Dragon Fruit Cactus

In my Vietnamese neighbours garden you can feast. It looks sparse on first observations but a tour of the garden soon reveals a genuine bounty of foods. My neighbour and I can only speak to each other via our body language and gesticulation. I do not speak a word of Vietnamese and she not a word of English. And hence with have in ten years never exchanged names but have only ever pointed at each others edible plants, tasted and gloated at our shared passions.

On my recent visit there I discovered some new plants I have not seen before, some I have been able to identify easily using the internet and others are going to take a little more time.

Dragon Fruit Cactus: which produces those amazing red succulent globular berries with minute black seeds inside white flesh, was easy to identify but the others a little trickier.

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Saved coriander seeds.

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The distinctive first leaves of coriander.

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A brilliant gardener, with a highly productive vegetable garden, heaps of knowledge and experience with food plants from Vietnam.

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Food plants I can’t recognise, the tubers of which are edible.

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Edible tubers. Do you know what they are?


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Plantain or a type of sorrel?

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Vegetable scraps are dug directly into the garden to improve soil structure and fertility.

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Another edible plant I can’t identify. The leaves are blanched and rolled with a meat stuffing inside.

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My neighbour showing me the rolling technique.

Leaf detail.

Leaf detail.

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Every bit of the garden is put to use with the use of styrofoam boxes.

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I am told that the fleshy leaves of this succulent are also edible.

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Dragon fruit.

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Gourd leaves.

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Another edible serrated edge lettuce.