Monday, April 25, 2016

Seeds of the Month club - dill

Thank goodness the mâche is bolting (above). If it weren't, I would not have space for my latest seed from Grow Journey.

I had forgotten about dill. I need dill (in copious amounts, for this potato-dill salad, which rocks the socks off early summer; and then there is the German potato salad - below, which is dangerously addictive).

So this afternoon the mâche comes out and the dill goes in.

I am keeping one mâche plant in a seed saving experiment. Grow Journey includes an empty seed packet with every Seeds of the Month package for exactly this purpose, with space for notes and plant name.

What will happen to the yanked mâche? Summer rolls for supper, with pickled shiitakes and marinated bamboo shoots. And a shrimp ceviche on the side, with the last of the ramp leaves.

Today I picked the very first of my spinach 'Verdil' leaves (above), planted in early March, thinned in the third week, and now flourishing beside four rows of fava beans. The notes in my Grow Journey member dashboard* said that the leaves of ‘Verdil’ would be more upright than other spinaches', and that seems to be true, which saves them from a lot of soil-splash, and makes cleaning easier.

* (As a member you have access to in-depth information about your seeds, as well as up-to-date and very helpful advice about sustainable gardening practises).

The baby spinach leaves made a beautifully simple side salad to what has become deeply fashionable avocado toast. This was lunch. On top of the avocado are the tiny little garden cress (Lepidium sativum) leaves that I received in January. They are peppery, and delight the forager in me, looking as wild as they often are.

Garden cress is also known as pepperweed, and we discover it frequently on spring forage walks, when their tiny white flowers are in bloom on tall, narrow stems. Their easy-identify sprays of seeds in early summer are a surprisingly good wasabi substitute, if you are patient enough to harvest hundreds of them before crushing them with a mortar and pestle.

What’s next? I have a seed tray planted with those surprise black nightshade/garden huckleberry seeds (above), and by the time they are mature enough to be transplanted, I think another cool weather green will be about to bite the dust, to make space for me to plant them out in warmer weather. Also, there is the garlic to harvest, and that will give me two more rows. Exciting.

You can dip your toes into the Seeds of the Month waters by signing up for free 30-day trial (there is a $3.99 shipping fee). There are no gags or gimmicks. Susan and Aaron, the wife-and-husband, duck-owning, organic-gardening, foraging South Carolinian couple who own Grow Journey, practise what they preach. Which is why I am comfortable promoting Grow Journey and not Miracle Gro (yes, they did ask; I think they missed the rant I wrote!).

Happy gardening!

PS: My dill repertoire is limited to those salads, to gravlax, and to the notorious sat-upon egg tortilla which my friend Mustafa brought along on a picnic many years ago. He put it on a rock beside a stream, covered in a pretty cloth, where I mistook is for a nice cushion and sat on it. It felt warm.

What do you do with dill?



  1. Dill! I can't even find seed in my area.The 2 plants I had were eaten to stumps(by me!)and the Big Box stores and garden centres say "Dill? Do you mean [insert any guess]"
    It's good for lowering cholesterol, did you know?

    1. I did not know. Yes, not exactly a sub tropical plant :-)

  2. I love dill. My grandmother, being the culinarily conservative Central European she is, uses it copiously in most savory things. I however have never had the slightest bit of luck growing it; I think it is just always either too cold or too hot and/or dry.

  3. Love dill. Sometimes it hates me and refuses to grow. I love using it in some of my pickling canning, usually in the beans and garlic. Delicious in eggs of all kinds, in tomato and cucumber salad with light sour cream dressing, and in a host of Russian (Slavic) salads made from various root vegetables.

  4. I have used dill in sauteed green beans, with success, as far as my dill-loving husband is concerned.

    Must make one of your potato salads this weekend. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Dill is great in a tuna salad! Also with cottage cheese or ricotta/chopped celery/fresh sliced tomato on toasted sourdough.

  6. Love it in Greek spinach and cheese pies, spanakopita' it seems to marry really well with the spinach

  7. I make potato salad! Thanks for the reminder! :)

  8. Hi, I just started making recipes from Mamushka, a Ukrainian cookbook. I made roasted vegetables with dill and grilled vegetable caviar with dill. One of my favorite Mollie Katzen recipes is for Baked Stuffed Potatoes with dill.


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