Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at
A whole spring dandelion dug from the Denver dirt.
Yesterday another foot of snow fell at the house, which lies at 11,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies. So much for the few hints of green that were beginning to poke out of the dirt. Fortunately, Gregg and I scored some small spring dandelions last weekend at his parents’ house, which lies much lower at 6,100 feet in Aurora, on the outskirts of Denver.
Weeding Dandelions with Love
Gregg’s step-dad Jim was kind enough to let me weed dandelions from the part of the back yard where he doesn’t spray poison due to its proximity to the fish pond. We have a symbiotic relationship in that way—he needs edible weeds removed from his carefully tended landscape, and I want to eat them.
Have you ever weeded dandelions out of a lawn by hand? It’s not so bad if the soil is soft. Between the soft soil and the long metal hand weeding tool Jim supplied me, it was simply a matter of carefully extracting the dandelions—taproots, leaf stalks, leaves, buds, and all. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at
A field of red clovers next to the driveway, with small white clovers betwixt.
The come-down from my huge purslane processing of the other day has been harder than I imagined it would be, such that I have been remiss in processing the bag of plantain that Jim gifted me from Denver. I’ve been afraid to look but I fear it is decomposing in the refrigerator. I had some dandelion leaves in the fridge too—the ones that came attached to the roots I dug up for the purslane South Seas salad the other day. However, when I pulled them out yesterday to chop up and add to the salmon salad I was making, they were covered with disconcerting brown dots.
Compound these two unfortunate episodes with my less-than-successful experiences with red clover, and you get a somewhat disillusioned Wild Food Girl.
Here’s what happened with the clovers: We came home from our trip a week ago to find the side of the driveway, which last year was rife with pennycress, carpeted with beautiful red clovers in full bloom. Beneath those, a more subtle crop of small white clovers peeked out from behind the leaves of their larger cousins. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, July 30th, 2010 at
A cornucopia of Colorado wild edibles. From left to right, mustard, peppergrass, red clover, pennycress, white clover, wild strawberry peeking through, yarrow, and dandelions.
It’s a treat to be home to the quiet of the mountains again. I awoke today to the sweet, silent obscurity of the early morning dark followed by a sunrise of pale yellow behind bulbous, deep purple clouds left over from last night’s rainstorm. It must have rained hard while we were gone because the rains near washed out the driveway again. In exchange, however, they left us a cornucopia of lush wild edibles among all the other beautiful weeds, a warm welcome back to the house and to writing about wild edible plants after my long hiatus.
Our wild discoveries started yesterday evening with tiny wild strawberries—not hanging from the strawberry plants in our yard (which in two years have yet to fruit), but from plants on the dirt roadside lining a short stroll around the neighborhood that we enjoyed in the dimming light in a misty rain under the shelter of Gregg’s Pop-pop’s red two-person umbrella. We picked 18 strawberries the size of my pinky nail (and I bite my nails) while ruminating on the decimation of the bird feeders during our absence by what we can only imagine is an errant bear in the neighborhood. Read the rest of this entry