The combination of two words obviously, Urban and Edible;
Urban – Relating to or concerned with a city or densely populated area.
Edible – If you can swallow it and you don’t die, it’s edible.
Urban Edibles is about providing information for all that is edible within the urban environment, from the high rise flat to the standard house and land to all that is consumable, this covers a broad range of topics from foraged to home grown to store bought edibles such as food and drink and all in between. It is about improving the education of people who want to create their own Urban Edibles Garden.
We consume food atleast 3 times per day and are suppose to drink 2 litres of water, what we consume moulds the lives of ourselves our families and the community. If we always head to the shop for the next fix we are potentially wasting energy and money, however if we forage all of our food we are likely to end up with a few health issues as well.
So what is the best for us and how can we obtain it? Is it worth growing carrots in the back yard? How about making my own wine? What provides me with the biggest return for my money and inturn energy input.
This is not about self sufficiency it is about self reliance; however tips on self sufficiency will appear for anyone who wants to head down this path.
From a self reliance view point maximising the yield and return from your small urban garden is the most important thing.
Beneficial Insects provide two benefits.
- They pollinate plants
- They reduce the impact of harmful insects.
The aim is to encourage as many beneficial insects into your garden as possible and this requires creating a garden full of perennials and annuals that provide a habitat or food source for the bugs and insects you want to encourage. The problem is pests have short reproduction cycles when compared to beneficial bugs and insects. Within a short period of time pests can reproduce to take advantage of openings that have become available. An area of the garden that has just started to grow weeds will be full of pests while a well established shrubs will contain beneficial insects. It is critical to create habitats that encourage beneficials insects and bugs to keep down the number of pests while improving pollination. Some beneficial bugs and insects include
- Praying Mantice
- Parasitic Wasps
Zones are an integral part of designing a permaculture system. The reduce the amount of energy required during all seasons. The closer zones are for perennial plants and plants used on a daily basis with outer zones for long term crops and forests.
Being able to pick your herbs from right next to your BBQ saves time, money and increases the freshness of the herbs. It also makes food taste better. Pulling a sprig of rosemary straight out of the garden dipping it in a little olive oil and then rubbing it across the steak just makes the steak sing.
But what herbs to plant is the biggest question.
A book that contains a lot of informantion on herbs is The Kitchen Garden Companion: Dig, Plant, Water, Grow, Harvest, Chop, Cook by Stephanie Alexander.
The best herbs to plant are Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Mint, Sage, Lemon Grass, Chilli, Chives, Garlic Chives, Fennel, Ginger, Dill, Tarragon, Bay.
Along with a few alternate plants such as tansy to keep away the flies.
Knowing what goes well with what dish is also important because when choosing your herbs you need to know what you are going to cook.
Beef – Rosemary, Thyme, Basil