Hobo Stove Pakoras with Backyard Foraged Dandelions
Our backyard has exploded with dandelions, and I’ve been keen to try out a camping recipe.
Upcycled from its previous life as a giant can of chickpeas, this simple device was also begging for a test drive.
Tinder. Twigs. Light.
I plucked these golden nuggets straight from the yard and gave them a quick rinse. The moisture trapped in the petals hold the perfect amount to adhere the flour and spices - no need to add more. My take on the pakora mix consists of chickpea flour, coconut flour, fine cornmeal flour - a 3:1:1 ratio. For seasoning, add a pinch of garam masala, turmeric, salt, and chili powder.
Toss in bag. Coat.
Let the pakoras slide around the pan. Careful to turn and not burn. The hobo stove can pack a lot of heat.
Serve with a chutney or your favorite condiment. Can’t get more seasonal, local, homecooked, and energy-efficient than this!
BACKYARD FORAGED DANDELION PAKORA POPPERS….DONE~
Everyone just read that in the voice of Gordon Ramsay from FWord right? Right…? Because otherwise I just wasted 30min of my life concocting this.
Native American agricultural tribes have been using this combination of
corn, squash and beans for centuries because it works. A fish would be
buried under a small mound for fertilizer and corn would be planted on
top of the mound. Squash would cover the ground beneath the corn while
the beans climbed up the corn and added nitrogen to the soil. Multiple
mounds could be integrated into an edible landscape. Though this is only
one combination of plants that work well together, it is simple, proven
to work, and a great basis for understanding permaculture gardening
Yarrow is a beautiful wildflower that both repels insect pests and
attracts beneficial insects to the garden such as predatory wasps,
ladybugs, butterflies and bees. Yarrow is known for its beautiful,
intricate leaves and bright flowers and can be effectively used to
combat soil erosion. Besides benefitting the garden, this herb can be
used as an anti-inflammatory agent, a tonic, astringent, or can be used
in a variety of other medical uses. Flowers can be used to make bitters
and has been historically used to flavor beer. Due to its hardy nature,
yarrow thrives just about anywhere in the garden and comes in a variety
of colors, making it excellent for aesthetic and practical purposes in
8. Stinging Nettles
Possibly the most unpleasant plant on this list, the stinging nettle is
considered a weed by most. Chemical secretions within this plant cause
it to burn when handled, so exhibit caution. Despite its drawbacks,
stinging nettles are used in a variety of medicines and remedies
including gastrointestinal aid, BPH, increasing testosterone in
bodybuilding, or as a treatment for rheumatism. The leaves are eaten by
many types of caterpillars and will increase the amount of beneficial
insects in the garden. Stinging nettles are a natural repellent to
aphids and the roots contain anti-fungal properties. Nettle leaves can
be cooked as a healthy green or dried and used in herbal teas (soaking
in water and cooking eliminate the sting). This weed is extremely
beneficial, though care must be taken around the stinging leaves.
A strong, but pleasant smelling plant, wormwood is most famously used in
absinthe, though can also be used to brew beer, wine, and in making
bitters. This hardy bush contains chemicals that are the base of all
standard malaria medications, but with wormwood no medication is
necessary. It is a natural mosquito repellent, as well as a deterrent
for moths, slugs, fleas, flies, and mice. Scattering wormwood around the
perimeter of a garden acts as a natural fence to ward off unwanted
These perennial herbs are a great addition to nearly any garden. They
are unobtrusive to other plants and will increase yields of beans,
asparagus, chives, eggplants, pumpkin, squash or cucumbers amongst many
others. As long as the light is not being blocked and there is plenty of
room for root growth, most plants will thrive alongside both marjoram
and oregano. An aromatic mixture of herbs such as mint, spearmint,
oregano, lavender or lemon balm can fill any empty spaces in the garden,
stifling weed growth.
Everyone needs an herb garden. Besides repelling moths, ants and mice,
mint is a great addition to many drinks, desserts, or as a garnish. Keep
mint with other similar herbs and they will quickly fill out the space.
Cabbage and tomatoes reportedly increase yields in the presence of
mint, but proceed with caution. Despite all of its benefits, left on its
own mint will take over a garden. It grows back with a vengeance after
being cut. That being said, there will be no reason to ever buy mint at a
grocery store again.
4. Beans (Legumes)
Everyone loves beans, and for good reason. Part of the legume family,
they don’t need much space, they’re healthy, and they will revitalize
your garden soil. Unlike many plants that use up valuable nitrogen from
the earth, beans actually put it back through special enzymes in their
roots. Known as nitrogen fixing, legumes take atmospheric nitrogen (N2)
and convert it to Ammonium (NH4) in the soil, making this macronutrient
available to future and current plants in the vicinity. Aside from
plants in the onion family, beans will thrive alongside most crops. For
best results, plant legumes before, after, and amongst heavy feeders
like tomatoes, squash or broccoli.
Great in soup and even better in the garden, chives are a hardy, low
growing part of the onion family. Besides inhibiting mildew growth and
repelling many harmful insects, the bright purple flowers are known to
attract bees, which are needed to pollinate squash, tomatoes, cherries,
or a plethora of other flowering plants. Chives are best grown under
most types of trees, bushes and vines but should not be present
alongside beans. Harvesting can be done throughout the season as this
plant will constantly regrow its leaves. Chives and other members of the
onion family are excellent additions to any garden.
Besides flavor, garlic has a multitude of benefits for many plants.
Because this bulb thrives in shaded, nutrient rich soil, cover plants
Garlic has been known to deter ants, mosquitoes, aphids, cabbage
butterflies, caterpillars, snails, tomato worms, weevils and vampires
(can never be too careful). Despite all the apparent benefits, avoid
planting garlic with any type of beans, cabbages, or sunflowers since
they will compete with one another for valuable nutrients. Next time you
have an extra clove of garlic, plant it under a fruit tree, amongst
cucumbers, or interspersed with lavender. It will grow with minimal
effort. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and garlic certainly is that
1. Tomatoes and Basil
Probably the most well known example of companion plants. Besides
improving each others flavor, tomatoes and basil really do work
together. The tomato vines provide shade for the delicate basil, which
delays flowering, lengthens the harvesting season, and overall increases
the yield. Meanwhile, basil is a natural repellent for fruit flies,
house flies, and aphids who want nothing more than to lay eggs in a
plump, delicious tomato. Tomato roots run deep, while basil tends to
stay closer to the surface, eliminating competition between the two
plants. High yields and high flavor means true plant love.