Friday, March 20, 2009

THE EDIBLE YARD




First off------Happy first day of Spring. We here folks.

Rains came yesterday to hasten the new growth in my yard. My lawnmower is still in the shop thanks to the ice storm which put all the small engine mechanics in a tail spin trying to keep the chain saws running. It was not a real problem till the rain, and now my weeds have gone wild.

When I first moved here, I joined the garden club to learn about the local plants. Knowing about palms and citrus wasn't a big help in the Ozarks. The garden club members were also Master Gardeners and talked me into taking the course. One of the lectures was on lawns and weeds. As the instructor showed slide after slide of native weeds, I just kept nodding. Yeh, I got that, got that too, oh yeh, got lots of that. It finally dawned on me that I had no grass, just a massive collection of weeds.




It was Hans,the teen age son of my handyman, who brightened my out look. Hans pointed out that I had the largest selection of edible plants he had ever seen. Considering the economy, this is not a bad thing. The budding horticulturist then took me around the yard showing me all the good things to eat.









He pointed out the clover and said that the flowers made good tea.





The lovely lavender plants that covered my lawn were both Henbit and Red Dead Nettle. Henbit has heart shaped leaves and the nettle have triangular ones. Evidently the leaves are smashing sauteed in butter. The flowers are lovely in early spring.









Wild Onion left and Garlic to the right


What really impressed Hans was my abundance of wild garlic. This I had all ready been aware of for every time I mowed, the aroma was wonderful and I would be starved by the time I finished. I use them and the wild onion leaves cut up in salad or like chives. Very good.

According to my gardening friends, a weed is just any plant growing where you don't want it. A rose bush growing in a corn field is a weed. Thus a lot of my so called weeds are not really weeds for I don't mind where they are growing.


It might be nice to have a nice even lawn of similar grasses but then I would miss the lovely aroma of the garlic, and the beauty of the Henbit as it turns the early spring yard lavender. I'd miss the white clover that keeps the bees busy and feeds the rabbits. The rabbits prefer the clover so they leave my veggies alone. That is a good thing.







A manicured and perfect lawn does have an appealing uniformity but then that is not always desired. The variety and individuality of my plants (see, they are no longer weeds) keep me interested. And, don't forget, if times get harder, grass is not really tasty nor nourishing.

7 comments :

  1. It is all in the way we look at things, isn't it? : ) Btw...I have some lovely poke I would be happy to share.

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  2. Loved your post, Patti. Most of the "green" in my back yard is from a running plant named Ground Ivy. It has a lovely geranium-like smell when cut, and while it's definitely a weed, I don't want to do away with it; lawn mowing would lose it's fragrant appeal. Who needs grass?

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  3. Attitude is half the battle! If I removed all the weeds from our lawn, there would be nothing left but a few straggling blades of saw grass.

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  4. Your edible landscape looks grand. How wonderful to have such a wise young man looking around for you. Thanks for reminding me of the name of the plant with the heart-shaped leaves: henbit. I had forgotten.

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  5. Jewels, Thanks for the offer but I have a nice selection of Poke here also. Have you ever had poke salad?

    Pat Thanks. Your ground ivy looks a lot like henbit except it smells better when mowed. Enjoy.

    Kenju You kow the more poeple I talk to, the more I find they are like us. Go weeds.

    Robin I miss that little guy. They moved but I really enjoyed picking his brain. Hans was a very knowledgable young man.
    If I didn't have henbit, think I would plant it.

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  6. Yes. My Mom cooked them similar to spinach (I hear you have to rinse them several times - something in them is hard on the kidneys???) I actually like the taste of them. Do you like poke?

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  7. Jewels
    Never done it but am willing to try. Think I will research that kidney thing first.

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