What's in a Pesto? Bugleweed, Chickweed, Zinnia, Hosta, Pellitory, Day Lily Buds---"Green" Skies The Limit!
I came home late last night from work to be greeted by my neighbor who is a gardener.
Hullo, I said.
We got to chit chatting a bit, then he asked me if I wanted some Tomato plants. Turns out, he had tons of plants leftover from a project at the school where he teaches.
Sure, I said.
Oh boy, when he said he had leftovers, try about about more than 2 dozen!! There were 2 sets of 4 plants all growing together, with roots all intertwined. I gave those to my lovely elderly neighbor, as well as 2 Pepper plants. I kept 2 Pepper plants for myself and for my downstairs neighbors, I gave them a Tomato and Pepper plant. The rest of the Tomato plants I'm going to bring to work to plant in the sandy garden.
Ah yes, there looks to be quite the Tomato party happening in my future :)
While I was out and about doing gardening tasks, guess who I spotted growing along the wall, right close to the stairs? Pellitory!! I'm seeing her growing everywhere now! I of course moved her to a more suitable location, less the lawnmower see her ;)
Yep, and I even found 2 of her growing in one of the planters and decided to move Bugleweed in with her. Bugleweed makes an excellent ground cover plant and did you know that she's edible? Yep, I took off a god bunch of her leaves and am going to add them to tomorrow's pesto! :)
Well, I'm also adding Nasturtium, Chickweed, Hosta, Dill, Basil, Anise Hyssop, Mallow, Strawberry leaves, Pellitory, Day Lily Buds, and a touch of Dandelion to the pesto pot. There might be some other wild greens in there, like maybe a touch of Wood Sorrel, Lamb's Quarter or Common Sow Thistle, don't remember what now ;)
Wait...oh yeah! That's right, I did a bit of "foraging" at work, so there's also some Creeping Bellflower and Loosestrife Leaves. Now how could I miss those ones ;)
But really, what's in a pesto? When it comes to wild edible greens, the "green" sky is the limit!
Boo hoo: green aphids were spotted on the wilted Cucumber leaves while orange ones were spotted infesting Butterfly weed. I sprayed them with a mix of water, dish soap and essential oils. I hope it works because the Cukes are starting to come in and I'm so looking forward to some cooling fruit! Or veggie, whichever way you call 'em :)
I snapped up a few pics of blooming in the balcony garden. Zinnia, Heart's Ease/Pansy, Nasturtium, Borage and Yarrow are all in flower. Unfortunately, the weather today has been stormy and hailing and the flowers and leaves were affected. There are huge holes in Mustard leaves, for example, where you'd think a bug had torn into it. Nope, it was hail. The Mallow and Basil leaves were all furled as if a sudden cold front had happened. Nope, storm weather! And while Nasturtium flowers seem kinda floppy, Borage flowers are pale and kinda week looking. Poor sweetie, she's in the Cucumber family, she likes her hot weather!
Anyway, it's supposed to be nice and pleasant the next few days, so I'm hoping to go out foraging. I was thinking about checking this small area beside another mall not far away, a tiny field that's rather fenced in. Then there's Nettle to collect at Bellefield (yep, future pesto!) and those twinkling blue Prunella sweeties calling me forth from the lawn downstairs...
Alrighty sunshine, keep you posted of my future bright adventures!! :)
Ps. Zinnia leaves are rather bitter tasting, so use them as you would Dandelion leaves. Fine for juice, soups, stews and of course, pesto --- but in moderation, unless you're hooked on the bitter (doubt it!).
Enjoy the pics :)
Yep, I did it again!
I passed by the flower market and got a few more additions to the balcony garden.
While I was there, there was a lady who was saying the same thing as I had in the past, that her sowed seeds hadn't shown and her plants were still slowly coming in, nothing much in bloom.
The flower market man said that wind, less so than cold, was the real culprit.
How so, I inquired?
He said that wind burned the leaves and also destroyed the stems of plants; hence the destruction led them unable to recover. He said the Tomato plants, for example, had suffered many burned leaves due to the wind factor.
In permaculture, wind is definitely a factor to consider when thinking about designing a site, whether a garden or landscape. And as many people know, wind gusts can be crazy and topsy turvy in the city, due to the presence of many buildings. Planting close to a fence can be one trick that can help, as can using stakes if you know plants are susceptible to toppling over (e.g. Borage or Peonies). You could also consider planting in a pot and then bringing in the plant during windy days. Another solution, if you have the space, is to use a greenhouse.
So, what did I pick up at the flower market today?
Ha ha, the flower market man, while he was arranging the flowers on the rack, was smelling them as he was checking them. He was also looking for a Spanish Lavender he had purported to have seen, when I asked him if he had any more Lavender plants. He rubbed his nose and said that just smelling the Thyme, Mint and Sage, his sinuses had gotten cleared out!
Wow, I told him, you're quite sensitive to smells. He shrugged his shoulders, didn't seem to know anything about it. In fact, later on during our conversation, when I told him I had studied naturopathy and that I had taken some herb classes, I was telling him that Bergamot made a great tea and that Bugleweed was a tea that helped to clear lung issues. He was surprised, didn't know anything about it...
The woman I was talking to at the flower market was also surprised when I mentioned a few of the herbs being edible. I told her last year I had made a Lavender perfume and she said oh that's nice, how lovely, yet it crossed my mind that just in talking to these 2 individuals that many people are unaware of the value (medicinal, edible or both) of what's growing right below their feet in their own garden!!
It gave me the idea to perhaps contact the horticultural group in my area and ask if they'd be interested in some weed walks, where I could yack on about the benefits of many common plants. To be seen...
All for now, see you next time, sunshine :)
Curiosity Got The Cat: