Doctor Dic’s Welsh herbal

One of the bitterest pills to swallow for those who care about contemporary Wales is the state of the nation’s health. First there is the odious background noise of the …

Squashed

It was my lucky day: I picked up a butternut squash at the Food Bank. Squashes, and indeed the whole Cucurbita genus (pumpkins, marrows, gourds, courgettes, cucumbers), are actually fruits not vegetables, being seed-bearing. …

Bamboozled

I had only one non-negotiable condition when my partner and I were house-hunting in Cardiff years ago: the back garden had to be facing either south or west or south-west to …

Rhubarb, rhubarb

The first non-imported fruit of the year is now available: forced rhubarb, grown in pitch-dark sheds in the ‘rhubarb triangle’ of Yorkshire. Of course rhubarb is technically not a fruit …

Food for free

I’ve been foraging for Autumn’s free harvest again; this time for hazel nuts from Corylus avellana, a native shrubby tree abundant in wild places on Cardiff’s northerly range of hills. …

Gone pear-shaped

Native to cool, temperate regions, the pear has been cultivated in Europe since the beginnings of agriculture. In southern Wales every farm and smallholding once had a pear orchard and the freely available, easy …

Go man, go!

There is a reason why the mango has not attained the widespread popularity of other tropical fruits: it is a bastard to prepare. You’ve got to peel off the tough, inedible …