Real World Gardener Orris Root Iris is Spice it Up

September 7th, 2017

 

SPICE IT UP

Orris Root: Iris germanica var Florentina

 

A little while ago on this show, in fact in the spice it up segment, featured the juniper berry as a major flavouring ingredient for Gin.

That is if you’re making your own Gin.

Today’s spice is something you would never think of being a spice let alone it being another one of the three major ingredients in Gin.

So what is it and what else can you use it for?

So let’s find out….I'm talking with Ian Hemphill owner of www.herbies.com.au

 

PLAY :Orris Root_30th August_2017

 

So, how about the fact Juniper, Orris root and Coriander are the major ingredients in gin? Then you add all the other flavours, but Orris root is the one thing that brings all those flavours together because it's a fixative.

 

Orris%2Broot%2Biris.jpg

The rhizome is technically what's used in making Orris Root powder. 

The Iris rhizome is lifted, dried, sliced and then powdered.

 

If you were to inhale the smell of dried orris root you would be rewarded with a lovely scent of violets.

 

Unfortunately if you can't remember where you planted your orris root iris, than lifting and drying is the only way to identify it from all the other white irises you have in the garden.

Then there’s those pomander balls and real pot pourri.

 

Wouldn’t you like the real deal rather than coloured bits of bark?

 

Turns out though you might just have to make the pomander and real pot pourri yourself.

 

If you have any questions about Orris root powder why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675 

 
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Real World Gardener Make Your Own Gin in Spice it Up

July 13th, 2017

 

Juniper Berries.

You probably missed it but 14th June was World Gin Day.

Why I mention this is because Australia is producing some of the best gin in the world.

You heard right, there’s a micro distillery industry that’s sprung up in Australia for making boutique gin.

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But here’s the thing, it’s been said before on this show, you can make your own gin.

So let’s find out more.

I'm talking with  Ian Hemphill Owner of www.herbies.com.au and author of The Herb and Spice bible.

 

PLAY: Juniper Berry 2_5th July 2017

Why everybody is falling in love with juniper today is because it's a thing to make your own gin.

Relatively a cinch but you need a good recipe.

You'll find one on Ian's site, just search for GINSPIRATION.

Australia's leading gin distilleries combine spices such as a cardamom, cinnamon and star anise with Australian oranges, Tasmanian Pepperberry leaf and lemon myrtle, a native Australian plant.

The juniper is still there but it is layered with a blend of modern Australian flavours, Southern European citrus and South East Asian spice, all of which makes it an entirely too drinkable gin.

Cooking with Juniper

Juniper berries go great in slow cooked casseroles and stews.

Juniper berries are also tasty when cooked with Salmon. Just place a few berries in with other herbs such as garlic, dill and add some lemon slices when baking or roasting whole salmon.

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Juniper berries

If you have any questions about making your own gin, check out “ginspiration” or Ian’s webpage, or email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Greengage Plums are Plant of the Week

June 30th, 2017

 

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Greengage Plums

 

Today’s plant of the week is in the productive side of gardening.

 

If you like making preservers, jams and jellies, you might want to grow this heritage tree, whose fruit is unavailable in supermarkets or greengrocers.

Don’t know why, because it just has the most superior taste of all fruits of the same kind.

Let’s find out more…

mirabelle-plum-tree-greengage.jpg

Greengage plums-small and delicious.

I'm talking with Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au

Did you know that the first true greengage was bred in Moissac, France, from a green-fruited wild plum originally found in Asia Minor; that original greengage cultivar is known as the cultivar 'Reine Claude Verte'

Yalca fruit company write in their website that

“The Green Gage plum is an amazing eating experience – sweet and very richly flavoured but balanced with perfect amount of acidity.

Singled out by the author of the Australian Fruit Tree book, Louis Glowinski, as his favourite fruit overall (a big rave, given his book covers a fairly significant proportion of the fruit kingdom) but this is a great plum.”

Sounds delicious.

Anyone fancy an almond and greengage plum crumble?

 
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Real World Gardener Selim Pepper in Spice it Up

June 30th, 2017

 

SPICE IT UP

Xylopiaaethiopica-selim%2Bpepper.jpgSelim Pepper,  Xylopica ethiopica

Are you a bit of a kitchen whizz with a kitchen garden full of exotic herbs?

Or do you just rely on the same old staples of spices like, rosemary, oregano, parsley, sage, maybe some chilli pepper or paprika occasionally.

