Coronavirus got you sheltering in place? Then there is all the rain on top of that which may have you trapped inside, preventing you from getting you garden planted. No worries because there are lots of wild edibles growing in the spring. Many of which are as nutritious, or even more so, than what's growing in your gardens.
We have a ditch full of one such wild edible. More on that in a second. For a few of reasons, our yard is WILD during the spring. First, we let it go wild intentionally as all the spring flowers and 'weeds' are a great nectar and pollen source for our honey bees. It also makes for great tasting honey according to our repeat customers. The second reason is something we don't have much control over. The rain. We couldn't mow if we wanted to for all the standing water. Specially the ditch! For an added bonus, many of the weeds growing in our country yard are edible for us as well.
This might be one of those 'weeds' you transfer to a safe growing area in your yard before mowing them all down. Who knows, there may be a run on onions in the grocery store some day. These days, you never know.
Backyard Garden Series
WOW! The cooler temperatures are gone and my gardens are growing like weeds! Oh... the weeds are also growing in the garden, but so far I've been able to keep up with most of the weeding. Check out these pictures from before and after a two week trip I just returned from. Can't believe how much things grew during my absence. Scroll on down to find out what all is growing on the farm.
What's growing on the farm?
On the arch gardens, we have several varieties of heirloom squash, watermelon, pumpkins and gourds growing with a few marigolds and nasturtium mixed in for insect control. Inside the arch gardens we have a variety of heirloom tomatoes. One will also find a few hay bales in one of the arches growing a mix of lettuce and carrots. It will be interesting to see how the carrots grow in the bales! During my time away from the farm, the swiss chard growing in one bale did not make it. Down he side on one garden you can see the okra off to a good start.
We have additional hay bales growing rhubarb, collards, yellow squash and both green and gold zucchini. I can't wait to try the gold zucchini!
The raised beds contain a variety of herbs, beets, kale, broccoli and various other veggies.
This year we started a small blueberry patch. So far it looks like we will have a few berries to harvest and sell at our Farm-To-You events. The blackberry patch we started last year, and greatly expanded this year, is off to a great start. We are not expecting to harvest many berries this year. Our hope is to have a large harvest in the next couple of years.
Whenever possible, we grow heirloom and/or organic varieties of vegetables. Our goal is to totally avoid GMO varieties.
We are a small farm with several small gardens that produce an abundance of foods. If you would like to learn how to grow a lot of food in a very small space, check out our workshops!
We're so excited about our new program!
Next Tuesday will be our first Farm-To-You event! We will be bringing products from the farm to a neighborhood in Fate. If you are in the area, please stop by and say hello. We would love to meet you!
Oxalis can be found growing in most any yard or garden. Many people try to kill this "ugly" weed. I like to think of it as a food I didn't need to plant. As we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This beauty is good to eat. Backpackers use it as a refreshing drink along the trail. The flowers, leaves, stems, seed buds and tuber roots can all be eaten.
How do you identify Oxalis? It can have yellow, white or pink flowers. There are 850 different species of Oxalises. All have flowers with five petals. The "clover like" leaf has three heart-shaped leaflets. Even though it looks like a clover, it's not related at all! So how do they differ? They both have three leaves. Both have pink, yellow or white flowers. The three leaves differ in that the true clover leaves are more rounded. The clover leaf has a tiny toothed edge. A full or partial white chevron design can be found on the green leaflets of the clover as well. The easiest way to tell them apart is to wait until they bloom. Oxalis will always have a five petal flower. The clover bloom will be round in shape and some can be sort of spiky.
Now that's what I call hiding the evidence. While enjoying a nice soup and salad on the patio with guest, just keep smiling as you pull up another spoonful of soup to your mouth when you hear them complement you on a weed-free garden!
(Read the consumption warnings below.)
Oxalis has been said to reduce fever and increase appetite. When applied as a topical, it can reduce inflammation.
Consumption Warnings: As with many things, eating in excess is not a good thing. Oxalis contains oxalic acid. This acid can bind dietary calcium, resulting in a loss of calcium in your bones. When eaten in excess, it can also cause kidney disease. One can find this warning in most articles on eating Oxalis. However, these same warnings are not found on other items such as black tea, parsley, rhubarb, spinach, chard, beets, cocoa, nuts, berries, black pepper and beans which also contain oxalic acid.
A Mattingly - Owner and operator of Our Little Barnyard. Can't believe it's been over twenty years since I started living the farm dream! What an amazing and challenging journey it has been!
Our Little Barnyard
All rights reserved.
Photos and writings on www.ourlittlebarnyard.com may only be used with explicit written permission from the copyright owner.