Monday, June 21, 2010

A good year for fruit

It's going to be a good year for fruit. Juneberries are finishing up but had a big yield this year, particularly since I found many more juneberry plants that I had known previously. Also, to my delight, MIT just threw in about 10 very mature juneberry shrubs over by my old stomping grounds, building E40. Walking always reveals way more foraging opportunities than cycling, and the other day Sarah and I walked right under a cherry tree busting out with brilliant red and juicy sour cherries. Went back for a bunch. If I go back again, a step ladder could be put to good use.

Peaches are looking real good around town, and I spotted a huge nectarine tree in Allston the other day. Dust off the Ball jars.

Purslane is coming out now too, and I just enjoyed a salad of it with chickweed, both taken from my brother's yard yesterday. I only had to remove one of sadie's (their dog) hairs.

And savvy's last night: mega bread, golden delicious apples, a peach, onions, turnips, and two sirloins. The biscuit: wrapped sandwiches, sure enough. This I learned from a fellow d-diver, swapping diving locations.

I better learn amaranth pronto because I was flipping through a new book at harvard co-op the other day, urban homesteading, and in their chapter on urban foraging, they mention amaranth. Shameful that I haven't pinned down that one yet. Did however FINALLY find the elusive (around here) salisfy plant the other day. Just check in the driest, nastiest, railroad "soil" and there it will be.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Making the world a better place

I was doing my public service of weeding a community garden over in Newton, along the charles. After getting a handful of lady's thumb and such, a nasty old gardener (nog) asks me if I am a "member". I say no, I'm just picking weeds. Then something like this ensues.

nog: you gotta leave, get out of here.

me: ok. but (leaving) but i was just picking weeds.

nog: doesn't matter. you have to go.

(i'm still walking toward the exit at this point, where I was heading anyhow).

nog: .... you were here before, right?

(I think for a sec and then say)

me: yeah, like two years ago I think I came here.

nog: no, you were here last week.

me: ahh...nope.

nog: yes you were.

as I am getting on my bike, he is grumbling to his friend, another nog no doubt, about my being there. amazing. some people are just not out there to make the world a better place. I was tempted to show him my findings, explain to him these are good eats, etc.

Anyhow, I tell this lightly, but I was all stirred up inside. I hate when people treat others that way, and I should know to completely avoid even sharing words with them at all, no matter how diffusing and polite I try to be. Trying to argue with that guy would have obviously gone nowhere, and just gets me riled up. Next time, I just say nothing. I'll play a mute.

Amsterdam has a LOT of nettles, and I saw a chicken mushroom (already) growing on a willow outside of de hortus. Almost took it but it would've been hard to get through customs. Actually, no it wouldn't. I find that you just lie and say you have nothing and you have a good chance. Instead, like an idiot, I admitted to the customs that I took a few seeds home (flowers seeds, a mask for my mary-j seeds). Total failure, they made me thrown them all out. In a fictional world...

me: Can I keep the 4 mary-j seeds I paid 20 euros for?

them: step this way, sir.

Savvy's dive last night (and a question we all have at some point: what is a lamb, a sheep, same thing? lamb is to sheep as beef is to cow):

Also, tons of juneberries and mulberries out. Since most mulberries usually are pretty bland, I made my sheet-gathered lot into spiced mulberry jam, which came out decent. Here's a tray's worth ready to be frozen.

Red and white mulberries in the pots.