial insects, pollinators and repel the nasty ones. I feel bad but sometimes I use them as a sacrificial plants. All in the name of eating local from my backyard.

32 Comments

  1. Sherry m
    March 25, 2016

    What a great garden Jem. The flowers are so pretty and useful. You always feel so good when you eat fresh local produce. But how do you keep out the possums and turkeys? Happy Easter.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      March 25, 2016

      Thanks Sherry. Our backyard is netted so it keeps any nasties out. Eating local from the backyard is the best feeling ever 🙂 Hope you have awesome Easter!

      Reply
  2. Function 9
    March 25, 2016

    Well done, that post sums it up! Think I’ll be taking the challenge 🙂

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      March 25, 2016

      Thank you…make sure you do take the challenge…you can do it! Eating local is good for the soul, the planet and everything else.

      Reply
  3. Sam Rutherford
    March 25, 2016

    I never knew nasturtiums had so much going for them. 🙂 They always seem to be everywhere. Very familiar but I had no idea. Thanks for the post Jem.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      March 25, 2016

      For sure, everyone knows nasturtiums but they kind of don’t (if that makes sense). They really are an amazing plant and such a good example of a smart one. Makes my life easier in the garden!

      Reply
  4. Gourmet Getaways
    March 27, 2016

    What a great article Jem.
    I have thought of planting nasturtiums but I have never actually noticed any seeds or seedlings about when I have been looking for them. I would love to have them in my garden for the “pretty” factor and so that I have edible flowers to decorate my salads with. I never knew about the insect benefits!
    Now I will be sure to add them to my garden. I will have to do a garden story shorty too, I have been tidying up 🙂
    Thanks for sharing
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      March 27, 2016

      Thanks Julie, please put a story about your garden! I know you grow quite a few things. Nasturtiums are the best, you should be able to get some seeds at any nursery. That’s where I started with them and haven’t looked back since 🙂

      Reply
  5. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    March 28, 2016

    So clever! And nasturtiums cost a bundle here-I tried to get some to decorate a dish and they were expensive. We are going along with baby steps. We have our first fig tree. We had to go away and my parents looked after it but didn’t water it enough so it didn’t quite thrive as much as we wanted. I’m really hoping that it will be ok.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      March 28, 2016

      Definitely worth growing them Lorraine, it’s cheaper and endless. Well done on your fig tree, very exciting!

      Reply
  6. Nagi@RecipeTinEats
    March 29, 2016

    The post tells everything! As usual, you have a wonderful garden! Happy Easter!

    Reply
  7. Anna @ shenANNAgans
    March 29, 2016

    Sounds like my garden defs needs some nasturtiums, they are really pretty too.
    Do you think the harsh Canberra winter would kick em in the butt? Or are they really sturdy?

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      March 29, 2016

      They are pretty hardy Anna, I’d plant them in spring if I were you. They’ll have more of a hold during winter.

      Reply
  8. Flavourcrusader
    March 31, 2016

    Woohoo! Excellent post, Jem. I’m always delighted and enlightened by points made by people dedicated to growing food! Thank you for taking part and for pollinating the idea!

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      March 31, 2016

      Thanks so much Sharon, you know it’s right up my alley. We are lucky to have people like you in the world 🙂

      Reply
  9. e / dig in hobart
    April 5, 2016

    this would be a bad week for eating from my backyard – here in Hobart, most things are dying down after the summer season! I could rustle up some rhubarb, a handful of green beans, and some woody herbs like sage and marjoram… but that’s about it! I would have much better luck doing zero food miles in say february 🙂
    the nasturtiums in my yard tend to attract lots of aphids – but in turn, I always see little birds picking the aphids off the nasturtiums. so as long as they are not near my ‘valuable’ plants, I’m happy to have nasturtiums too 🙂

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      April 6, 2016

      I hear ya girlfriend! It is transition time in my garden at the moment, waiting for this ridiculous hot weather to pass before I plant at the end of April. Nasturtiums are just the best really – they fulfill a different purpose for everyone. You shouldn’t have said anything about rhubarb…now I want to eat apple and rhubarb crumble!

      Reply
  10. kate
    April 7, 2016

    Those nasturtiums pop. Mine are all dark moody colours, which I love, but I look at these sunny numbers and can’t help but things I need to add colour. My Diggers catalogue arrived yesterday so I have plant envy and have been imagining what other corners of my garden I can fit more guilds into.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      April 7, 2016

      I love my Diggers catalogue as well Katie and always have plant envy lol. There’s never enough garden space as the possibilities are always endless 🙂

      Reply
  11. Kyrstie@afreshlegacy
    April 8, 2016

    They make a great addition to a garden I agree. I don’t tend to use ours though, other than for protection of plants around them and attraction of beneficial insects as you mentioned. I must change that and start collecting the flowers to add to salads at the very least.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      April 8, 2016

      That’s what I find so fascinating about nasturtiums Kyrstie, every gardener uses them differently. The flowers really do look fantastic in salads!

      Reply
  12. leaf (the indolent cook)
    April 10, 2016

    I’ve started growing my own food recently, it’s so satisfying and fulfilling! I will consider adding nasturtiums to my garden. 🙂

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      April 11, 2016

      Fantastic news! Well done! You will not regret going with nasturtiums 🙂

      Reply
  13. emma
    April 10, 2016

    How did I miss this post?! I’m been getting into edible flowers lately! I love them and would love to grow them. Have been a bit flat with growing stuff lately though, our deck is equally super hot then is in shade in the afternoon so am having difficulties.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      April 11, 2016

      Hey Emma, I know you have been getting into edible flowers and that is awesome. Growing conditions have been trying lately with the extended summer. I’ll be planting at the end of the month when the weather cools down. Nasturtiums could cope in pots on your balcony. Some leafy greens might also be a good idea. Generally most veggies need about 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.

      Reply
  14. Tandy I Lavender and Lime
    April 11, 2016

    I love nasturtium flowers and I think it yours look so pretty with the strawberries running through them 🙂

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      April 11, 2016

      Thanks Tandy 🙂 I also think it’s a pretty picture. Ahhh…pretty and functional, what else could we ask for?

      Reply
  15. Ngeun
    April 17, 2016

    Excellent post Jem! Thanks for sharing the great info about nasturtiums. It’s definitely a plant that I want to add to my garden. 🙂

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      April 17, 2016

      Thanks Ngeun! I really hope you add it to your garden, you’ll have no regrets 😉

      Reply
  16. lucie
    April 23, 2016

    Im always envious of your beautiful garden! Ive been planting my herbs this week even though its still freezing here in the UK (does that count?) haha!

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      April 25, 2016

      Thanks Lucie! I complain about our temperatures here, but a freezing climate is certainly a challenge. Kale would go well!

      Reply

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