Monday, January 13, 2014

What lies ahead

 Dead nettle

I'm fast forwarding three months. Early to mid-April. I was marking up my early spring calendar to see when and where I could lead some walks, and found these pictures I'd taken last spring on a reconnaissance mission.

I know I say something like this every year, but anticipating this early green riot is almost the best part.

Almost.

 Field garlic

These plants excite me.

 Garlic mustard

There will be a lot of experimenting and recipe-writing. Late April and May will be busy in the kitchen.

 Japanese knotweed

We are closer now, in Harlem,  to two excellent foraging grounds - Inwood and Pelham Bay.

But I'm also scouting for private land whose owners don't mind the presence of a grazing plantswoman. I want more clean space, and the freedom to gather unfurtively; I really dislike the feeling that a park employee might jump out and say, Hold it right there! - while I'm collecting the juicy shoots of the most invasive and expensive weed on the planet: Japanese knotweed. As far as I know there is no collation of data on Japanese knotweed removal in the US, but the budget figures I have seen for its annual removal in the UK range from £70 million to £166 million.

The UK takes Japanese knotweed very, very seriously.

 Lesser celandine

 May apples

 Serviceberries

Violets

Also on the spring menu, the early cresses, cattails (I really need a clean source for those), and upstate ramps.

Got land? Have knife, can cook. 
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