Saturday, May 16, 2009

Eat Your Backyard

A friend pointed this nettle out to me yesterday when we were in my yard. I wasn't as sure about what the plant was until I stung myself on it this morning. With no sword ferns around to stop the stinging I was forced to wait the sting out and frolic around the yard.

When I lived out West hiking was filled with snacking on sorrel, nettles, berries, and the like. Since moving here I haven't gotten out as much as I'd like, and when I have I haven't been as confident about foraging (that's not to say we're short of things here--ramps, morels, fiddleheads . . . just that I'm not taking such good advantage). But the backyard frolic was kind of satisfying. Yield: nettles, lemon balm (not so cool), two types of mint (sort of under control), chives, and grape leaves (concord grapes--also not so cool, to me).

All that foliage is available right now. Nettle soup piqued with mint may be dinner tonight.

But the motherload will hopefully come later in the season, as foreshadowed by the baby peach below. She has lots of brothers and sisters.

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