Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gary and the Wild Radish

Gary Bowles examines a wild radish plant, removed from one of his lush grazing paddocks, during a tour of his dairy farm in Mead. 

The wild radish is regarded as a pest plant and according to Gary's spray guy it is one of the worst weeds and really hard to eradicate. 
Interestingly the Japanese regard the plant as a nutritional powerhouse and according to Masanobu Fukuoka's 1975 book 'One Straw Revolution' (one of the founding documents of the alternative food movement) the plant has all kinds of culinary uses.

Gary has a great interest in natural farming methods and passion for plant knowledge. During my visit to Maranatha Gary introduced me to patch of Petty Spurge growing beside his house; a fascinating plant from the Euphorbia group. 

Apparently components of its milky sap are being studied for the treatment of skin cancer, leukemia and warts!

Weeds, and green feed generally, became a bit of a theme of my visit and some of the numerous edible varieties of weeds from Gary's property found their way into the opening night refreshments... but more on that later. 

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