Monday, June 17, 2013

Bloom where you're (not) planted

Or, if it's green and growing and I can eat it, I'm sure as heck not pulling it up!

Earlier in the year, I noticed several squash-like seedlings come up near the compost heap.  Which is no surprise as there were squash near that area and squash seeds that weren't consumed by the chickens went into the compost heap.  There aren't too many squash bugs on them (yet) and with the exception of the leaves that the goats manage to wrangle their tongues around through the fence, they're doing great.

Patty Pan'ish look'n squash and a Yellow Non-Crookneck squash.
What type are they?  Who knows.  We grew Lemon, Zucchini, Yellow Crookneck and Patty Pan last year.  Only the Patty Pans & Lemon squash were heirloom though, so you got me why the ones that look like fat Patty Pans are not growing true.  So whatever kind of freaky cross some of these may be, we're still eating them.  And if they don't taste good enough for human consumption, they'll just go to the chickens as supplemental feed.

I'm also caring for (in the sense that I haven't let Paul doze them over) several wild grape vines.  I make wild grape jelly every year so it would be nice if I could train them to grow a bit lower to the ground instead of having to use a step stool in the back of the pick up truck in order to harvest the wild ones way up in the trees.

Then there's the patch of Lambs Quarters that just magically come up each year.  I swear I like them better than spinach.  So if they're growing someplace that they're not "supposed" to be growing, too bad, they're staying there until I can harvest them.  If a spinach plant just popped up in your tomato bed, would you rip it out just because it wasn't supposed to be there or would you let it grow to harvesting? That's what I thought.
One of three patches of Lambs Quarters.
Soon to be picked & put in the fridge.
Then there's the brambles.  There were a bunch more, but the bulldozer made quick work of them earlier this spring.  Since the dozer was allowed no where near the fruit trees, these survived and they'll get watered when I water the trees and hopefully get a jar or two of wild raspberry jam out of it.

Of course, there's always the dandelions (fritters, anyone?), wild plums, choke cherry, and about a dozen other wild snackies I've yet to snack on.

What wild munchies or volunteer vegetables do you have on your place?


  1. I keep a patch or two of Lambs Quarter and there is always poke somewhere.

  2. My mother made dandelion fritters when I was a kid. We didn't like them. Not sure if I'd like them today either, but I did have gravy with dandelion greens.

  3. Wait... stop.... you can EAT Lambs Quarters? I have patches of them, too... I won't cut them if they are edible!

  4. It's always fun to see what volunteers we get each year and where they come up. Yes I will get rid of volunteers if they are in the wrong place or move them but the Mrs. won't. I hate dill in my strawberries or melons in my tomatoes :)

    I have been planning a wild edible bed or 10 off away in a section all it's own. Chicory, lambs quarters, pigweed, etc. but a number pf them don't require any effort on my part to grow. We are over run with mulberry and wild plum but I just can not find any paw paw anywhere to transplant. Been looking for years now.

  5. Shame on me 'cause I'm a baaaad wild forager. I know there are many edibles out there I could gather for free but I guess I feel I get more bang for my buck by putting my efforts in on the "cultivated" garden.

    We do have Lamb's Quarters (but NOT as monstrous and big as yours) that we use. And, of course, there are tons of wild raspberries and blueberries that grow around here. (Usually in the buggiest places.) Also wild strawberries that some folks actually go after. Totally ridiculous if you ask me 'cause the berries are so small it would take you four years of constant picking to gather enough to make a batch of jam.

    I transplant volunteers I find popping up in the wrong spots. (Hey, they are happier with their own friends.)

  6. We have poke trees in every single spot that I can't reach with the weed eater and mulberries are everywhere. I'm just loving the bright purple splotches the birds are sharing on my car. :)

  7. Undoubtedly your open pollenated Squash produced some unexpected results....LOL

  8. So, how do you prepare your lambs quarters? I have it here and there all over the place. I also have half a lawn of wild thyme. Smells wonderful when the grass is mowed. Too bad the sheep and goats don't like it. We are also experiencing a bumper crop of mushrooms this year with all this rain. I am very careful in that area. If I'm not 150% sure it's safe, I won't pick it.

  9. I'm nurturing a few lambs quarter plants myself. I agree they are better than spinach! My wild grapes haven't done well for several years, sadly. I love me some muscadine jelly!

  10. I cannot believe this! I've never looked up just what Lamb's Quarter looks like. Till I saw your picture. I'm laughing at myself now for waiting so long. I've been pulling this stuff up from almost everywhere on the dang property thinking it was just a PITA weed! LOL!!!!!

    Guess I'm going to have to "re-think" the weeds in my yard!