Vibrant and vigorous in the right conditions, lemongrass is a well-adapted introduced species. Once established, clumps of lemongrass are flood, fire and drought resistant - making it extremely popular for landscaping as well as in kitchen gardens. It is usually propagated by dividing rooted stems from the large clumps, but also grows easily from seed.
|Lemongrass planted 4 months ago from a single stem|
But beware! Although an attractive feature plant and essential culinary herb, lemongrass risks becoming an environmental monster. The flowering stems of established lemongrass release hundreds of seeds which have high germination rates. Therefore, cooks who grow lemongrass - especially country cooks and Country Frogs with gardens near waterways and native bushland - need to be diligent about cutting off seed heads before they 'blow'.
This week, down on the farm, I found self-sown lemongrass seedlings growing too close to the creek. So far I’ve pulled out armloads and put it on the burning heap but some of the little guys will become potted plants for friends in town. Contained, lemongrass makes a wonderful feature on a sunny balcony or patio, and its uses in cooking are unlimited.
|Stems & leaves in a knot; remove before serving|
Try it in sorbet, ice-cream and fruit salad.
Put it in the teapot.
Make it into kebab skewers.
Use in stews, soups, salads.
|Ready for the teapot, kebabs or bathtub|
Hey-ho, it’s off to work we go in the country next weekend. The froglets and I have invited ourselves to the farm to help get rid of that pesky lemongrass. We’d love to take some home to make twists for our baths, and to give bundles to cook-friends. And when we finish weeding, we might persuade Country Frog to show us how to make Pan Bread. Fresh warm bread, local cheese and a few home-pickled onions sounds good to me for a working frog’s lunch. After lunch we’d love to have a paddle in the creek. Town Frog
Next time: Aussie Drover’s Dinner down at the creek.