Thursday, February 20, 2014

Natural foods

Despite the inhospitable environment we try to grow European type foods in, there is nonetheless an abundance of natural foods growing around us.

early morning blooms

We have two small (coppice) eucalyptus trees in full bloom near the water tank. Because they're coppiced - happened when the earthworks to build the house, cleared the area, and they grew back - but their trunks are shorter, so we can see the flowers closer to ground level.

branches dripping with nectar

While we don't eat these abundant blooms, if we kept bees, we'd sure be self-sufficient in honey. But the Rainbow Lorrikeets and Fruit Bats love to gorge themselves on the blooms. We hear the bats at night, but they (thankfully) don't squabble much. Plus they're kind enough to avoid hitting the car parked nearby, with their bat scats.

The blooms smell incredibly sweet, and its no wonder it draws all the nectar feeding animals like a magnet. It's quite the feeding station, early in the morning and again at dusk.

loves the concrete near the house

Another plant which springs-up voluntarily near the house, is purslane. It's a native herb ground cover, which is also somewhat of a super food. It contains more omega-3 fatty acids, than any other leafy vegetable you could consume. It seems to be doing really well this year, with more of them popping up, so I may just add some to my scrabbled eggs. Our guinea pigs get pickings most of the time too. I wonder if that's why they've lived such a long life?

I do love the eucalyptus blooms however - it will be sad to see them stop, along with the regular animal visitors. But it's nice to know, even in an inhospitable environment like ours, there are some things doing exceptionally well without our input.


  1. I used to live where there were wind breaks of eucalyptus trees and at certain times of the year they would smell so good.

    1. I'm amazed how popular the eucalyptus is in other countries. It's hardy so it can live through almost anything - everything but snow. ;)

  2. Those are lovely blooms! I have an acquaintance here who actually grew eucalyptus (to about three feet since it won't survive our winter) to make her own essential oil out of it. I grew up with it in California though and miss it a lot. We also have purslane.Lots and lots and lots of purslane. I might start eating it this year too.

    1. The only reason I haven't eaten it yet is because its backup guinea pig food. I like to have greens for them - but its growing really well this year so I may yet get to taste some. I've heard its nice in scrambled eggs. :)

  3. I have had it in sauerkraut. In Chicago, its can be found in Mexican food stores so there must be some recipes from that cuisine. Let me know how it tastes!


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