I’m not going to debate climate change with you.
Either you believe that the earth is warming, leading to increasingly erratic global weather patterns – in which case I don’t have to convince you.
Or you don’t believe it – in which case nothing I can say will make you believe otherwise.
After all, the climate change debate inspires more devout and feverish faith than dietary preferences. (And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, make some room for me under that rock of yours!)
What I do know is that the Maryland weather this spring has had more mood swings than my 15 year old daughter, which REALLY says a lot. April averaged cool and dry, punctuated by occasional days with temperatures in the 90s. May brought with it more warm and muggy temperatures – it was like we skipped straight from late winter to summer – complete with flooding and a hailstorm that shredded everything green and leafy in my yard.
To be blunt, my spring garden is in shambles. Which is why today, I am showcasing the weeds to which I find myself turning in the absence of the vegetables I should have been harvesting by now. (Yes, I’ve covered many of these before, but it doesn’t hurt to showcase them again!)
Yellow rocket (Barbarea vulgaris) – used raw, it makes a tasty, peppery addition to salads. Bonus: high levels of vitamin C.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is just starting to come up. Yes, in my garden beds. No, I will not remove it … yet. Purslane is also an excellent salad edition – leaves stems and all – and is a great plant source for omega 3 essential fatty acids.
New colonies of chickweed (Stellaria media) continue to crop up around my garden despite the heat, and continue to find their way into my salad bowl.
Lamb’s quarter (Chenopodium album) (or lambsquarter if you prefer) – another nutritional powerhouse. Currently my go-to green for cooking, since something fluffy, brown and hopping decimated the kale that managed to grow despite the weather.
And of course, spring’s dandelions seeds (Taraxacum officinale) find their way into any available space. This little guy is small enough to still enjoy raw, but I might let him grown a little longer to use in sauteed greens.
Hopefully the weather calms down some … hahahahahahahaha! OK, I couldn’t type that with a straight face. What I meant was, hopefully wild edibles will continue to adapt to the crazy weather faster than I and my garden can, so there will still be local, fresh vegetables to enjoy!