Friday, April 29, 2011

Dandelion Petals


The dandelions are blooming. I nearly squeal with excitement when I see their sunny heads raised to the sky. I harvested a small bunch today and sat in the shade to lovingly pluck the petals. Now, I sometimes add these to pancakes and biscuits, sprinkle them on a salad or garnish a soup with them … but these ...


 … these were bagged up and placed in the freezer. As the dandelions continue their blooming - and they will - I'll keep harvesting and adding to the freezer bag. When I have enough (whatever that turns out to be) I'll start a batch of dandelion wine, or liquid sunshine, as I like to call it.


They're beautiful, aren't they?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

First books, and now seeds...

Libraries. Quiet enclosures of knowledge, history, words, pictures, listening pleasure in the form of compact discs, and viewing pleasure in both DVD and VHS format. Who doesn't love a well-stocked library?

Now, catching on in various parts of the country, are seed-lending programs via libraries.

Fairfield Library is doing a seed-lending program. The idea is that you "borrow" heirloom seeds, sow 'n' grow, benefit from the veggies and green, and preserve seeds from the plants. In the fall, you bring the preserved seeds back and return them to the library. How cool is that?!?!





The program is sponsored by the Fairfield Woods Branch Library and the Fairfield Organic Teaching Farm. Funding for program is provided by the Fairfield Earth Day Committee. Seeds were donated by Bakers Creek and Comstock Seeds.

Hopefully this is a trend that will continue to catch on and spread to libraries everywhere. Here's to spreading the independent food movement.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

More on First Harvests & Taraxicum


I've been nibbling Taraxicum officinalis - dandelion greens for days now, and adding them to my salads too. Yesterday, between the rainfall, I harvested some spring roots that were growing in the garden paths.


This morning, to chase the chill out of my little hut, I scraped the roots clean and roasted them in the oven until they were good and dry (at 325F for as long as it took - I wasn't watching the time keeper). I do a snap test and often remove the thiner roots from the oven before the others. I usually have a jar of roasted roots tucked away somewhere in my little hut.



I ground some in my blender and decocted (simmered) them for a while (more than 20 minutes, less than a full hour - again, I wasn't watching the time). I strained the brew and sipped this divine beverage as I do my tea and coffee and bourbon - straight up, neat, nothing to hide or mask the essence of this delicious brew. Some folks like to add milk or cream, honey or sugar, just as they would for coffee or tea. 

Some folks prefer an infusion, but I like the decoction.

Dandelion root is, among other things, a source of vitamin A, C and D, and some of the Bs too. It also offers up minerals like iron, potassium and zinc and is honored as an antioxidant and as a tonic to digestion and liver function. It is a bountiful and generous ally. 

This is just one of the many ways that that dandelion offers its blessings to us. Try it sometime - in any season - it's yummy and good for you!

First Harvest

On my ramble through the gardens, I noticed a few places where dandelions had the grace to grow. I can never find them in the lawns in time to actually eat them, so I was very happy to see some very green and tender leaves in places I could easily retrieve them.

So yesterday, I dug out my trusty trowel and went hunting for the first salad of spring. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Rain

I took a walk yesterday. All around the gardens, in between the raindrops, the first official spring assessment feels to me like visiting old friends you haven't seen in a while. The weather was so extreme this past winter, I was happy to see so much apparently has survived.

The crocuses, the hyacinths and the snowdrops are blooming. The silver willows have burst gold. In patches, the grass is turning emerald green, and the branches of the lilac are swelling with fat buds. The waterfall is foaming and Mr and Mrs Duck showed up exactly a month ago.

This spring has a particularly poignant edge to it. It's a week ago my father died. For years, my father wished he was well enough to travel, well enough to come and see the beautiful place where I live.

As I splashed through the puddles and inspected the beds and the bushes and the buds, I felt very strongly that this year, at last, he has.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Thyme

Thyme for this blog to wake up!


To the listeners, those that contribute to the posts here - it's springtime! And the green world is raising her voice and begs for her wisdom to be shared. 

So, let's share.

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