I LOVE this time of year.
I have my garden in…but nothing is up yet. In fact, the tomatoes, peppers, basil and zucchini are still seedlings growing inside, the temperature outside is not consistently warm enough. And of the things I have planted: lettuce, kale, peas, radishes, only the merest of sprouts have come up. But I am not sad or impatient. Here’s why:
The WILD garden is filled with bounty right now! While my garden edibles won’t be ready for at least a month for the earliest things, NATURE is providing me with hardy greens of a variety of flavors, a variety of veggie stalks, and gorgeous gourmet mushrooms! Here are some of the things I’ve been enjoying the past week from Nature’s Garden, which is full of glorious abundance:
- Stinging Nettles, Urtica dioica, they’re up and in my smoothies and soups!
- Japanese Knotweed Stalks, deliciously tart, great for steaming, juicing and nibbling as a trailside treat
- Deadnettles, flowering now, this gorgeous flower is going in the smoothies and stir fries
- Chickweed, love it in salad
- Garlic Mustard, flowering already! In salads and pesto
- Fiddleheads, use care not to overharvest this springtime delicacy!
- Ramps, again, please use care not to overharvest!
- Onion Grass, aka Wild Chives/Garlic/Onion, use as you would chives
- Burdock Leaf Stalks, boil, steam, stir fry or add to soup
- Burdock Roots, juice, use in coleslaw and sour kraut, or stir fry
- Dandelion Leaves, bitter yet delicious and great as a liver cleanse
- Dandelion Flowers - I have a batch of dandelion wine brewing!
- Dandelion Root, dry for tea or dry roast and use as a coffee substitute
- Mint, is popping up
- Asparagus - If you’ve found a patch of wild asparagus you are in luck right now!
- Hairy Bittercress, this was one of the first things up! Tastes a bit like radishes, adds bite to your salad
- Morel Mushrooms, depending on where you live these have been up for a week or two or just due to come up. Yum!
- Dryad Saddle Mushrooms, if you find these with/instead of morels you’re in for a treat! Young dryads saddles are delightfully delicious.
I mean, really, who could ask for more?