09 May 2009

Nature's Harvest

The greenhouse isn't our only source of home grown food at Stratheden Farm. This wee stretch of Eden has quite a number of wild edibles. Walnuts, spice bush, cherries, apples... There's lots if we're willing to make a small effort. Life was too crazy to go picking dandelion greens (OK, the desert dweller couldn't remember what they looked like when young) and I missed my window for making candied wild violets but we are enjoying onion season.

Mr. Fuzzy went on another hike down to the wilder parts of our property and came back with culinary gold: a bag of wild ramps (leeks.) Mmmm Mmmmm! I'm off to find more interesting recipes than "fry up and add an egg." If I'm going to stink too bad to go out in public I'm going to make it special. We shared them out with a friend who is suffering a broken toe and unable to get at his own patch so I might have to go get another batch myself.

We're also pulling up another wild onion right here in the yard. A couple weeks ago I was snacking on them like one does chives in the garden. (You do chew on chive flower shoots, too, don't you?) Mr Fuzzy wouldn't eat them until The Forester confirmed their edibility. (Wimp!) Those little wild onions pack a big punch and now they're big enough to pull up for the tiny bulbs. I'll have some on a baked potato tonight.

Right now I'm drinking tea made from the prunings of a small black birch that's growing quite inappropriately under the eve of the garage. When I asked The Forester about how to keep these things under control so they don't mess with the foundations he suggested eating it until it becomes a bonsai.

Like most wild teas, birch has a savoury, slightly bitter, undercurrent but the leading flavor is sweet and cleansing. Brings back memories of the last walk I took with my grandfather. He picked something out there in the woods and it tasted really good. Then I moved to the desert so I never knew what it was... until now!

Yes, even without the drama of the greenhouse we're starting to feed ourselves from the farm. It's awfully tasty!

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