A lot of lamb's quarters showed up in several pots on the terrace in the spring (it's summer now, isn't it?). I can't remember there being any last year so somewhere close by, a plant set a lot of seed. I transplanted about fifteen seedlings to their own pot, so that I could have an orderly crop, but they were terribly unhappy - obviously do not like being transplanted, were in shock: Who transplants us??? We're weeds!!! - and just sat there, with furled leaves, for a week. By that time I had run out of patience, binned them, and planted parsley in their stead. Must have parsley. If you are not up to performing on this terrace you will be asked to leave. Others need your place.
But the weeds that were still growing in the Abraham Darby's pot were very healthy, so I pulled them up and will cook them. Maybe I'll make a little soft polenta-thing. In Cape Town, Selina cooks them up with other wild greens, or morog, as it is known in South Africa, for which she patrols my mother's garden, like a beady-eyed hen: young, tender thistles, the fat hen (lamb's quarters, here), purslane, although she doesn't like that much, and green onions. She mixes this with mealie meal (like fine grits, or polenta) and makes a loose, savoury porridge.
I think it would translate very well into an Italianized dish, and is probably eaten in wild places everywhere, where people do not have enough to eat, and turn to the fields and hills, for vitamins and variety.
I made a braai last night, Memorial Day it was, after all, and holidays call for barbecue. Does anyone remember that we are fighting a war that drains our tax dollars faster than the oil well is gushing into the Gulf? Also, people die. But we're worried about undocumented Mexican workers.
Where was I?
Fennel. This fennel has returned three years running, in the pot right outside the sliding door. Its deep root overwinters, and every spring the fine feathery leaves breach the surface, and by the end of May it is eighteen inches tall. It remembers summer, and comes back for more. I use the leaves for flavouring mushrooms a la Grecque.
I have wanted my own blueberries for a long, long time. I tossed some misplaced liriope, and the awful red lilies (tied them up in bags on the railing in front of the brownstone with notes explaining what and how, and by the time I had returned with my groceries they had been adopted). I think I may buy our terrace neighbour a blueberry as a gift, so that they can cross pollinate. The only trick is to keep the soil acidic.
The strawberries are ripe!
Frankly, they look gorgeous and taste a little tart.
One of two mint forests, for mojitos, for Vietnamese and Thai dressings, for salads of mango and chiles, for fruit punches and for cooking with peas...
And, finally, with its second crop (the first dropped off, as it usually does, for me), the fig is figging.
Speaking of which I must update that nasty story I posted a while ago, about my hunt for someone searching for child porn in Gosport, Hampshire. It came to naught, but I was very encouraged by the effort expended by an intelligence officer at the CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre, based in the UK). She would not tell me exactly what their methods are, but she had every intention of pursuing the search that led them (disappointingly for them) to my blog. I lacked a full ISP address for them.
In the meantime, I have another brewing story about chickens and sell by dates, if you can believe it. Same store. Say tuned.
All this latent activism. Clearly I am not gardening enough.