Greens

Oh geez, it has been awhile since I have posted.  That is because it is MAY, and I have been busy being OUTSIDE.  This morning it is pouring rain and the Burlington marathon in happening — I can see those runners going by in the rain from the studio window.  Everybody is walking down to the waterfront to watch those sufferers bring it in, nipples bleeding, and get their silver superhero blankets.

The point of green land you can see in this picture is where our garden is — looking, in this view, from North Beach.  We’ve done a lot of work in it this week, and things that are starting to come up include: peas, radishes, mustard, mesclun, arugula, calendula, poppies, and carrots.  My transplants of onions, scallions, leeks, shallots, and cabbage are not doing so well since the light frost we had earlier this week, but there’s at least one plant of each hanging in there.  We’ve also planted corn, three kinds of potatoes, beets, beans, spinach, herbs, and nasturtiums.  All that is really left is to put in our pepper, tomato, and tomatillo transplants, probably next week, and the bottom third, which is all mounds of squash, cukes, melons and pumpkins.

Of course, while you are planting things to grow, all the edible greens that plant themselves are coming up too.  This is lambs quarters, or chenopodium album, which likes disturbed soil like your garden beds or compost piles.  You can eat it fresh or cooked any way, like spinach, but it’s more flavorful, nutty and a bit sharp.  It usually has magical, purple-pink fairy dust on it.  There are also plenty of nettles, garlic mustard, ground ivy, wild violets, and the bitter last bits of dandelion greens around.  Another new plant I just learned about is Japanese Knotweed:

It looks like this, and it’s invasive, and taking over Burlington in a BIG way.  As soon as it was pointed out to me, I started noticing it everywhere.  If you walk up (or, ahem, bike all the way up, like I did on Wednesday) Depot Street from the lake, look up on your right and you will see a FOREST of it.  Anyway, if you cut the stalks when they are young, about a foot tall, you can slice them up to cook and they taste like mild rhubarb.

Speaking of rhubarb, today Penny Cluse has a cornbread french toast special with rhubarb compote.

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One Response to “Greens”

  1. jds Says:

    KILL Japanese Knotweed! It has taken over the banks of the Mad River and is spreading like crazy. We recently had an invasives cook-off. Knotweed crumble is so freaking tasty.

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