Today’s post was written by Betsy Krogh, my spouse, who cultivates year-round crops and seeks out ways to make our household operations more ecologically sustainable.
While we are planting seeds and tending seedlings for harvest later in the summer, we are already picking and eating perennial vegetables.
We have already cut two dinners’ worth of succulent asparagus shoots. I have two old asparagus beds where I cut or break off fat spears at ground level, leaving skinny ones to grow into foliage that will feed the plant’s roots. For a few weeks we eat lots of steamed asparagus. I love how my niece served it – roasted in olive oil. Do you have any good recipes?
This year for the first time we picked fiddleheads from the Ostrich Ferns that a naturalist friend identified in our backyard (who knew?!) As with asparagus, I steamed them, but I hope to be more adventurous next year. Any ideas?
Other perennial plants we’ve been harvesting:
Dandelion greens, which are less bitter before they flower. We add them to kale sautes with garlic, splashes of tamari, agave nectar and herbal vinegar. Maybe next year I’ll be ready to harvest the flowers to make dandelion wine.
Chives and Egyptian Walking onion scallions, currently juicy and green and perfect for many uses.
Stinging Nettles: I just did my first shearing (wearing gloves!) and dried them in the dehydrator. Mixed with dried mints and lemon balm, dried nettle leaves are part of my daily morning tea – very nourishing and its supposed to help with allergies!