Sunday, 14 March 2010


I felt back at home on Thursday and Friday, which is great as I've been feeling oddly unmotivated and out of sorts recently. Plus our internet has been having issues, which has kept me away from the computer and looking for books to read. But I think I'm coming back to myself.

Could be something to do with having fruit again. And getting my sourdough back together. The kitchen seems a little busier: instead of making one or two things a day I can keep busy with four or five.

On a recent trip to San Jose we stopped in at the Ark Herb Farm and picked up two more edible leaf plants: the zorillo and the divided leaf chaya. Both looked a little worse for wear in the nursey, and both were the only specimens for sale, but back on the farm under shade cloth and damp they have perked up and are looking good. We'll keep them in our nursery for a while, long enough at least to propagate more specimens and then we'll start planting out. Our edible leaf collection is growing - slowly - but it is growing. I feel a strange blend of nostalgia and wishing when I read northern gardening blogs and their morning coffee breaks pouring over seed catalogs, or pictures of gardens full of great heads of romaine or arugula. Sigh.

Yet I feel here a sense of pioneer pride in the slow acquisition of edibles: enforced self-sufficiency, trial and error, seed saving and worry mixed with the thrill of the hunt. It's not unusual for me to be chewing on things walking around the farm trying to find a new leaf for the salad mixes. I really must take a picture of the salad: full of green and purple leaves, pink, red and yellow flowers, shiny sprouts, succulent malabar spinach and tangy herbs, it's a beautiful thing.

I've left mung bean sprouts for a while, I like them but the weather is very hot just now and they seem to bolt and rot quickly. I'm sprouting lentils instead. I like sprouted lentils, they are much calmer and more docile than the mung, not as crisp or crunchy, but subtle and slightly chalky. And they fare better with the heat.


  1. What lentils do you use for sprouting? Do you grow them yourself or can the dried lentils that ones buys at north american supermakets be sprouted? I think I will give them a try. Glad you are feeling more yourself.


  2. Hi Wilma!

    The lentils are just the regular pack of dried lentils you buy in the store. Soak overnight then rinse out a couple of times each day, I grow them for 4 to 5 days before using. I don't have a fancy sprouting jar, I just use a tupperware and leave the lid slightly ajar for air circulation.
    When are you heading south again? Hope all is well, and thanks.

  3. I am glad your fruit is coming back in so that you have your kitchen thriving again. That is a happy thought!


thanks for sharing!