It’s been a challenging and sad week in the news – I keep finding myself going to the weather forecast whenever I’m online in order to escape the bitterness. It seems as though people everywhere are picking fights, finding faults, and creating great bitterness and tragedy for themselves and others. Why can’t we all put aside whatever differences we think we have and just get along and get on with our lives already? It’s been a sad week for me as well; I had to say goodbye to my dear friend and companion of the last 7 years, Zada. She was a great dog, who traveled far and had many amazing adventures over the years.
Little work has been done this week, for obvious reasons. However, we have continued to expand our variety of edible plants with a couple of pretty neat things. We planted green amaranth about 4 weeks ago, and it is already 1-2ft high and flowering! The seeds of the amaranth are used as a grain, despite being extremely small. The leaves and stems are used as a raw or cooked green vegetable, are very high in vitamins and minerals, and when lightly sauteed taste exactly like northern spinach! This fast growing plant could prove to be a great boost to our diets, as well as providing animal fodder in the future. I’m a little worried that we may have unintentional fields of it soon!
Further expanding our (already fairly vast) array of trees and shrubs, my brother gave Mandy a Bay Rum (Pimenta racemosa) tree for her birthday. These are gorgeous bushy little trees with thick, glossy leaves, that enjoy some amount of shade. The leaves are used in cooking (curries!), can be used to infuse alcohol for cologne (bay rum), made into a “medicinal” tea, and used to repel insects from storage spaces. It is closely related to allspice, which I’d love to get my hands on also…
Speaking of interesting plants, as of next week I’ll be working part time at the wonderful Cruzan Gardens, a small family owned plant nursery. I can’t wait to learn about all the incredible plants that Cynthia and Ken propagate there! You can look them up on Facebook, and I hope to soon have a part in posting about particularly interesting and/or unique species on their page.
‘Til next week, my friends…may the world seem to be a better place by then.