This week we’re giving a shout out to bana grass, an amazing support plant that you’ll see in many places around the farm. I have really grown to appreciate its versatility and usefulness.
Bana Grass grows in tall and thick clumps, making it an excellent windbreak. You will find it on the edges of many garden beds and perimeter banks, protecting our precious crops from potentially damaging winds.
It also provides shade. Our farm office is an oven-like shipping container that receives full sun all morning. Early last year, I stuffed some bana grass cuttings into the ground and we now have the most amazing 4-metre-high thicket of greenery shading our office. We haven’t even used the fan this summer! Best of all, we will cut it all back over winter (when we want some warmth) and it will regrow even thicker next summer.
Bana grass is a favourite food for the goats and sheep. They love to munch on it. Just this week, our male sheep Dougal broke his leg. He had to be confined after a cast was put on and was deeply unhappy. However, a visit with fresh stalks of bana grass turned the tables!
When planting seedlings, we often have help from people who are new to the task. So, we grab some bana grass and cut as many ‘spacer guides’ as we need for instant, accurate and biodegradable tools.
Bana grass is a great example of permaculture design in action; how one plant can offer holistic solutions that benefit people and planet. A word of caution though: because bana grass grows so prolifically, it can become an invasive weed if not managed effectively. So do your research before planting in your growing space to see if it is the right support plant for you.
Fair Food & Farm Manager
In your box on Tuesday 14 February 2023:
In your box on Tuesday 7 February 2023:
Note: We sometimes need to make changes to what we pack in your veg box based on the quantity or quality of produce that we can harvest and source. If you have any questions about what is in your box, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].
Feature Veg: Cabbage & Joi Choi
Like its cousins broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, cabbage boasts a wide variety of health benefits. It is high in vitamin C, dietary fibre and folate, and low in calories. It is also incredibly versatile in the kitchen and pairs well with stronger ingredients because of its mild flavour. Well-known in coleslaws, braised greens and salad mixes, green cabbage can also be juiced, wilted, braised, roasted, stir-fried, and grilled. Try using is as a lettuce alternative in a wrap or adding it to a soup or curry!
Joi choi, like bok choy, is a staple ingredient in Asian dishes and a surprisingly versatile vegetable. With dark green leaves and crisp white stalks, it packs a nutritional punch compared to similar veggies. You can prepare it by sautéing, frying, steaming, shredding, pickling, grilling, or eating it as is! Make sure to stop cooking when the stalks are just tender to avoid overcooking. Store your bok choy in a sealed container or reused plastic bag in the veggie crisper of your fridge. For more info about bok choy and joi choi, including recipe links, visit https://green-connect.com.au/produce/bok-choy/.