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 tria. 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.

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?

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