I’m late kicking off my garden this year. It’s been cold, the wind still blustery across my yard, and I don’t want to be outside. Plus I tried using “green mulch” last year, and frost bitten Austrian peas languish across beds and into the walkways. But company is coming, so I must get the garden and the yard to the point where they look presentable, even if they aren’t entirely productive.
But see… there’s these weeds.
And the weeds are growing now, when it’s still too cold for, well, almost anything accept weeds.
Best yet: they are growing without any work on my part.
But … they are weeds. They are thrive where they do not belong. And I need to remove them so I can grow the “real” food.
Chickweed (Stellaria media), my go-to replacement for salad lettuce in late winter:
Johnny Jump-Ups (Viola tricolor), aka wild pansies, with their fragrant, edible flowers:
Wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) with its tart flavors providing a counterpart to the more stolid flavors of other greens:
Miniature greens with the unflattering name of hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta):
Purple dead nettle (Lamium purpureum), an unassuming green for general cooking purposes:
Dead nettle’s frilly cousin, henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), also a green of generic utility:
Common burdock (Arctium minus), whose roots will make a lovely addition to a stir fry when the ground has thawed enough to dig it up:
Field garlic (Allium vineale), the skinny, pungent relative of our domestic garlic and onions:
What I don’t have: peas, turnips, kale, lettuce, spinach, or any of the other spring crops we’re “supposed” to grow this time of year.
Maybe next week I’ll start gardening. Maybe.
P.S. – I did not include photos of wintercress (aka yellow rocket, Barbarea vulgaris) in this post, because the majority of my household considers it inedible. Boo.
There’s no point starting too early.
[…] are full of weeds that are edible and medicinal and I can’t bring myself to pull them. Yes, this is the same problem I had in the spring when trying to prep my garden for planting. Now it is fall, and all the usual suspects have […]