Wild Garlic Love

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The River of Herbs orchards have lots of Wild Garlic growing within them. Last Wednesday at the regular work group time (10.00 – 11.00), we dug lots of bulbs from a gravel path where they would otherwise have been trampled or removed as weeds.

Wild garlic Daslook bulbs dug up from path.

Wild garlic Daslook bulbs dug up from path.

We replanted some into the herb beds and laid others under little damp soil in a tray and left them in the shade.

Wild garlic bulbs under soil

Wild garlic bulbs under soil

Today we have been digging up more and have been replanting throughout the orchards. Some have been donated to local community gardens and interested individuals.

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We have more to spare. If you are interested please contact Lynn.

Here’s a useful video showing how to plant your new wild garlic plants without damaging their roots.

Wild garlic is an endangered species in the Netherlands although it is prolific in several Amsterdam parks. Many of us love foraging this tasty spring green so we are very pleased that it has chosen to thrive in the orchards. This means we can forage from our own herb garden without upsetting anyone.

Here is some information about the plant and it’s properties.

This plant is very easy to enjoy in food. It is possible to harvest it without killing the plant.  Just a few leaves can go a long way due to the strong flavour. It tastes great when a little is added to pizza, pasta, butter, salads and a mass of other foods. All parts of the plant are edible but you should not harvest the bulbs as that would destroy the plant. Harvest really lightly in clean locations where you have permission. Better still,  as we do – grow it yourself!

Here are a few of the things that Lynn makes with it. Do you have any other nice recipes to share here?

Wild garlic yoghurt cheese (hangop) balls

Daslook mojo

Wild garlic oil and bread sticks

Daslook capers (add closed flower heads to salt water with a splash of saurkraut juice and leave to ferment)

 

 

 

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Posted in Growing, Herb Swaps, Orchards

Kokedama

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These are balls of soil,  wrapped in moss and string which can provide a home for many types of plant. They may be hung or placed on a surface. We have been making some to provide a little extra winter interest at the RoH Frankendael orchards. Kokedama means moss ball in Japanese. Some see them of as a Japanese alternative to hanging baskets. We see them as natural alternatives for plant pots.

Here’s how we made our woodland kokedama…

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Materials required:
1.Natural string – we used green jute.
2.Soil which suits your plants and which can be wetted and shaped into a self holding ball but will allow some drainage.
3. Living moss – we used sheets of moss from the local garden centre.
4.Plants – we used Gaultheria (winter green), Ivy,  Bramble,  Hawthorn seedlings, Violet and Lady’s mantle.

Method
A. Mix up the soil with enough water to make a cookie dough type consistency. Add a little sand to loosen if needed. Squeeze out water if needed.

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B. Lay out your sheet of moss (with the good side down) and place your chosen herb in the middle of it. If the plant has a lot of good soil already around its roots then leave that in place and pack fresh soil around it to form the soil ball. If little soil is around the roots then make a soil ball first, split it in half and slide the plant roots within the ball.

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C. Pull the moss sheet up around the ball. Two pairs of hands is ideal for this! Add extra bits of moss where needed or pull extra bits off. The idea is to nearly surround the soil ball with a smooth carpet of moss.

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D. Wrap the string round and around the soil – moss ball. Keep going around and around in random directions until you can see and feel that the ball is firm, secure and evenly shaped.

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E. Tie of the string and make a suitable long hanging loop if you want to hang your kokedama. If it is to sit on a surface you will not need this.

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F. Place in a location which suits the needs of the plant. Water when the moss feels dry to touch. Do this by sitting the kokedama in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes.

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Here are some of our kokedama nestled on or hanging from the grand Japanese cherry in our fairy orchard. Do send us a photo of you make any yourself. We would love to know what you choose to plant in then and how it goes.

Posted in Growing, Orchards

Planten Bibliotheek – Plant Library

Eelco, who is part of our regular RoH orchard team has started a library all about plants and their uses in the Transvaalbuurt. Come and visit to check out the wealth of information about plants and their uses on Sundays between 11.00 and 14.00 at Tugeleweg 85. Ring the MoTuin bell.

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Eelco, die deel uit maakt van de vaste RoH boomgaard groep, is een bibliotheek begonnen over planten en hun gebruik.

Verijk jezelf met een bezoek op zondag tussen 11 uur en 14 uur. Tugeleweg 85. Druk op de MoTuin bell.

Posted in Orchards