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Friday, February 2, 2007

Winter Greens

Some of you might be surprised to learn that here in the Gila we have a year round supply of yummy salad green right outside our door. Right now, we're munching on wild Mustard and Stinging nettles. We have native mustards as well as the introduced London Rocket, they both have quite a strong bite and are useful in medicine as well.

In about a month we should start seeing new growth on the Watercress and Veronica (speedwell) that grows by and in the Sweet Medicine (San Francisco) River just below the mesa where our cabin sits... Later on in the Spring we'll have lots of tasty Dock greens, I don't know exactly what type of Dock it is, certainly not Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus) or even CaƱaigre (
Rumex hymenosepalus)... whatever it is, it's got yummy tart leaves, and we keep our patch watered in the dry months so can eat it all Summer long.

Across the river we've also got Wood Sorrel in the Spring and Summer, and there's Canyon Grape leaves growing everywhere there's even a hint of water. We eat Quelites (Lamb's Quarters) and Amaranth from Spring til Fall, and dry them for the Winter.

I'm always trying to pick a favorite green, but keep changing my mind, my current favorites are Stinging Nettle, though pickled Wood Sorrel is REALLY good too...


Rebecca said...

Wow, pickled wood sorrel! You mean with Oxalis? What's your recipe?

Darcey Blue said...

ooooh...jealous. I'm still getting used to a snowy cold winter since leaving AZ. Enjoy your greens!!

Oakmoss Changeling said...

Yep, good ol' Oxalis (the kind with pink flowers, I'm not remembering its latin name right now). I make either a simple brine or use apple cider vinegar, add the Oxalis, toss in a few fresh grape leaves to keep them crispy(ish) and weight the plant matter down with a clean stone... They seem to last just about forever that way. I do the same with grape leaves in brine so that I can eat them all winter.

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