The rains have come. My hill has been washed anew, the garden revitalized.
My backyard… with the “phantom tractor” in the misty rain poised to hay.
The Rose of Sharon bloom and surround our house with the buzzing of bees and fluttering of hummingbird wings.
We have several varieties of tomatoes this year. I am excited to try them all!
As I tend my garden, I have become friends with the weeds. Many of them end up in my collection basket! Here is a common one, lambsquarters, which can be used much like spinach or kale. I will have to share my Lambsquarter Lasagna recipe with you next time I make it! Lambsquarter foraging lasts beyond many other plants, as you can still harvest the tender tops (flowers and seeds may be eaten) when the plant has gotten older and tougher. It is a purifier herb, meaning it collects pollutants from the soil and purifies the land, so be sure you are collecting from clean soil. It is mild in flavor, high in Vitamins A & C, and according to my field guide, if you winnow the seed tops by rubbing the fruiting spikes in a paper bag, you can use them for flour (similar to buckwheat flour, and added to pancakes and muffins). This is going to be a fun activity for the kids and I in the next few weeks!
Another popular citizen in my garden is common mallow. The leaves and young shoots are edible raw and cooked, and can be used as a thickener in soups (just as okra thickens). More fascinating uses can be found here.
Then, there is tiny and delicate woodsorrel with its wee yellow flowers. It tastes lemony and tangy, and I always add a bit to our salads or chew on a little while gardening. It purifies the blood, invigorates the spirits, and puts a smile on your face. Be moderate though- it contains oxalic acid, which shouldn’t be overdone (also found in spinach and kale).
Sundays we usually have a Family Feast. In cooler weather, this often involves a roast (often from our chickens or neighbors’ cow). This time of year,our feast are mainly garden fare. I am still wallowing in delight from last night’s meal…
This was the first year we tried garlic. We didn’t get a whole lot, but the heads we harvested are beautiful!
Cedar Ring Papa grilled baby zucchinis and carrots, the smothered them in organic butter. MMM. He also made a grated beet and carrot salad. I steamed green beens, sauteed beet greens in our fresh garlic and some butter, then added some chicken broth and let it simmer for a bit. And the quinoa tabouli is chock full of garden fresh cilantro and tomatoes! So simple- 4 cups of cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup chopped parlsey (I used cilantro, as that is what we had more of), 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1.5 tsp salt, juice of 1.5 lemons, 1.5 cups diced tomatoes, and a tsp of dried or tablespoon of fresh mint. It is good warm or cold!
We also had a huge salad of greens, basil, and tomatoes with bite size chunks of fresh mozzarella, and of course, we drizzle balsamic vinegar over it. MMM. I think I will go eat the leftovers.
I hope you are enjoying tasty morsels of summer! I will post about our autumn meal plan (recipes included) soon.