Saturday, May 18, 2013

Two New-To-Me Food Plants in My Garden This Year

It's a holiday weekend here in Canada (we'll be celebrating Victoria Day on Monday) and I'll be spending much of the weekend out in the garden as we're now considered to be past our frost date.

I thought I'd share two food plants I'll be growing this season that are new to me and my garden:

1. Sorrel

I had my first taste of sorrel earlier this week and fell in love! I was touring a friend's back yard and she gave me a taste of this green; it has a strong lemony, tart taste that I really enjoy. Even better, it is a perennial green and my friend dug a chunk out for me to take home (pictured above). It's just starting to recover from being transplanted. Since I am both a lazy and frugal gardener, I always get excited about finding new perennial foods! I think sorrel will be a welcome addition to our salads and it's definitely a very different taste from most other greens that lean towards either spicy or bitter flavours.

2. Ground Cherry

This is a plant I have read a bit about but have never grown or even tasted before! The photo above is the seedlings I purchased to plant.

The fruit looks like this:

It is supposed to be good eaten raw, dried or cooked into jams or salsas. If I manage to grow these successfully, I'm sure I will be experimenting with different ways of using them and keeping you posted of any successes.

If any of you have tips or suggestions on either growing or cooking with sorrel or ground cherry, I'd love to hear them!

Are you growing any new foods in your garden this year?

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  1. We always add sorrel into soup (e.g., green borscht). Adds a bit of tartness like lemon juice would. I add it towards the end of cooking time for a soup. Hope that helps.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Natalya! I bet it would add a great flavour to my lentil or chickpea and barley soup.

  2. Did you grow from seed or from seedlings? I've been able to find sorrel to grow once (three years ago?) and I've never found ground cherries. Where do you buy from?

    1. Hi Tamara! I buy almost all my seeds and seedlings at William Dam. They have a fantastic selection of seeds and quite a variety of seedlings, too. The ground cherries I bought at WD as seedlings and as I mentioned in the post, the sorrel was a division from a friend's garden. I think you can grow it from seed too, not sure how tricky it is to start though.

  3. I've grown tomatoes before but never heirloom varieties. I just recieved a couple of plants via Freecycle. Likewise, I've grown potatoes but this year I planted my red potatoes in a burlap sack.

    1. Trying new varieties of familiar plants is always fun, too! Heirloom tomato plants from Freecycle = AWESOME :)

  4. the ground cherry looks just like the ones I used to forage with my aunt in the Philippines! wow! I've never been able to figure out what it was called. if it is the same, you will like it. it was sweet from what I remembered and just plain cute!

    1. I am hoping they will be sweeter than tomatoes. So far my seedlings seem to be settling in nicely, so hopefully they will make it to the fruit-bearing stage!


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