Saturday, March 24, 2012

Early Spring 2012

This is a sample of today's harvest for the dinner table.  Clockwise from the upper right is watercress, growing wild in great abundance in our creek; then garden sorrel, which I planted around the yard last year, with wild onions on top; then poke salad, which is just beginning to send up tender shoots, with two dandelion flowers on top; then some asparagus from our garden, planted last year as root crowns.

When the poke is this young and tender, I boil it for about 15 min., then rinse twice in cool water.  Poke should not be consumed raw, as it contains toxins.  In fact, it is Phytolacca, a well known and powerful Homeopathic medicine, which I have used to great advantage in the past.  Today I will make a poke and wild onion quiche.  Yummm!!  The watercress, sorrel, and dandelion flowers will be used in a fresh salad. 

This is a beautiful time of year, and our orchards and gardens are coming alive.  The forest trees are about 20% leafed out at this time.  Here are pictures of one of the kiwi vines and a bush cherry, which is full of little cherries.

This year, we have planted two sweet cherry trees, two more apricot trees, two plum trees, three hazelnut trees and three persimmon trees.  Also, scorzonera, ramps and miner's lettuce as perennial greens.  Last fall we planted perennial multiplier onions and scallions, as well as two juneberries and ten more raspberry plants.  (And we were going to lay off of planting so much this year!!)

On the house front, we hope to move "upstairs" by the second anniversary of the big flood, on May 2.  The ceiling is finished, the loft floor is down and most of the trim is finished, thanks mostly to our carpenter Kenny Brown, who has been working with us for a month.  The electrical wiring is finished and ready for inspection, and the plumbing is finished.  Here are some pictures.