To be confident about using other spices you need to know a bit about them and sometimes, a bit of advice on how to use an unusual spice will give you the kick a long that you need to try something in that casserole or stew that you always make.

So let’s find out more about one such spice. 

I'm talking with Ian Hemphill, spice guru and owner of www.herbies.com.au who has also written the Herb and Spice bible.

 

PLAY: Selim Pepper_14th June 2017

 

Selim pepper is also known as African pepper, Ethiopian pepper, Grains of Selim, Uda Pods, Guinea pepper, kimba pepper and Senegal pepper.

 

Not only is this spice hand picked but it’s possibly one of the rarest spices that Ian’s company has sourced for some time, so that in itself is something to want to try at least.

To use this spice crush the pods in a mortar and pestle then separate the fibrous bits out and use the remaining powder.

xylopica%2Behtiopica2.JPG

Xylopica ethiopica

You can just throw in the whole pods then remove them when cooking has finished.

Ian says the flavour won't be as strong if you do that.

Selim pepper is not as hot as Grains of Paradise and is good in long slow cooking as with the African Buka stew made with beef.

The plant is not grow in Australia and it's unlikely that your supermarket will have the spice, so you’ll have to order it online from Herbies Spices

If you have any questions about Selim Pepper, or have some information to share, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Create an Outdoor Room in Design Elements

May 19th, 2017

 

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Outdoor Rooms-Including the Kitchen Sink

 

Whatever you think an outdoor room is, it’s probably not going to have all the bells and whistles of the kitchen you have in your house.

But, say your outdoor eating space is best at the back of the yard or down a flight of stairs, what do you do then?

best-outdoor-kitchens-designs-amazing-ba

 

 

 

Australia is too sunny to always be eating indoors so you might think about doing a bit more than the good ole’ BBQ.

Let’s find out?

 

PLAY: Outdoor rooms_10th May 2017

 

That was Matt Leacy Principal Landscape Designer and Director of Landart Landscapes.

 

You may not want to go the whole hogg of fridge, dishwasher and fancy BBQ in your outdoor room, but I think the Pizza oven sounds like a great idea. 

simple-outdoor-kitchens-ideas-L-shaped-o

Soon you’ll be making your own pizza dough, and buying a pizza peel, that’s one of those wooden or metal spatula type implements that puts your pizza into the pizza oven.

Whatever you do in your outdoor room, don’t forget the garden.

 

An outdoor room without a garden is just to droll to contemplate.

If you have any questions about outdoor rooms write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

 
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Real World Gardener Collecting Mushrooms in the Good Earth

May 5th, 2017

 

THE GOOD EARTH

Mushroom picking sounds like a great idea, but around the world, people die from eating poisonous ones.

Not only do you need to know where to go but also how to tell which are poisonous and which are not.

Authorities recommend to only forage in the supermarket aisles or buy a mushroom kit and grow your own!

Saffron%2Bmilk%2Bcup%2Bmushroom%2B2.jpg

Saffron Milk Cup Mushroom

However, if you go out with a knowledgeable guide, you may be able to enjoy this pleasant past time without fear of keeling over.

 

Let’s find out.

I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska, Director of Moss House and Living Skills Coordinator of Permaculture North.

In Australia, cool climate pine forests are the best places.

State owned forests have public access and picnic tables for you to enjoy your mushrooms after picking them.

Forests need to be 10 - 20 years old so that the fungal networks have had time to re-establish after the intensive agriculture that's involved in starting forest plantations.

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Slippery Jack Mushroom undersides.

 

Saffron Milk Cap mushrooms (pictured above) exude an orangey white sap when cut.

This sap oxygenates to a green colour, so it's not mouldy.

These are the easiest to identify. 

 

Slippery Jack Mushrooms (pictured here) don't have gills on the underside but more of a foam structure.

You can also find mushrooms where horses and cows are pastured. these are mostly button mushrooms and harder to identify.

 

Slippery_Jack%2Bmushrooms.jpg

TIP: Cut the mushrooms instead of pulling our digging them out. By doing this you're letting spores for future generations of mushrooms remain in the environment where they grow best.

WARNING: Only ever go collecting mushrooms with an experienced guide.
Do not rely on guide books for collecting mushrooms.
They’re very easy to misidentify.

Margaret says that when she takes people out foraging for mushrooms, that she asks them to tip out their collected mushrooms onto a blanket.

By doing this, Margaret can check each and everyone one of them to make sure that they’re not the poisonous ones.

