An added bonus: I’ve met more neighbours in the past two days converting my front yard of lawn-hell into something useful and productive than I have in the past year living here. Who knew gardening was so social?
These little trays of jiffys are quick and easy, although I’m resolved to settle on a reusable tray that I can fill with sterile potting soil. Not only because I’m cheap and would love to eliminate the consumables here, but because these little netting thingers didn’t seem to break down in my previous garden reliably, so I’d end up picking some out in the fall.
This tray: greek oregano, sweet basil, chervil, lavender, wild thyme, savory, marjoram, sage, dill, and cayenne chili. I don’t think I’ll be able to produce enough herbs this year to satiate my garden design plan, and I wouldn’t mind a few herby-house-plants too. I also seeded some wild chive and artemesia frigida for some ‘moist stratification’ action. Haven’t done this one before. Basically seed, moisten, stick in garage to freeze and thaw a bunch of times prior to them being ready to go.
Seeding is exciting – so much promise of wonderful things to come.
My mission: edible plants, featuring many native edibles. Barring very few exceptions [peonies], it made no sense to me to plant things that didn’t produce food. I also did not want to till my front and back yards into a vast sea of dirt for tidy rows of staple vegetables. Thankfully, my idea is not an original one, and in fact, there’s a company in town that specializes in such garden design. I’ve read most every book in the library on the topic of garden design. I’ve got a plan to scale that’s evolving more slowly as weeks pass. Edible it will be, and I’m hoping it can produce like crazy.
Now if only spring would arrive.
The actual reason for my absence wasn’t because of hours of plant research – but because of a new arrival in our family. I now have two lovely daughters. Thankfully, this little one is the opposite of the last, and we have a peaceful little sleeping newborn around the house rather than a second round of colic hell.
So I’m here. Planning. Setting roots. Doing lots of homework. Many food adventures ahead this year, and I want to be ready…
Chard leaves. As with most greens, preferably picked in the cool of the morning. Pick far more than you think you’ll need, it cooks down big-time.
Start on high heat with an ounce or so of water to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once steaming, cover, and let cook slowly over low heat, until completely wilted and dark green. I leave the lid off when done, and cook off any excess liquid. I suppose you could pour it off. Add some good butter, salt and pepper. Toss. Alternatively, good oil, salt and pepper. This is a good place to use extra virgin canola oil, in my opinion. Yes, you heard me right: extra virgin canola oil.
I eat a lot of game, as you know, and my favorite condiment with game is easily prepared horseradish. Needless to say, I will eventually be posting on my first attempts at making and canning the stuff for my winter supply. I’ve read about it, and talked to some folks that have made it, so I know enough to…let’s say…be cautious. But if you have a tried and true recipe to share – please do!
On another note: as I slowly get my life back in order after a crazy year, I am resolved to get back to my blogging self. More tomorrow. Promise.
If things go as they did last year, the thyme will dry out and seemingly go dormant for a month or two prior to starting this year’s growth. So I’m making hay while the sun shines.
It pleases me to no end to post about gardening, and to get excited about fresh seasonal foods grown in my backyard. So inspiring. March to me screams fresh sage – as it’s the first to sprout new leaves in my herb bed. Oregano follows closely behind. So fresh herb season has arrived, and will carry on until next year’s winter snow shuts my supply and inspiration off, yet again.