First harvest of Kale. I let the membership at SDG have first cut because I harvest the whole bed for Winter greens. After a full season, we have Kale for Christmas. We have started two more successions of Kale. I was excited for Sarah joining the garden, I allowed her to open a Beet/Carrot bed forgetting that I wanted to collect Kale seed this season. She tilled the bed, I believe and I lost my Kale plants. Ooooops! Kale is a biennial, flowering the second season and then going to seed for collection. I mourn for Kale seed bed now. I was so on track, but welcoming membership is important too. Collecting seed means survival.
Mustard bed is up. Dreams of those yummy greens for our salads (Pink Lettucy Mustard, Ruby Streaks and Tatsoi). It looks like I’m finally going to huge Acorn and Butternut Squash. Autumn deliciousness! I will have to reorganize meal prep. Not to mention managing storage. The key was to start the Squash seeds in trays. I have been direct seeding in the past. Sunflowers are flourishing having been started in trays as well. We live and learn.
The season begins to wind down and we turn our hearts and minds to visions of next season. No Garlic Festival this year means I have to order from Maine Potato Lady (www.mainpotatolady.com) right now if I want Garlic seed. Turns out, the variety Music is already sold out. I’ll have to get in contact with the farmers I bought from at the Garlic Festival last season.
I have a half gallon jar of pickles from our Cucumbers out of SDG. I have made Zucchini Fritters from Zucchini from Hiddenbrooke. Wild Bergamot leaf and flower are drying for tea. I got a couple of bunches of Anise Hyssop from Hiddenbrooke. As I said I’ve gotten a pot of Kale out of SDG as well. I have been harvesting, Garlic Mustard, Lamb’s Quarter, Mugwort, Purslane, Queen Anne’s Lace, Virginia Creeper, Wood Sorrel for Wild Salad. I also make Pesto out of Lamb’s Quarter. I have also harvested Sumac flowers for tea. Tinctures have a shelf life of twelve years according to Susun Weed, but I have not found the shelf life of vinegar. I have decided perhaps six years for the Vinegars whose plant material breaks down and twelve years for the ones that don’t. It is time to update Mugwort Vinegar from 2014. We weeded Mugwort when we planted the Nettle at Seed Song last month so I made new Mugwort Vinegar. The Summer bounty is upon us.
Lamb’s Quarter, Chenopodium album, Chenopodiaceae, Perennial, Europe
One of our European imports that we don’t mind at all. Highest level of iron of any green, I have kept Lamb’s Quarter in my gardens to the great chagrin of fellow gardeners. Last season at Flora Jones’ I had a Lamb’s Quarter the size of a small tree. I knew it was time to make Pesto. Delicious nutty green for our Wild Salad. The seeds can also be collected to sprinkle on rice or cereal through the Winter for our iron intake. The seeds can also be added to flour.
Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquifolia, Vitaceae, Vine
Often found next to her sister, Poison Ivy, be sure to identify Five Fingered Ivy before you indulge. Virginia Creeper tastes different in each phase of growth from the tender sweet young leaves to the hardier older leaves often found on the same plant. I have not found properties, but greens in general have vitamins, minerals and also serve to keep us flowing.
Along with visions of next season, of course come concerns over Covid-19, the protests and the election. Unfortunately, like 2016, we have no idea what the election results will be and have to wait for November 7. Biden continues with his faux pas,’ stating that Trump is our first racist president, when we have at least seventeen presidents who were racist as well as slaveowners. We know Trump sends troops to peaceful protests and protestors are disappearing into unmarked cars. Some say it is his precursor to declaring Martial Law and calling off the election. Food costs are predicted to rise next year, so we plan to add bags of rice and oatmeal to our Winter stores. Remote work slips into the norm. Beacon’s Defund the Police campaign begins to slip into mire. State and local government hovering over the reset, business as usual button. We cannot legislate hate. White nationalists will have to evolve out of their ignorance. Change is upon us.
I find love and support in community. We have to develop our communities to be self sufficient. Grassroots support for one another and our basic needs. Food, shelter and water. What will it take to educate and support ourselves in individual communities? The Northeast Amerikkka may be able to feed itself. Landlords abuse the least of us raising rents and harassing folks to leave so that they can raise their rents. We revisit Operation Breadbasket. Will there be a depression in ten years like after the 1918 Influenza pandemic? Water can be contaminated by pipes, municipalities or us. Where do we go from here? What is different about today? I say we have the intelligence and skills to create resilient communities of people who look out for one another. It’s up to us, as our government forsakes us for greed and power. We have no choice, but to look to ourselves for our future.