If you have any questions about mushroom picking or have some advice or photos to share, why not drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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Real World Gardener Pecan Trees in Plant of the Week

April 17th, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Pecan Tree 

Carya illinoinensis

Ever thought of having a productive tree in your garden besides that lemon tree that a lot of people seem to have?

You can have nice shade trees that also provide you with some food, whether it’s a cherry tree, peach or apple tree.

But do people ever think of planting this next tree?

The plant panel were Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

The pecan tree is a deciduous tree of the Hickory genus  and at full maturity, it will grow to around 30 metres with a spread of 12 m.

The gray trunk is shallowly furrowed and flat-ridged with upward branches forming an irregular, rounded crown. 

The tree has a narrow silhouette.

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Pecan tree with nuts photo M Cannon

 

Pecan  varieties available are -Shoshonii, Desirable;Kiowa, Mohawk,Cape Fear, Pawnee.

Be warned: Pecans start fruiting after about 8 years so be prepared to wait although Pecans can live for up to 300 years.

On the plus side, unlike other nut varieties, Pecans only require 200 hours of chilling, that means hours less than 7 °C

Pecan trees can be purchased as bare rooted plants, that means plants without any soil, during the winter months when the tree is without leaf.

 

Possibly your local nursery may have one or you can mail order them from quite a few places on the internet.

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Real World Gardener Lemon Verbena in Spice it Up

April 17th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s

SPICE IT UP

Lemon Verbena Alloysia citriodora (syn. Lippia citriodora)

This is a herb with a multitude of uses;

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Lemon Verbena photo M Cannon

 

There are a few plants whose leaves are great in cooking, making herbal teas and when the leaves are dried, they’re good for a number of things including pot pourri.

So many uses for just one plant, let's find out more?

 

Ian's mum and dad had a grove of 12 Lemon Verbena trees that grew to 2 metres in height.

The leaves were harvested to make sleep pillows and pot pourri.

Lemon verbena pillows sound devine.

They ‘re made of dried leaves of Lavender (Lavandula vera is the best) to help you sleep, Rose petals for sweet dreams and Lemon Verbena, to help you wake refreshed.

Chopped finely, it makes a neat substitute for lemon zest.

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Lemon Verbena Tea photo M Cannon

Try Lemon Verbena tea; it's very refreshing or make Panna Cotta infused with Lemon Verbena.

To prune your Lemon Verbena tree, just take of the top one-third of the tree.

When it re-shoots in Spring tip prune the branches regularly to keep it bushy.

If you have any questions about growing or using Lemon Verbena, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 
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Real World Gardener Cubeb Pepper in Spice It Up

April 7th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

SPICE IT UP

Cubeb Pepper (Piper cubeba)

 

Once upon a time, real pepper was adulterated with this spice because it was thought of as perhaps not inferior, but certainly it was cheaper than pepper.

In fact, this pepper was banned by the Venetian Spice Traders!

Why was that?

1-cubeb%2Bpepper2.jpg

Cubeb pepper (Piper cubeba) photo M Cannon

Now the tables are turned and there aren’t too many places where this spice grows and even less places where you can buy it.

Let’s find out what it’s all about.

I'm talking with Ian Hemphill, Director of www.herbies.com.au

PLAY: Cubeb Pepper_29th March 2017

 

Cubeb pepper grows as a vine with heart shaped leaves, mostly in the Indonesian Archipelago.

1-cubeb%2Bpepper3.jpg

 

Interestingly, it's similar looking to pepper ixcept for that spiked tail.

 

Did you know that the spice blend Ras el Hanout has 20-30 different spices in it and Cubeb Pepper is one of them?

As Ian mentioned, don’t put cubeb pepper in the peppermill and use ¼ teaspoon of this pepper with 1 teaspoon of normal ground black pepper.

Great for those pepper steaks, slow cooked meals and with rich meats such as pork,duck game.

If you have any questions about where to get Cubeb pepper, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 
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Real World Gardener Preserving Summer Fruits

March 16th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

THE GOOD EARTH

Preserving Summer Fruits

Do you have fruit trees in your garden?

Citrus are fruits so you probably answered yes to that.

So what do you do when the fruits all come ripe at once?

Jams and preserves and possibly pickles are the first things that come to mind for most people, but there are a lot more methods of preserving fruit to use later on in the year. Let’s find out about this preserving business.

I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska from www.mosshouse.com.au 

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I hope that’s inspired you to try several different methods of preserving your fruit.

We didn’t even cover making pasta sauce with all those tomatoes that you’re growing right now.

If you have any questions about preserving summer produce or have some information you’d like to share, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com

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