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Thread: The Happy Gardeners Thread

  1. #1
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    Smile The Happy Gardeners Thread

    I know it's winter now but I'm sure this hasn't put off our avid gardeners, especially those who have been lovingly cultivating their indoor bays/greenhouses

    I was wondering if anyone has spotted in NZ and/or is presently cultivating the following spice / food plants:

    1. Kaffir Lime (Citrus hystrix DC., Rutaceae)
    Widely grown worldwide as a backyard shrub, the kaffir lime is a rough, bumpy green fruit that grows on very thorny bush with aromatic and distinctively shaped "double" leaves. It is well suited to container growing. The green lime fruit is distinguished by its bumpy exterior and its small size (approx. 4 cm wide). Kaffir lime juice, with fresh Mint and Lemongrass garnish, is a refreshing soothing drink (...a potential L&P contender?)

    2. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon)
    Native to India, Lemongrass is widely used as a herb in Asian cuisine. It has a citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. Lemon grass is commonly used in teas, soups, and curries. It is also suitable for poultry, fish, and seafood. It is often used as a tea in African and Latin American countries.

    Research also shows that lemon grass oil has anti-fungal properties.

    3. Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius)
    Used widely in Southeast Asian cooking. It is an erect green plant with fan-shaped sprays of long, narrow, bladelike leaves and woody aerial roots. The plant is sterile, flowers only very rarely, and is propagated by cuttings.

    The plant is rare in the wild but cultivated widely for use as a flavoring in cooking. The leaves are used fresh or wilted, and are commercially available in frozen form in Asian grocery stores in nations where the plant does not grow. They have a nutty, botanical fragrance which enhances the flavor of Indonesian, Filipino, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese and Burmese foods, especially rice dishes and cakes. The leaves are sometimes steeped in coconut milk, which is then added to the dish. They may be tied in a bunch and cooked with the food. They also may be woven into a basket which is used as a pot for cooking rice. Pandan chicken, or gai ob bai toey, is a Thai dish with chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and fried. The leaves are also used as a flavoring for desserts such as pandan cake and sweet beverages.

    A knot of fresh Pandan leaves has also proven to be highly effective as both a fragrant natural air freshener as well as cockroach deterrent. Many good folks are happily using them in their cars!



    Descriptions of the above 3 plants were adapted from Wikipedia and interspersed with my own humble recipes and observations.

  2. #2
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    I'm afraid I haven't quite got to the point where I've have a greenhouse, but if you start growing those I'll be straight round for "cuttings"!!

  3. #3
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    PS - you don't fancy giving some of girlies in Chch a cooking lesson do you?!!

  4. #4
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    Smile Happy Gardeners Make Happy Chefs!

    Quote Originally Posted by Moorf View Post
    PS - you don't fancy giving some of girlies in Chch a cooking lesson do you?!!
    *Blush* I am but a humble gardener and incidental cook

    It would certainly be my greatest pleasure and honour to share culinary discoveries with everyone though I must confess that my skills are merely rudimentary relative to my mum's!
    Last edited by Leo; 12th July 2009 at 12:02 AM. Reason: Doh! Green fingers slobbering over the keyboard...

  5. #5
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    Deal - I'll teach you to make cheese!

    Right, we better start organising these culinary get-togethers!! I think we've had the ideas for about 3 yrs - all talk and no action!

  6. #6
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    I've got a Kaffir lime tree, we planted it last year and it seems to be doing ok. It's alive at any rate. It's outside on our windy hillside, with a few weather beaten lemons and oranges. It's too windy for a greenhouse up here, I need to wait until my shelter belt has grown up.

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up Yipee! Kaffir Lime found in NZ!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam B View Post
    I've got a Kaffir lime tree, we planted it last year and it seems to be doing ok. It's alive at any rate. It's outside on our windy hillside...

    Fantastic! Sam I hope you'll take good care of your Kaffir Lime tree.

    It'll be great if I may have a stem-cutting from you when I finally get the chance to start my own spice & herbal garden/greenhouse in Chch!
    Last edited by Leo; 12th July 2009 at 12:33 AM. Reason: Doh! Green fingers turned to Butter fingers...

  8. #8
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    I have an orange and lemon tree that I'm desperately trying to protect from those frosty mornings here in the valley!!

    The frost is not all I have had to protect them from mind you!!! The other night I had to fight off some 'citrus loving' aliens!!!

    (See M-Squared's Mash get Smash thread for explanation)!!

    The rest of garden looks like a bomb has hit it at the moment. Just waiting for it to warm up a little before I go out there and get my fingers all green again.

    Oh how I HATE the bloomin' cold!!!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arwen View Post
    The frost is not all I have had to protect them from mind you!!! The other night I had to fight off some 'citrus loving' aliens!!!

    (See M-Squared's Mash get Smash thread for explanation)!!
    They're still about eh? Little sods.

    Nick.

  10. #10
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    Yes Nik, they are still about, crafty little beggars!!!

    I hit one over the head the other day and buried it in a shallow grave. The only problem is the cat keeps sniffing and digging around the site and now when she comes in at night, she glows a weird green colour????

    I hope she hasn't turned into a citrus loving alien cat!!!!

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