SPICE IT UP
Juniper Berries.You probably missed it but 14th June was World Gin Day.
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.
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
"I eats my peas with honey, I’ve done so all me life, it makes my peas taste funny, but it keeps them on me knife. "
Ever heard that one?
Peapods are botanically a fruit, since they contain seeds developed from the ovary of a (pea) flower.
But as always, cooks don’t stick to Science and peas are considered to be a vegetable in cooking.
Peas or Pisum sativum, belong to the Fabaceae family, which means they fix Nitrogen from the air into their roots.
And you thought you knew everything there was to know about peas?
We all know what Peas look like- but did you know that Peas have been found in ancient ruins dated at 8000 years old in the Middle East and in Turkey?
And, the oldest pea fossils were found in the “Spirit cave on the border of Thailand and Burma dated 9750 years old.
Peas were common throughout ancient Europe as far back as the Neolithic Period and are as old and important as wheat and barley.
In these ancient times dried peas were an essential part of the diet because they could be stored for long periods and provided protein during the famine months of winter. No fridges then, remember!
The Greeks and Romans loved them and many varieties were traded in the Trojan Market in ancient Rome.
Did you know that both dwarf and field peas were part of the cargo of the First Fleet to Australia in 1788 and, on arrival at Sydney Cove, each convict and marine was given a weekly ration of three pints of ‘pease’.
By 1802 Peas were growing in Port Jackson and in Paramatta gardens.
When to Sow
The best time to sow Peas, if you are living on the East Coast is from April until September;
In arid climates from April until August.
In sub-tropical districts, from April and until July and for cool zones, late winter until October. On the Tablelands they should be sown after the last frosts.
Peas are best planted at soil temperatures between 8°C and 24°C.
Sow the seeds directly into the soil 15mm to 20mm deep (knuckle deep) and 75mm to 100mm apart . Water in well and don't let them dry out.
I like to soak my Pea seeds overnight.
This helps achieve a better strike
Some gardeners prefer to sow their seeds into tubs/punnets so they can keep a closer eye on them especially if there is a possibility of a frost.
Once they have their second crop of leaves and no more frost, they can be transplanted out in the garden.
Pea don’t seem to grow well near Onions, Chives, Garlic.
Peas don’t like a lot of mulch or manure especially up against the stalk/stem, or being over-watered as they tend to rot off at the base of the stem.
Don’t over-feed young plants or they’ll grow lanky and you won’t get too many pea pods.
Wait until they’ve started flowering and then give them a good feed of liquid fertilizer at least once a fortnight.
I prefer to feed my plants with liquid fertilisers in winter because in the cold weather, plants can use liquid fertilisers, easier and faster than the granular type.
TIP: Water your Peas in the mornings to avoid mildew.
Don’t overhead water late in the afternoon.
If you do have mildew, try spraying with a MILK spray mixed with a couple of drops of detergent.
With dwarf Peas you will have one main crop, with a second lighter crop and some pickings in between for the pot.
Peas freeze well and, providing they are processed immediately after picking, lose no more of their nutritional value than in just cooking them.
If you’re bothered with snails and slugs, a good idea is to place a bottomless container around the young seedlings to stop the pests, or in my case the dragon lizard, from cutting/biting the tops off the new shoots; this will also give the new plants some protection from the wind.
How big do they grow?
Dwarf Peas only grow about 300mm to 600mm high but they will require some support.
You can use pretty much anything from wire/mesh, string and bamboo.
Climbing Peas grow to about 2m and crop for quite a long time.
If you pick them regularly, your pea plants will grow like mad and you’ll get a bigger crop.
They will need a good heavy-trellis or stakes. The position of the trellis should be facing towards the midday sun, (towards the North).
After the Peas have stopped producing the trellis can also be used for growing cucumbers, pumpkins or tomatoes.
Before you start ripping the pea vines off the trellis cut the stems off at ground level; leave the roots in the ground as pea roots produce nitrogen nodules.
These roots will break down and give your next seedlings a good kick start.
Why are they good for you?
Being low in calories, green peas are good for those who are trying to lose weight.
Green peas are rich in dietary fibre, may potentially lower cholesterol.
Peas have a high amount of iron and vitamin C to help strengthen the immune system.
The lutein present in green peas helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Green peas slow down the appearance of glucose in the blood and thus, help keep the energy levels steady.
Green peas have been found to aid energy production, nerve function and carbohydrate metabolism.
Green peas provide the body with those nutrients that are important for maintaining bone health.
The folic acid and vitamin B6 in green peas are good for promoting the
THAT WAS YOUR VEGETABLE HERO FOR TODAY?
PLANT OF THE WEEKAlbany Woolly Bush
Are you a fan of Western Australian plants?
They grow so many wildflowers, banksias, and Eucalypts with huge inflorescences or inflo’s as those in the now like to call them.
But how do they do in other parts of Australia, particular if they’re grey and fluffy and have been used mostly as a Christmas tree?
|Albany woolly bush flowers|
Let’s find out …I'm talking with Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au a
NEW VARIETY OF WOOLLY BUSH
|Adenanthos Silver Lining image supplied by Plants Management Australia www.pma.com.au|