Foraging and Flower Market!
On my way to collect Garlic Mustard behind the mall, I discovered lots of Violet leaves hiding between the cement cracks beside the shed. In previous years, there were Sow Thistles, but it seems they've been replaced by another opportunistic weed. I also found some baby Plantain leaves and a few Gill-over-ivy, still with flowers.
I hopped onto my bike and headed for a mini-foraging adventure. On the way there, I was looking at the plants, what was gone or going and what's in. Gone are the Violet flowers, going are the Dandy flowers, all white fluff balls now, and in are Roses. Saw a few of them had flowered (and saw 1 Dame Rocket too!), and I discovered a few other interesting ones behind the mall: Sow Thistles, Toad Flax and a plant that I'm pretty sure is in the grape family. When I saw her, that's what came to my mind, especially seeing the curling tendril. There are houses on the other side, so grapes would make sense.
Need to get better acquainted with those plant families from my botany class Fast!
Coltsfoot flowers were gone and Garlic Mustard was a-plenty and in flower, too. I filled my backpack with her and you'd never know I had passed, there were so many plants! My first intention was to strip the plants of their leaves and leave the stalks bare, but I ended up snipping them and doing that job at home. And when I unpacked my bag later on, it reminded me time and again that foraging has 2 parts: the collecting and the unpacking. Perhaps 4 parts, the going and coming back from the site, because you might want to calculate that in terms of time out and about ;)
Anyway, I composted the steps because I'm not big on all those fibrous bits. I removed several of the leaf petioles, because even those I find to be too much roughage. When the stems are young, I was reading, some steam them and eat them like asparagus. Nah, I'd pass on that, just like I'd pass on eating Dandelion stems. Different strokes for different folks, ya know ;)
Passed by the flower market next and spent another $25 on plants.
It's official: Lamb's Quarter has invaded almost all the pots! Even the ones with Chickweed had Lamb's Q in them!! I pulled them out and added them to the soup pot today.
Oh yes, before I get to the flower market, I forgot to mention that I made a 2 crock pot wild soup. I added in all the Hostas I collected from work (about 2/3 of the crock once I pureed them to small pieces), some Chard and Kale, and several dried wild leaves: Motherwort, Strawberry, Plantain, Violet, Dandelion, Garlic Mustard and Creeping Charlie. To cover the taste of all that bitter, I added in Carrots and Rutabaga, and Italian seasoning herbs: Rosemary, Sage, Dill and Basil.
If you're wondering how it smelled, mmm, the house smells like someone's cooking pasta sauce! It's just the herbs, silly, they are what give off that aroma that we associate with pasta. But alas, I will be pureeing the soup tomorrow, although it will not be tasting of Tomato heaven. Depending on what other veggies I've added, sometimes it tastes just fine, other times still too bitter. When that happens, no biggy: I just add in some Squash or Sweet Potato to smooth out the taste. Works every time :)
At the flower market, I picked up several Italian herbs: Marjoram, Savory, Tarragon, Oregano, Cinnamon Basil and regular Basil. I also got a few medicinal ones as well: Anise Hyssop, Hyssop, Pennyroyal and Mum (the one with orange flowers this time, because I got the yellow ones last time, ha ha, now I have 2 varieties!). I also got a sweetie Stevia plant.
11 plants in all, sheesh, it made me think about all the seeds I planted. It made me question their viability, but more, it made me question their source. I've been buying my seeds from Richters, and I've mentioned that I always add in more seeds than 1 or 2, so surprised that so many seeds have not germinated. Last year I had the same issue, but I figured it was the rainy weather. This year, spring has been a long time coming, but the weather is warm and here to stay.
I checked the pots again today and noticed a few seedlings that weren't Lamb's Quarter, that were the sprouts from the seeds I planted: Borage, Marigold, Geraniums, Mustard and Nasturtiums out front; Dill, Zinnia, Lettuce, Pepper, Tomato and Cuke out back. Will have a look-see again tomorrow and might add more seeds yet again.
Spent about an hour just talking to the flower market men. So lovely to just be out in the sun, soaking up the rays and enjoying the moment...Their conversation started with turista and bathroom behavior while on vacation, then turned to the psychological joys of retail and people trying to steal and take back dead plants, to finally end on a long run about rich people coming to buy in bulk and expecting discounts and delivery. I just listened to their talk, letting the moments pass on...
All for now, see you next time sunshine. Keep burnin' bright :)
Curiosity Got The Cat: