The Best Foraging Rules I’ve Found


On April 30, 2012, I published a blog called: Precautionary Warning! The Other Side of the Coin.

I wanted to make sure if anyone read about the foraging, that the readers were safe as they explored this area in the wild. I came across the site I’m going to show you and thought this was a more concise list that seemed more understandable. You decide. If you are going to forage, please save this list and follow the rules that are there for your safety.

May Apple Plants on the Forest Floor

The Rules of Foraging


These rules are for your own protection when investigating plants that are new to you. If followed closely, they will protect you in the field.

  1. DO NOT collect plants closer than 200 feet from a car path or contaminated area.
  2. NEVER collect from areas sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals.
  3. DO NOT collect plants with RED STEMS, or red striations or stripes.
  4. ALWAYS BE FAMILIAR with all dangerous plants in YOUR area of collection.
  5. POSITIVELY IDENTIFY all plants you intend to use for food.
  6. Take a piece off the plant and roll between your fingers. SNIFF CAREFULLY. Does it smell like something you would eat? If it doesn’t, DISCARD IMMEDIATELY. If it does, go to rule 7.
  7. Take another piece off the plant and roll until juicy. RUB the tiny piece on your gum above your teeth.
  8. WAIT 20 minutes.
  9. DOES YOUR GUM ITCH, BURN, TINGLE, SWELL OR STING? If no reaction occurs, go on to rule 10.
  10. Take another piece of the plant and put in a teacup. Add boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. SIP SLOWLY for 20 more minutes. WATCH FOR NAUSEA, BURNING, DISCOMFORT.
    If no reaction occurs, you may ingest a small amount.
  11. WAIT ANOTHER 20 MINUTES and watch for any reaction.
  12. Keep all samples AWAY from children or pets.
  13. Store all seeds and bulbs AWAY from children and pets.
  14. Teach children to keep all plants AWAY from their mouths and DO NOT ALLOW children chew or suck nectar from any unknown plants.
  15. AVOID smoke from burning plants. Smoke may irritate the eyes or cause allergic reactions QUICKLY.
  16. BE AWARE of your neighbor’s habits with chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.
  17. BEWARE: heating or boiling doesn’t always destroy toxicity.

Disclaimer


This is information about wild food. The owners of this website (www.ofthefield.com) make no claims as to the correctness, safety or usability of the data.

The information contained herein is intended to be an educational tool for gathering and cooking wild plants. The information presented is for use as a supplement to a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle. The nutritional requirements of individuals may vary greatly, therefore the author and publisher take no responsibility for an individual using and ingesting wild plants.

All data is to be used at your own risk. Using the Rules of Foraging, above, greatly help to reduce that risk, but they are not foolproof.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

English: Hiking trail Soonwaldsteig

I got this information from a site called: http://ofthefield.com/

Click on the “Ongoing Information” link on the left side of the screen and below a list of  several plants that you could look for and what they are good for, is The Rules for Foraging. This list seems the best to me. Foraging is a wonderful experience as long as you are well-informed and cautious. Remember the saying, ” An ounce of prevention (or caution) is worth a pound of cure!”

One of the plants she listed is the Red Clover you read about in my blog post: Gathering Red Clover (5/27/2012). The following is what Lind Runyon has to say about Clover:

CLOVERRed Clover

When I homesteaded in the Adirondack wilderness, the intake of calcium and protein was my main interest. Reading references about wild foods became a very necessary occupation when I went to the town library.

Red clover is one wild food that is high in vegetable protein and calcium. Red clover buds are sold in health food stores as a tonic for the body.

I began by putting red clover leaves between two pieces of whole wheat bread and pretending it was cheese. After a week or so, I began to forage freely on red clover leaves and buds for my sweet candy.

Little did I know the plant would eventually supply casseroles, teas, stir-fry and flour for baking. For a few months, red clover was added to spaghetti sauce and cream sauce for a halfway normal diet.

English: Trifolium pratense, Fabaceae, Red Clo...

Red Clover
Photo Credit~Wikipedia

When foraging for any plant be sure include careful, 100 percent identification. For a complete set of foraging rules, please see below in the Dandelions section, “Rules of Foraging”. For red clover, rub the plant on your upper gum and wait 20 minutes for any reaction. If no reaction, make a weak tea then consume small sections of this new plant.

You may be fortunate to have a weedy backyard. If not, locate an access field and call to inquire how long ago the field was cultivated and what was grown there as far back as five years ago.

Most chemicals are washed down below the quick-growing weed root system and wild food roots are in the first 4 inches of topsoil as a rule. Hardy and fast-growing, these plants are the very ones the agricultural system needs to eradicate.

English: Trefoil crop in South Hams. Tramlines...

Clover Crop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clover: Trifolium pratense (red clover), Trefolium repens (white clover), Legume Family, LeguminosaeTrefolium pratense (L.)

History: Throughout all cultures; a Native American vegetable.

Characteristics: Biennial or perennial herb. Red clover reaches the height of 10 inches or more, with hairy stems. Red or purple blossom with oval nectar sections; elongated leaves form trefoil with white vein when mature. White clover reaches the height of 2 inches or more. White blossoms have dozens of nectar filled sections; round leaves form trefoil at end of stem.

Location: Fields, roadsides, backyards.

Collection and Storage: Plants are most succulent in spring and early summer. Gathering a winter’s supply of clover takes only a few minutes. Clover can be frozen by placing it in a single layer on freezer wrap, folding over 2 sides to hold the clover in place, and freezing. After the clover is frozen, roll the paper to make a compact package, fasten, and label. Dry seed heads separately for an attractive potpourri.

Parts used: Leaves, blossoms, stems, roots. All can be used raw or cooked, dried or frozen.

Medicinal Value: Red clover is used as tea for cough, whooping-cough; blood tonic or purifier. Clover syrup used for chest congestion and bronchitis.

Hot Clover and Rice

1 cup milk or water
2 cups washed clover leaves
4 cups fluffy cooked rice

Add rice to a greased baking dish. Stir in clover and water (or milk). Stir again and serve hot. A protein delight. Serves 4.

Clover Sprout Muffins

3/4 cup partly cooked clover sprouts
1-1/4 cup whole wheat flour
5 teaspoons baking powder (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar (or honey)
1 cup milk or water
1 egg (optional)
2 tablespoons melted shortening (author uses water, no baking powder or egg, and sesame oil)

Stir flour, baking powder and honey together. Add milk or water and egg. Mix well. Add sprouts and melted shortening. Bake in a well-greased muffin tin at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Serves 3.

(Medicinal remedies suggested by this column are intended to be used solely at the discretion and responsibility of the user.)

CAUTION: Always check identification of wild foods with photographic sources. Some wild foods are toxic to humans. So when in doubt: DON’T! Also be aware of the use of chemicals in your lawn and neighbor’s lawn.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wonderful information! Thanks Linda

I hope there are those out there that are opening their eyes to what is around you. Knowledge can add to our lives and bring joy as you shop in the free grocery store that is fields, your yard, woods nearby or places you may visit. Hope this is helpful.

Come and visit a bit when you can. Love to see you every time.

Jan

Tying Up Loose Ends


What a nice week……with varied temps and some rain. Today it was sunny and 70 degrees. The perfect day.

This was a week of tying up loose ends.

Pictures 1 & 2.

All the Red Clover Blossoms and leaves are dried and bagged.

I will harvest more soon.

1. Half-Filled Gallon Bag Red Clover Blossoms

2. Half -Filled Gallon Bag of Clover Leaves

Worked carefully to not waste anything in the leftovers in the frig.
Browsed through the corners of my mind for creative recipes.

Set up the payments for the June bills.

I Read over and over parts from the book: “The Blood Sugar Solution”.
Battled with myself over what I read.
Since the book isn’t mine; Typed the tests from the book, that help in making health decisions.
Made notes that will help me remember important information later from the book.

I am rather befuddled by some of the things in the book. As usual I will have to blaze my own trail and find my own ways to come as close as I can to do what they’ve described. I agree with so much in the book. In treating disease, they approach it in looking at the  whole body and finding the balance in 7 key areas as they relate and work together in the body. There is a correlation between all the preservatives, dye, pesticides, hormones and other polluting factors and how it affects our body. This isn’t just for diabetics though. I would recommend this to anyone who cares about their health.

I will find a way.

3. An End Stalk of Celery That I’m Re-growing

Picture 3

This picture shows the end of the celery stalk after we ate the stalks. I just put the stalk end in the container with a quarter-inch of water and basically forgot about it. One day it caught my eye and I saw it was growing. I will plant it in the dirt this week. I first told you about this in a post called, “Gratitude and Contentment and How Gardening Helps!”

I sat the container in the pot that contains a pickle especially made for pickling. The pickles will be smaller so I thought it might work in a hanging basket since the pickles are smaller.

4. Flower Bed with a Pink Rose

Picture 4 and 5

I wasn’t outside this week much.

When I went out I discovered that aphids had attacked all of the roses. I have a pink, a white, and a red rose. I had no way to treat the plants and couldn’t go get something ,  I was told by a friend that orange oil could be used to repel the aphids. I have some face cleanser that is all natural ingredients and has a major amount of orange oil  in it. It’s Burt’s Bee Orange Oil Facial Cleanser. I figured I would try it so I put a nickel size spot in a spray bottle and put just a little hot water in with it to dissolve it, then filled the bottle with cooler water. I shook it up really good and sprayed the roses all over. It seemed to work but I didn’t want to use all my face cleaner for that so when we went into town, I got some Whitney Farms 3-in-1 Rose and Flower Care.

5. Close-up of the Pink Rose

Picture 6. This flower bed is flanked on either side by half barrels. One has Lettuce planted in it. I made a salad this week with this lettuce and radishes from the garden, then added cucumber, tomatoes, celery, and onions.

6. Lettuce, One Marigold, One Nasturtium

The other barrel has a plant I don’t recognize that has purple flowers, zinnias that haven’t come up, and hen and chicks. I don’t have a picture of that one.

7. Daisies


Picture 7. This is a raised bed and I have one on either side of my back door.  This bed has Daisies, Snow on the Mountain, another ground cover that is silvery in two tones. There was a field down the street where they brought in fill-dirt. Evidently there were daisies planted in the place where the dirt was picked up because these are cultivated daisies. My husband pulled them up in that field and brought them to me and planted them in my garden. What a sweet guy, going to the free flower store to bring me flowers! You don’t need money to show someone you love them.

8. Echinacea and ONIONS!

Picture 8.

This is the bed on the other side of the back door. I have Echinacea and Onions

English: Echinacea purpurea blooms in a flower...

Echinacea Blooms   Wikipedia

will be hidden behind them. The picture from Wikipedia shows what the Echinacea will look like blooming. My youngest son and his girlfriend gave me the glass sculpture that you can see part of it. It’s made out of glass plates and green vases. I love it! This is just a little of our flower beds I don’t want to talk your arm off so I will say adieu for now. Hope you have a good week.Come and visit again.

Jan


Precautionary Warning!The Other Side of the Coin


I was thinking the other day, and it dawned on me that I should

Ramie Goddard 2012
Nest in a Shoe

give a few rules for foraging among all the wild plants on this earth.

There is the other side of the coin in every subject in existence. Good and bad, Light and dark battling against each other for top billing! So is your glass half full or half empty? I prefer picking neither… mine is plumb full with an occasional spill. Oh I have days when I’m dehydrated but for the most part all my days are full. I’m going to talk to you about exercising caution as you forage and try new things from the wild. You are now going to see an aspect of my personality. ~~~~~

Simple things delight me! It can make me go on a tangent of major proportions.

Like the picture on the right… my brother in WV, Ramie was mowing grass, and

came across these boots thrown over a limb. The birds thought it looked like a nice

condo. I love seeing things like this. Look at the construction of the nest.

How superb. Hope he gets to see when the eggs hatch~

OK…OK…I’m back to the subject!

The first thing is to research the plant you are thinking of eating. Is there a plant that is so similar that you could confuse the two plants? You ever hear the saying that carpenters have, “Measure twice, cut once!”. It’s kind of that way with plant foraging. You have to check your facts twice or more. If you are uncertain then don’t eat it.

Here is a check list I found on Wikihow:

http://www.wikihow.com/Test-if-a-Plant-Is-Edible

Please go and check it out. Make sure of what you are doing. There are skin tests and taste tests. There is so much information in books and on the internet that it should be fairly easy to check things out. One thing you can do is find things that don’t have  a copy cat. I found out that Wild carrots (Queen Anne’s Lace) has a plant that’s similar called Hemlock. Socrates, let’s see…he died from drinking something with Hemlock in it?… I think. Extremely poisonous but I thought it seems there are some pretty obvious differences. Wild Carrot has hairy stem that’s plain and one color where as Hemlock has purple flecks in the stems. The groups of flower heads  of the QAL are more tightly grouped together while the Hemlock has small groups that make up a larger whole flower head and are more loosely grouped together.

Poison Hemlock Flower

Even though this isn’t from the Northeastern US, the simple straightforward description from Washington State @ http://www.co.stevens.wa.us/weedboard/other%20weeds/HTM%20pages/poison%20hemlock.htm is the easiest one to follow and doesn’t seem to have any differences from this area.

Poison hemlock
Conium maculatum                       
Parsley family

Key identifying traits (more in a second year plant). First year plants are harder to distinguish. Much shorter first year.


  • A big plant normally 6 to 8 feet tall
  • Flowers are small and white consisting of 5 petals and borne in numerous umbrella like clusters
  • Stems are erect, stout, and purple spotted with distinct ridges and extensively branched
  • Leaves are fern like and have a musty odor

    Poison Hemlock ~ Smooth Speckled Stem

  • Has a large white fleshy tap-root
  • Seeds are paired, 1/8 inch long, brown, ribbed and concave
  • Musty Smelling Plant
  • NO BENEFICIAL USE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Queen Anne’s Lace              

(Daucus carota  ~  Carrot Family)

  • A medium size plant normally 4 feet at its tallest
  • Stems are hairy and solid green
  • The leaves of the wild carrot can cause phyto-photodermatitis, so caution should also be used when handling the plant.
  • Flowers are similar to the hemlock but are packed together tighter and there is a red dot right in the middle of the entire umbrella of blossom clusters which attracts wasps
  • The root is edible when it’s young but grow extremely woody as it ages
  • INTERESTING BENEFITS: This species is also documented to boost tomato plant production when kept nearby, and it can provide a microclimate of cooler, moister air for lettuce, when inter-cropped with it.
  • Distinct Carrot smell in the leaves and in the root

Queen Anne’s Lace with Blue Chicory

So you can see by this one example that it is important to do your homework. When in doubt…. don’t. That is the best practice for a foragers.

I love sharing nature with you and I hope you will become excited about the things that have been provided for our benefit. Let me know if you go foraging and what you find. I would be so excited to hear about your adventures. Thanks for coming for a visit.  Be Careful and See you soon.       Jan

Mushrooms and Strawberries :-)


What an exciting day!  The sky was a beautiful blue and the temperature was comfortable.

I’ve been walking everyday I can. Some days I’m too weak but I try to walk even if it’s just a little. Today was one of those weaker days but I went with my husband for a small walk and we were rewarded with the most amazing discovery. We found a morel mushroom. After I got back home, Darnell, my husband went back there and looked more hoping to find enough for a meal. He searched several areas but came home empty-handed. Bummer!! On the bright side we did find one huge mushroom. It’s almost as big as my hand. I’m making us an omelet with ham, mushroom, tomato, and  cheese so we can savor that wonderful find.  I know we will enjoy it. There is enough there for us to share. I’m glad!!!

Wild Strawberry Plant with White Flower

After a little rest, I went for another walk to where I found the wild strawberries. Only one plant had a bloom on it and it was white which is the sign it is the right one. There is a fake strawberry plant. It is not  poisonous and is edible. Called  Wood Strawberry, has yellow flowers, and a similar fruit that has no flavor. I was glad the plants I dug had the white bloom. I left ample dirt around the roots so as to not disturb the growth process. They say that the strawberries that they produce are smaller than cultivated strawberries but are much more flavorful. I may not get any this year because of moving them but I’m a patient woman. I waited till the third year before I could fully harvest the rhubarb that I planted from roots given to me by good friends. Here in the middle of April, we picked from one plant enough rhubarb to make Rhubarb Bread. It flopped terribly but tastes delicious. We can eat it with a spoon.

What is wonderful about sharing plants is that every time I look at those rhubarb plants I think about the friends who gave it to me. I have another friend who gave me  Rose of Sharon bushes. When I look at them, it gives me a chance to pray for them and ask God to bless them and care for them. What they gave me is treasures that produces joy in my life. I love those gifts.

It will probably be a while before I can bake a Rhubarb Strawberry Pie. It’s a work in progress. It will be worth the  wait. We all have to wait for things. I’ve heard that things that we have to wait for usually produces something lasting that is of value so  how about we wait together. Come and visit.         Jan

What things have you gathered, pampered and waited for? Tell me about your experiences.

I’m in learning mode always so any contribution will be welcome. Leave a comment. 🙂

Gratitude and Contentment and How Gardening Helps!


Gratitude is a good thing.

Knowing what is a need and what is just something you want is also a good thing.

I was thinking about the attitudes I experience from people who cross by my path and the people I rub elbows with everyday. Attitude and perspective makes a big difference. Some people have created an attitude of dystopianism no matter what benefits they enjoy in life.  What they have is never good enough and the value and joy of a day is wasted on wishing for something else and hating what they have. Contentment is a valuable commodity worth more than gold. That doesn’t mean that you never set goals for something else that you think is important but can you do that and be happy today while you reach for it? I imagine except for maybe a few, we are all in survival mode. The cost of living has gone up. The farther you have to fall maybe the harder it is. Attitude is paramount no matter what level you are experiencing. The richer a person is, the more they might have to give up. They are used to having certain luxuries and we are creatures of habit. Whether we are rich or poor, if we need to pull in the cinches, it is important that we do it the best we know how. Change is hard for everyone. One of the things we can do is look for information and make it an adventure of learning and experiences. We can find it in ourselves to focus on  the good and be grateful for it. Even the things that are bad, we can be thankful for the strength God gives us as we go through the challenge and be grateful. Seems like when I have a pity party day, I will find someone who has it so much worse. Now on to an adventure. Adventure is what I call all the little quirky tips I find that helps me provides for the family something that is needed in a less expensive way. Gardening is one way I can help our family. I also do things like make my own yogurt or cottage cheese or make cakes or pancakes from scratch. I got a tip the other day. A friend of mine directed me to a site and told me about something I could do that I had never thought of. This is kind of a silly thing but its something that kids or grandkids will enjoy doing. This way they learn to help. It’s good when they are involved.

Grow your own celery from your celery remains. Just chop off the base and plant. One week of growth shown in photo.

I buy celery all the time and I don’t remove one stalk at a time and chop it. I cut off whatever I need from the end of the stalks so that when I’m done I’m left with the piece at the end of the celery where the roots were when it was harvested. This is perfect because they said to take the root end of the celery and put it in the ground and it will produce more celery stalks. I’m going to replant my first celery at the end of this week. To me when you can do things like this, it’s an adventure and makes surviving more fun. Pretty soon it isn’t surviving but it is joyful living in the present. You can be happy while you accomplish it. I planted my cucumbers the other day in a hanging basket. I’ll let you know how that works. We don’t have room in our little garden for anything that spreads. One spreading plant and it would fill our whole garden. She had this link connected to this picture:

http://homesteadingsurvivalism.myshopify.com/blogs/news

This link will take you to a gardening guide with lists of plants. It’s very well presented and easy to refer to it for information. It tells you when to plant and other valuable information. I found several things on the site that might be of value. One was a cold frame set up made by setting bales of straw around a small section of your garden and start the plants there. Cover the area with clear plastic so that it rests on the bales. That way you get a head start and the plants are already where they are going to be planted so you don’t have to even move them. That is pretty awesome. This is the link to the original site that had the Straw Cold Frame:          http://ozarksalive.org/larrapin/?p=929

Straw Cold Frame

They used sliding glass doors but you could make frames and cover with plastic. That might be safer for kids and animals.

I am definitely going to try this next year. Love finding new ideas…new to me anyhow. 🙂 Hope you benefit from my travels on the internet. Love technology! How much do we all have in our lives that we can be grateful for?

I read an article in Wiki about gratitude. Here is one section out of that article:

“While many emotions and personality traits are important to well-being, there is evidence that gratitude may be uniquely important. First, a longitudinal study showed that people who were more grateful coped better with a life transition. Specifically, people who were more grateful before the transition were less stressed, less depressed, and more satisfied with their relationships three months later.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratitude

Gardening exposes you to the whole cycle of life. It is usually a quiet task that gives you time to think, meditate, calm your mind, and bring something wonderful to others.

It is a great time to contemplate the good things in your life. Make a list of those things and be grateful, and share with others.

Thanks for stopping by,

Jan

Mother Nature’s April Fools Joke


I am dumbfounded that it is 80 degrees in the middle of March. It seems like a huge April Fools Joke from Mother Nature to all of us. It’s a little unsettling. I have the Spring Fever though that comes whenever great weather crosses our path. I’m spending every second I can outside.

For the last week I have been raking my yard. With that amount of time you would think I had a big yard but that is not the case. It is postage stamp size but I just do a little section at a time. I love the smell of burning leaves. It evokes memories of a nice clean yard from when I was young and working on the yard with my Dad. I’m pecking at the weeding in my flower beds. My children came and made me two raised bed gardens and we also bought two half barrels to plant in. This was about ten years ago. I love them because I can sit on the wall or pull a chair up beside  the barrels and just work at it a little at a time. Last year my husband put in a raised bed at the end of the house. I have some things planted that come up each year and then I plant a few from seeds like zinnias, nasturtium, and marigolds. The zinnias are wonderful for cut flowers.

Darnell, my husband has spring fever too. He loves the vegetable garden.

Flat of Starter Plants

He has been busy as a bee planting seeds inside so that they will be ready when it’s time to plant. He couldn’t resist though and planted some peas, carrots, beets, and radishes right in the ground out in the garden. I just know that we are going to get a surprise and have snow the first of May but if we do we will cover it and try to save them. If we fail we will replant. It made him feel good to plant it anyhow. The flat to the right has been planted about 10 days.

Our houseplants need re-potting in the spring so we got most of the pots done. We have palms, aloe, christmas cactus, purple heart, geraniums, angle wind begonia, and Hoya. We have really thinned out our plants so there isn’t so much to care for. We used to have a jungle.

To start our plants for the garden, we saved the plastic box containers  that spinach and lettuce come in and grape or cherry

Planting in Egg Carton

tomatoes also. We put a little dirt in the bottom, water it completely and plant the seeds apart enough so they have a bit of room to grow. We used egg cartons in the same way. The boxes act like a green house since you can close the lid.  We did save a flat with a lid from last year  So many of the seeds are so minuscule that it is so hard to plant them but we keep on doing it.

We mist the dirt or the plants if they are up, everyday. The anticipation nearly kills you as you watch for them to come up. We are going to try to start cauliflower and broccoli from seed this year. We are going to plant some heirloom seeds this year for part of the plants. A friend is going to share with us. Heirloom seeds have not been genetically altered and the seeds have been gathered from the plants year after year.

Most seeds take 7 to 10 days to come up then you thin them out

Planting in Lettuce Box ~ Instant Greenhouse

and give them time to mature into a healthy strong plant before you put it into the garden soil.  I told you our garden spot is small. In the picture toward the bottom of the page, you can see what it looks like now as it’s waiting for the plants. Soon it will be filled with plants. Darnell goes out when they are producing and picks what is ready and brings it to me. I do the preparation that is needed for us to eat it right away. If there is more than what we can eat, I will package it to put in the freezer.

My rhubarb is just up and looks so tiny compared to the size the leaves will be very soon. You have to watch the rhubarb and not let it go to seed at the top of the leaves. As soon as you see something that isn’t a leaf you cut it off so that the plant will continue producing.

                                  

Baby Rhubarb

We still have to finish framing in the box around the garden spot. We will add compost to the box each year and occasionally a bag of fertile soil from the hardware store. We water our plants once they are in the garden some but not too much. I want the roots to reach for the water. If you water too much then the roots just lie in the first few inches of the soil and are much more vulnerable.

 

It was framed in but when Darnell decided to expand the garden, he moved the frame over and he will finish building around the whole area.

We have better meals since we started growing a garden. It is wonderful what we get from the plantings.  I hope you will try growing something. It doesn’t have to be a lot but even one plant will bring you good nutritious food for your family to eat. I hope that I have enticed you to make a garden path of your own. I am always glad when you visit mine. Thanks and come visit again soon and see what surprises you will find along my garden path.             Jan

A New Day


Sample of Seeds Collected 2011

What a nice weekend!  It’s actually like winter but the sun is shining. It’s awesome. I love sun shine and I like the snow. I’m torn between the two. I’m just glad to live in a place that has different seasons. The time has come to look forward to spring. That’s my favorite season. Everything about spring speaks of Hope and Life. I have an itch to scratch and that itch is the itch of the gardener. I’m already looking at what needs to be planted. I feel like a current day Johnny Appleseed.

There is this thing about seeds . It’s like I’m driven to collect and plant. I save every seed that crosses my path. I take them home to care for them like a child. I dry them, package them, and date and label them. Then I itch untill I can plant it myself or find someone who will treasure it as the wonder it is.

“Today’s mighty oak was once a single nut who held it’s ground.”~Mark Twain  Love this saying!! I found this @ this site:http://www.quotegarden.com/food.html

I told you in a past post that we have a postage stamp size kitchen, well, we have several postage stamp size garden spots. One is 4×8 behind the shed and 2×8 to one side of the shed and 4×4 behind the addition. This is a combined square footage of 64 square foot.  We plant not in rows but in mass 3″ wide strips. A very special woman in her 80’s gave me 3 rhubarb roots. that is in the 2×8 strip by the shed. I waited several years like you are supposed to giving it time to mature before we finally pulled the stalks last summer and had rhubarb and strawberry pie and rhubarb sauce. Splenda is a great sweetener to use if you are diabetic

I was amazed at the amount of produce we got out of our little garden. My husband and my labors in the garden paid off. Out of just such a small amount of space we ate all summer and froze goods for the winter. Not a huge amount left for the winter but every little bit counts.

We saved seeds from our produce … tomatoes, peppers both green and jalapeno. We had a volunteer plant come up in our garden because during the winter we composed on the main garden spot. We distributed egg shells and vegetable peels and coffee grounds out there and anytime the weather broke Darnell, my husband would go out and rototill the garden. We have a mini rototiller for our mini garden. It’s awesome!  So the volunteer that we had come up because of composting was a sweet potato squash which is  about the size of a large sweet potato and tastes just as good. Yum!

This year we are planting:

  1. Tomato-of course – saved seeds
  2. Peppers-Green and Jalapeno – saved seeds
  3. Swiss Chard – Rhubarb Swiss Chard with a red spine – already have seeds
  4. Basil-for some good pesto and seasoning – buy these as plants
  5. butternut Head lettuce – small loose heads – dark green – buy seeds
  6. Carrots-buy seeds
  7. Beets -buy seeds
  8. Onions -buy seeds
  9. Butternut Squash – saved seeds from squash we bought
  10. Fennell – buy seeds
  11. Kale – buy seeds
  12. Potatoes – Planted 6 whole potatoes and got 10lbs potatoes!

A Little Topsy Turvy Like Me

We have a “Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter” that we plant cherry tomatoes in that hangs by the patio so

we can eat them at will. It hangs down from the bottom of the container.

Hope you gardening fans are out there looking through the gardening catalogues and planning. Spring is coming. Tell me what you like to plant and if you have any special ways you plant things. I would love to hear from you.

I will be pre-planting tomatoes and peppers soon. I save the plastic containers that cherry or grape tomatoes and spinach or spring mix lettuce come in that has a hinged lid and is clear and makes an awesome mini greenhouse to start seeds. 🙂  Can’t wait to start!

I have flower seeds too. I gathered hibiscus seeds. I read that they’re hard to start from seeds but I’m

going to try. Anyone out there have any tips for me?

Till next time…happy dreaming about spring!

Jan

Journey Along the Garden Path

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