Spring is when the lawn turns green over night. The colony of aspen trees behind the house, has a new outfit of small circlular leaves that tremble every time the wind blows. The brassicas, beets and chard seeds, I planted two weeks ago, sprout and grow three inches high in a week. The peas put out tendrils and start climbing the fence. Even though the mercury drops into the low single digits every night, by noon the next day the species tulips that just broke bud a few hours ago, droop, shrivel and fade beneath the soaring hot subshine. Other early, cold loving spring flowers suffer the same fate.
Dependable Perennial Domestic Food
While the annual food plants are still in babyhood and nowhere near big enough to start eating my perennial rhubarb is entering middle age and the garlic, asparagus, arugula and sorrel are gangly adolescents. We've been eating the perennials daily for more than a month. Perennial vegetable plants grow quickly providing me with food before the annual seeds have even been planted. Once established these plants are an easy source of early spring food. I have a master list of perennial food plants, hardy in short season gardens over here. I've updated the list to include the perennial Arugula I wrote about in this post
The other day I found out, via a link on twitter, that the new shoots of spruce, pine and fir trees are edible. After reading the article I realized they are not consumed like a vegetable as I assumed but used as a flavouring like one would use herbs.
Other common native plants that I eat include fiddleheads AKA Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), saskatoon berries (Amelanchier alnifolia), wild strawberries (Fragaria virginiana), blueberries (Vaccinium myrilloides) and huckleberries, (Vaccinium membranaceum).
Do you eat any native plants?