In season

April 14

In now: Jerusalem artichokes are so fresh and sweet they are great in salads, despite the pain of peeling. Plant breeders are aiming for a less knobbly, easier-to-peel version. Until then don’t bother peeling them if you are roasting or steaming but do scrub them well.

At its best: Goodbye to the wrinkly old imported lemons and hello to fresh lemon zest brightening everything from braises to salads.

Best busy: Chestnuts are everywhere, including on the ground if you want to go collecting at Mount Tomah and Mount Victoria.

In the vegie patch: Take cuttings of rosemary to make a hedge or share with friends. This is a particularly nice gesture if you happen to have a very tasty rosemary with strong straight stems good for turning into lamb skewers. Share the wealth! Strip the bottom leaves and insert  pen-length cuttings into  propagating or potting mix. Make a hole with your finger first to avoid damaging the cut end of the stem.

What else:

  • make a plan to visit Glenmore House for its open day on May 2 and 3. Mickey Robertson’s kitchen garden and orchard will inspire you to grow and cook all sorts of goodies. And there will be food and plants for sale.
  • cheap figs are on their way out, so enjoy the last hurrah
  • don’t bother with blueberries at the moment. The Tasmanian harvest is finished and the mid-north coast NSW harvest won’t start until spring. The current berries are coming out of cold storage and quickly turn mushy.
  • the pink-blushed young ginger roots around now make a great mild pickled ginger.
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