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.
- 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.