Thursday, March 31, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Yellow wood sorrel has compound leaves divided into three parts, each shaped like a heart. In England it's also known as cuckoo sorrel, because its small yellow flowers bloom when the cuckoo sings. The delicate leaves close at night and supposedly when it's about to rain too. Most of all they have a delicious lemon flavour and are great for snacking.
Chickweed is one of the most common edible 'weeds' and has a tiny white star-shaped flower. The leaves and flower buds are hairy. It's very nutritious and a good addition to salad.
And today we found some tiny shoots of pokeweed! See here for previous adventures with this leafy green vegetable. I have to admit this is more fun to harvest than to boil twice, but somehow it is reassuring to know that we can eat from the garden/the wild just by knowing what to look for. However far so many "foods" in the supermarket are from their original state, it is still possible to eat the healthy way of our ancestors. Providing, of course, your backyard is not sprayed with pesticides :-)
Photo credit: www.all-creatures.org and Emily Porter
This tree of ours is male, its flowers having the honour of pollinating several female holly bushes elsewhere in the garden so that they may develop the familiar red berries. The clusters of tiny white flowers grow along the branches, their scent attracting bees and winged creatures of every kind, who are all too eager to buzz to the next holly and deposit a dusting of pollen.
Some more holly facts:
-There are more than 400 species of holly
-If not pruned, some species can grow as tall as 60'
-Berries range from red to black and yellow in different species
-Berries are mildly poisonous to humans, but have been used medicinally for many years
-The tea Yerba Mate is made from a type of holly