Monday, April 12, 2010

Harvest - Salad Days - Monday

Alright. As I always seem a bit tardy to write up my Monday harvest, I think I'm going to start on Sunday so I can post bright and early in the morning.

Sperling Top onion, top setting onion, lots of mache, chicory, violets, scorzonera (the elongated shoots are getting better but still a touch hairy) and some dame's rocket (technically edible* but I haven't put it on the menu yet).

As it is, I did eat a lovely salad from the garden on Sunday. Here is a picture of the patch that it came from. The best thing about this violet leaf, mache, sweet cicely, lovage, sorrel, and onion salad was that I did not sow any of it this year. Yes, the only 2010 work that went into making this salad was washing the sandy soil off. None of these things were even sown last year. The youngest of the alliums was put in the garden, I believe, in 2008. So this salad came from sowing prior to that! Cool eh?

Speaking of cold tolerant. This time of year, I sing the praises of Brassicaceae and Alliceae a little bit louder as they are among the first and last crops I harvest. As I've written a couple recent posts on our cole companions, I thought I'd make my next post on the alliums allies with an emphasis on the perennials. Stay tuned!

*The technically edible section:

Dame's rocket - Hesperis matronalis: I haven't really eaten these yet and am not sure how these plants got there. Extreme Gardener writes on devouring this invasive.

Violet - Viola odorata: I generally enjoy the leaves but the ones I tried yesterday were a bit tough. The flowers are a decorative edible. Not Eating Out in New York goes wild for violet leaves.


Mac said...

Any self sowed edible gets my vote, I haven't had a homegrown salad in a while, I got myself stuck in brassica and allium mode in the past several months and didn't even think of lettuces, I've started some salad greens and meslun mix, maybe I'll get some leaves for salad soon.

Anonymous said...

No work and you still get your food. Good for you.
My lettuces are still very small, once temperatures rise, they will start to grow faster.

Jane said...

That's totally cool that your salad garden is self propogating!!

Angela said...

Wow, that's some self sowed goodness! Hurray for lazy gardening! That's the best kind, isn't it? And it produces the strongest plants.

I envy you the mache. I can grow it here but it just doesn't taste right, so I stopped growing it. It needs the kiss of frost, and we don't get much of that.

Daphne said...

I want to get some perennial onions when I move into the new house. I like the idea of onions really early in the spring.

I've never looked at any of the perennial greens except sea kale. I discarded the idea here because of all the brassica eating pests. I'd either have to keep it covered or it would be a constant source of pests for my other brassicas (which I cover, but osme always make their way in). I wonder if there are less brassica pests in the urban environment.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Many ornamentals are members of the brassica family and don't overly have a problem with pests. The same is true for many perennial brassicas that seem to be less bothered by pests including seakale. I have not had any noticeable damage on my seakale. Yet, I did get some caterpillar and slug damage on my heading cabbage. I certainly don't cover them. I don't cover my annual/biennial brassicas either and only the strongest survive ;) The kale and mustard self seed in such abundance that any insect and rodent predation just helps thin them to reasonable levels. It always seems like I have enough to share.

Alexis said...

rocket = arugula?

I planted some arugula seed last weekend and I'd love to know if I can expect it to be with me for future years.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Alexis: You are right that there is a relationship as they are both brassicas but this is a flower that has the common names dame's rocket and wild phlox (though it's not a phlox). It's botanical name is Hesperis Matronalis - first link at the bottom. As for arugula, if you are referring to Eruca sativa (the normal one sold) then it has been known to self sow! So let it go to flower and let me know if it takes up residence. Certainly mustard has become a once sown, always present annual in my garden. I love the flowers of E. sativa too!